cataract eye care St. Luke's at The Villages


Cataracts tend to be a part of the natural aging process and are one of the most commonly treated eye conditions by ophthalmologists. The surgeons a part of the St. Luke’s at The Villages team, cataract surgeons Dr. Kimberly Ireland and Dr. Michael Mequio, have been innovators in the many advancements that have worked to make cataract surgery one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the United States.

cataract doctors in the Villages


A cataract is when the eye’s normally clear lens becomes cloudy due to proteins and fibers in the lens breaking down, leading to hazy and cloudy vision. Most cataracts develop due to aging—more than half of all American adults have had a cataract or cataract surgery by the age of 80. However, a cataract can also develop when an injury impacts the tissue that makes up the eye’s lens.

What does vision look like with cataracts?

The lens is the part of the eye that is responsible for focusing the light that passes in the eye and for producing clear, sharp images. As we age, the lenses in our eyes become less flexible and harden, making them more susceptible to becoming cloudy. Clouded lenses negatively impact eyesight and the quality of vision.

 Common symptoms of cataracts

Common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dimmed vision
  • Changes in the way colors look (ex: dulling of colors)
  • Trouble driving at night (ex: glare from nearby headlights)
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Seeing double

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts or are struggling with cloudy vision in one or both eyes, you are not alone. Start your journey to #lifechangingvision by contacting us today!

cataract treatment options


The only effective way to treat cataracts is with surgery.

During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens gets removed and replaced with a clear, new artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). Kimberly Ireland, MD or Michael Mequio, MD work to position the IOL in the same place as your natural lens. This artificial lens becomes a permanent part of the eye, allowing for clear, unobstructed vision.

Typically, the surgery is performed by making a tiny incision on the side of the cornea. In some cases, Dr. Ireland or Dr. Mequio may use a laser to perform some aspects of the surgery, resulting in an even gentler, more precise procedure. After the cataract is completely removed, one of our skillful surgeons replaces it with an IOL, which allows light to focus clearly again.

Cataract surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis and surgeons usually use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the eye. As with any surgery, there are some risks that can follow cataract surgery but this procedure is generally a safe and easy one followed by minor complications.

cataract eye surgery

How to choose the right Lens for Cataract Surgery?

When planning your cataract surgery, cataract surgeons Kimberly Ireland, MD or Michael Mequio, MD will explain to you the different types of intraocular lenses available and the different benefits that come with each type of lens. Dr. Ireland and Dr. Mequio are here to help guide you during the decision process of selecting a lens that fits both your budget and your lifestyle.


Our most popular cataract package is our Lifestyle Vision option. This option is designed to help patients achieve the highest possible level of independence from glasses, and the greatest level of versatility in their vision with lenses that allow for clear vision both up-close and at a distance. Dr. Ireland or Dr. Mequio will work with you to find the high technology lens that is best suited to your needs


The Astigmatism Reduction package is one that has been designed to reduce the blurring effects caused by astigmatism. Innovative intraocular lenses paired with surgical astigmatism reduction techniques that have been specially designed to minimize astigmatism allow patients who choose this option to experience sharp, clear vision. Appropriate candidates who choose this package may even undergo bladeless cataract surgery. Prior to surgery, our adept cataract surgeons will work with you to assess your vision goals to determine whether your vision should be focused to see best up-close, far away, or a combination of the two (known as monovision).


The Monofocal Intraocular Lens option includes standard cataract surgery and a single focus intraocular lens implant. This new lens will work to improve overall clarity in your vision, but with this option, glasses are still recommended to fully optimize vision.

It’s important to note that deciding which lens implants that works best for you, requires a thorough evaluation of your lifestyle needs and an understanding of the available technology. At St. Luke’s at The Villages, our team of eye care professionals is here to help you on the path to Life Changing Vision, call 352-375-0080 to schedule a cataract consultation today!

St. Luke's at The Villages locations


At St. Luke’s, our highest priority is helping our patients achieve life-changing vision while providing them with the highest levels of care and safety. Compared to the national average, we are proud to say that our surgical center has a significantly lower incidence of eye infection and other surgical complications.

Some of our innovations include:

  • Filtered solutions – To further reduce the risk of infection, we make sure that the infusion solutions used during surgery pass through special filters before reaching the eye.
  • Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory solutions – To reduce the risk of postoperative infections, we add specially formulated antibiotics to anti-inflammatory solutions and placed directly in the eye after surgery.
  • Balancing medications – To make surgery and recovery more comfortable for our patients, we neutralize the PH level in medications used during surgery to reduce irritation, dryness, and discomfort.
  • Ultraviolet lighting – To reduce and kill bacteria in our operating rooms, special ultraviolet lighting is activated when the operating rooms are not being used. This is the same type of lighting used in cardiovascular units.
  • Eye pressure checks – To ensure that the surgical incision is tightly sealed, we check our patients’ eye pressure in the first two hours following surgery. We also use special instruments during surgery to help alleviate the risk of postoperative pressure rise.


We perform cataract surgeries in our Ambulatory Surgery Centers at St. Luke’s at The Villages Lake Sumter Landing location. Pre-operative and follow-up appointments are available in Brownwood and Lake Sumter Landing. We also proudly van service by appointment for surgery days.

Ready for Life Changing Vision?

Higher quality vision equates to a better quality of life and at St. Luke’s at The Villages, our goal is to help all of our patients achieve life-changing vision. Everything we do, from our organization’s history of rich innovation, thoughtful adoption of new technology, unsurpassed commitment to care, is intended to provide our patients with the best opportunities to achieve their vision goals. Dr. Kimberly Ireland and Dr. Michael Mequio are two of the most experienced and accomplished cataract surgeons in the world, and they are dedicated to providing their patients with top-notch care. At St. Luke’s, you’re bound to be in great hands.

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts or are struggling with cloudy vision in one or both eyes, you are not alone. Start your journey to #lifechangingvision by contacting us today!