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Up Front | Oct 2013

Here’s To Success

It never ceases to amaze me how much clarity I find while running. The evening prior to writing this editorial, I attempted to jot down my thoughts on presbyopia correction, this month's cover focus. I knew what I should say, but the words with which to say it were not developing. After a while, I put my computer away and decided to save the writing for the following day.

In the wee hours of that next morning, before my daughter got up for the day and before I had to be at work, I ventured outside on a 10-mile run. Immediately my creative juices started flowing, and I began to think about all of the commonalities between my journey this year in the sport of triathlon and your daily journeys as cataract and refractive surgeons treating patients with presbyopia. Before the run was over, I had practically written the entire editorial in my head.

What struck a chord with me is that we both work hard to achieve the best outcomes—for me, this is qualifying for the Ironman World Championships; for you as surgeons treating patients with presbyopia, it is providing these patients with high-quality outcomes and spectacle-free near vision.

Our cover focus this month highlights several presbyopiacorrection strategies that can help surgeons like you achieve the best outcomes for your patients. We asked eight surgeons— Robert Edward Ang, MD; Damien Gatinel, MD; Detlef Holland, MD; Aylin Kiliç, MD; Dimitra M. Portaliou, MD, and Ioannis G. Pallikaris, MD, PhD; Robert P. Rivera, MD; Mark Tomalla, MD, and Ioannis Doulgkeridis; and Minoru Tomita, MD, PhD—to share their preferences for cornea- or lens-based correction. In doing so, we have put together a bouquet of information, protocols, case studies, and tips on presbyopia correction for the 21st century.

As readers may recall, in the June 2013 editorial I shared my ritualistic training habits for the Ironman. Although in the past I typically ran or biked on the same roads day in and day out, I forced myself to begin training on different routes. I reasoned that varying the terrain I trained on might bring me closer to qualifying for the Ironman World Championships.

You know what? It worked. After years of hard training and attempting to qualify, I finally succeeded this August at Ironman Mt. Tremblant in Quebec, Canada (Figure 1).

So what changed? Was it the fact that I modified my training technique, much like how Dr. Tomalla and Mr. Doulgkeridis switched from the use of Supracor to trifocal IOLs when treating presbyopes with more than 2.00 D of hyperopia? Was it the fact that I was motivated to train at a new time of day, squeezing in many of my workouts before my daughter was awake in the morning, similar to how Dr. Holland is now motivated to implant a corneal inlay because it has a similar optical concept to his preferred presbyopic LASIK technique? Or is it because, like Drs. Gatinel, Ang, Portaliou, and Pallikaris, who balance the use of various surgical approaches to presbyopia correction, I, too, have balanced triathlon training with the other aspects of my life?

As our authors note in this issue, all of today's presbyopiacorrection strategies do have compromises and, as Dr. Rivera says in his article, the Fountain of Youth has yet to be found. I also do my share of compromising in order to balance training, work, and home life. For me, every compromise I make is worth it to winningly compete in triathlon at a high level and still feel like a successful mother, wife, and editor. Just remember to ask your patients preoperatively if the compromises they will have to make with presbyopia correction will be worth it to them.

I hope that the articles shared within this cover focus help you to create a presbyopia-correction strategy that is right for you and that you, too, will find success in your endeavors.