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Advanced Lens Gives Patients with Astigmatism New Look on Life

Sharon Lee Kemp was afraid of things that go bump in the night, but it wasn’t for the usual reasons.

“For as long as I can remember, I was terribly nearsighted. I was the kindergarten student with the heavy, thick glasses falling off my nose. I was 10 years old when I got my first pair of contact lenses, but I couldn’t sleep in them. At Girl Scout Camp, I put my glasses in the pillow case so I knew exactly where they were. I was always afraid something would happen at night and I wouldn’t be able to see,” said Sharon.

From glasses to hard and soft contact lenses, she took advantage of the latest vision options over the years. After marrying Stephen Kemp, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Sharon sought the best specialists to trust with her vision needs.

A patient at the UAMS Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute for nearly three decades, Sharon is amazed by the institute’s growth. Since the fear of blindness is the number one fear worldwide, she wants all Arkansans to understand the importance of having a world-class facility that provides cutting-edge treatment. “I always knew I was being treated in the right place. I told my eye care specialists at UAMS that cataracts run in my family on both sides, and I developed cataracts as well. But what the eye institute did with my eyes is more than I ever hoped for.”

Cataracts interfere with vision by clouding the eye’s natural lens. Because this occurs slowly, many people don’t notice vision loss until they begin to have issues with:

  • Watching the television
  • Reading small print
  • Driving at night
  • Being more sensitive to glare in bright sunlight or at night

Sharon’s ophthalmologist, Nicola M. Kim, M.D., performed a clear-cornea cataract surgery procedure on both eyes.

“Just before the surgery on the first eye, Dr. Kim asked me to look at a certain place on the wall. I told her I couldn’t see the wall.” Sharon laughed. “Just after that surgery, I could see the clock on the wall!”

Now Sharon is thrilled to have 20/20 vision for the first time in her life. For Sharon, removing cataracts that clouded her vision and installing intraocular lenses in the same painless procedure is a medical miracle. Like most patients who have the procedure, Sharon said she sees everything more clearly.

Sharon, who is a writer and has worked extensively in talk radio in Little Rock, is currently on the air on KKSP Fresh Talk 93.3. She said she also wants to communicate the importance of having a medical eye exam by an ophthalmologist. Since her husband was diagnosed with diabetes, Dr. Kim monitored his eyes closely. When Dr. Kim found signs of retinopathy, a condition that is common with diabetes patients, she immediately referred him for laser treatment by Sami Uwaydat, M.D., a retina specialist at the Jones Eye Institute.

“As a medical professional, I have great respect for the expertise of the specialists at the Jones Eye Institute. I’m impressed by UAMS’ growth from what some people thought of as a charity hospital into a large campus offering state-of-the-art treatments,” said Dr. Stephen Kemp.

Sharon and Stephen will continue to make their eye treatment at the UAMS Jones Eye Institute a family affair. Sharon said, “I know that as technology continues to evolve, the UAMS Jones Eye Institute will continue to provide the best care available anywhere. What could be better than the gift of sight?”

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