CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Procedures to restore sight can help patients affected by eye disease not only see better but also live better.
At Zion Eye Institute, Dr. Jayson Edwards seeks to improve the quality of life for Southern Utahns suffering from various vision problems. Edwards is an ophthalmologist specializing in corneal disease and surgery of the eye.
Edwards graduated from Brigham Young University with honors and received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He participated in an internship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine before completing his ophthalmology residency at the University of Florida, followed by a corneal fellowship at Tulane University.
Before practicing as an ophthalmologist, Edwards spent two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center dedicated to research of LASIK, PRK and other refractive surgery modalities. He has published numerous research articles and textbook chapters on corneal disease and refractive surgery.
Edwards moved to St. George in 2013 to be closer to his parents after spending more than a decade on the other side of the country. At the time, he said, there were no cornea specialists in Southern Utah, and Zion Eye Institute was evolving into a multispeciality practice with the goal of offering more specialized care than general ophthalmology.
“I’ve thrived,” Edwards said. “They’ve given me a good amount of freedom to make sure I can build up my own practice and do well with my patients. It’s been a very good seven years so far.”
As a cornea specialist, Edwards practices all facets of comprehensive ophthalmology at Zion Eye Institute along with cornea, cataract and refractive surgeries. He also performs implantable collamer lens surgery, a corrective procedure for patients who aren’t a candidate for LASIK.
Edwards said he has embraced encouraging advancements in corneal surgery over the course of his career. While some patients require a complete corneal transplant, those with diseases only affecting one layer of the cornea can benefit from endothelial keratoplasty instead. This procedure removes a single cell layer from the cornea and replaces it with a healthy transplant.
“It’s quite an advancement in decreasing rejection rates, improving outcomes and improving recovery time – a few months of recovery instead of a year of recovery,” he said.
Edwards has also adopted new technology emerging for patients suffering from keratoconus, a disease that causes the cornea to lose its shape and distort vision. Keratoconus is a progressive condition typically diagnosed in the late teens or early twenties.
Now he can perform corneal cross-linking to help stabilize and strengthen the cornea. This minimally invasive procedure is able to slow or even stop the progression of keratoconus, hopefully allowing the patient to avoid a corneal transplant in the future.
Edwards said that advancements in replacement lenses for patients who require cataract surgery can restore vision while eliminating prior dependency on eyeglasses. Lenses are now available for patients with astigmatism, a malformation of the eye’s curvature that causes blurred or distorted vision at all distances. For patients who previously wore progressive or bifocal eyeglasses, multifocal lens technology restores vision at every range of distance and near.
He also performs dropless cataract surgery. Traditionally, patients who undergo a cataract procedure are given prescriptions for eye drops that they must use multiple times daily for up to six weeks afterward. At Zion Eye Institute, these medications are delivered directly to the eye during surgery, thus eliminating the need for eye drops.
The specialists at Zion Eye Institute encompass all areas of vision care, including optometry, pediatric ophthalmology and retinal surgery. Edwards said that together, this team can provide for the needs of any patient – now or in the future.
“There’s a lot of new techniques, technologies and advancements in both cataract and cornea surgery. We spend a lot of time making sure we’re on the cutting edge of those advancements,” he said. “I get to use those techniques to help my patients, and it’s really fulfilling.”
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- Zion Eye Institute | Address: 1791 E. 280 North, St. George | Telephone: 435-656-2020 or 877-841-2020 | Website.
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