From practitioner to patient

July 01, 2014


After 45 years in the ophthalmic industry, Thomas Bender never thought he would be personally affected by vision loss. So when his vision began to blur, he didn’t think it was serious.

“That was absolutely wrong,” Bender said.  He had lived with diabetes for many years, and as a result developed macular edema that left him nearly blind.

“I was scared,” he said. “And when you’re scared, you run to that place that’s going to give you the best security you could possibly feel.”

He sought treatment at UC Irvine Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. There, retina specialist Dr. Stephanie Lu treated Bender for swelling in the back of his eye, tracking the progress using images of his retina.

After the treatment, Bender said, “With both eyes, I see 20/25. I’m 73 years old. I can even read without any assistance from glasses. I have basically perfect vision.”

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