Cataracts

A.H.Black

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A friend had both eyes done this summer. The first eye went great and he had the other one done 2 weeks later. His second eye got very red but that cleared up after a few weeks. Doctor was not concerned. He did use eye drops for a month after each eye. His surgery included a procedure to help with eye pressure which also went well. His vision is just about 2020 in both eyes so he can do almost everything without glasses. He uses reading glasses, which he used before. He is happy with the results.
This sounds like where I am leaning. My difference is - now, when I want to read (for pleasure) I just take out my contacts. It will be an adjustment to use reading glasses when reading for fun.

Thanks again to everyone. Keep em coming.
 

Judy

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My brother had two surgeries for cataracts, one in each eye. The first one he had last year, under general anaesthetic and so he slept through it, no problems afterwards, healed pretty quickly and he is very happy with the result. This year his other eye was needed to be done too. Even though the doctor prescribed again general anaesthetic, the doctor who was doing the actual procedure decided not to do it under general anaesthetic. My brother is very squeamish and not very good with pain, and possibly even with imagined pain. My brother described this procedure as the worst time of his life. He told me that he was drugged, so he couldn’t really walk out when he realised that he would not be sleeping through it! He says he still has nightmares about it. After the surgery on his first eye, he was only invited for a check up, but they did not need to take stitches out, so I am guessing they did it with some dissolveable ones. After the second procedure, about a month or two later he was invited for an appointment to get the stitches out and he fainted, so they are still in. Not sure if it will need to get out at some time... It appears that two completely different ways of doing cataracts have been used... I am wondering whether the current situation with C19 has something to do with it, if perhaps they didn’t want to use general anaesthetic so that they could get rid of him quicker... He also had some problems with the second eye afterwards (with his vision) and now he is going through various checks to figure out what has gone wrong. I am sorry, I can’t really share the technical bits about the procedures because I didn’t really asked, but if it was my surgery, before they give me any medication on the day of the surgery, I would want to see the doctor who would do the procedure and hear from them what exactly they are planning to do and check that I will be sleeping, and make sure that they understand that this bit is important for me. And walk out if I am not happy with their answers. Some people may not mind if they are not sleeping, but I would. I know I am squeamish (maybe not as much as my brother, but I can’t even insert contact lenses, so why would I think that I would not mind if someone will do procedure on me while I am aware of it?)

No stitches! i cut and copied this. I had sedation and was totally and completely oblivious. since the procedure is done at a hospital and it’s day surgery they come and talk to you beforehand. For complete anaesthesia they need a anesthesiologist to administer and monitor you.

Modern cataract surgery does not routinely require stitches, as it is a keyhole procedure and the main incision is about 2 mm in length (i.e. tiny). The intraocular lens is inserted via a thin cartridge and is designed to unfold once it has been placed inside the eye.
 

hanca

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No stitches! i cut and copied this. I had sedation and was totally and completely oblivious. since the procedure is done at a hospital and it’s day surgery they come and talk to you beforehand. For complete anaesthesia they need a anesthesiologist to administer and monitor you.

Modern cataract surgery does not routinely require stitches, as it is a keyhole procedure and the main incision is about 2 mm in length (i.e. tiny). The intraocular lens is inserted via a thin cartridge and is designed to unfold once it has been placed inside the eye.
Thank you. That explains it. So it is quite possible the first procedure my brother had didn’t have any stitches at all. Not sure why the second procedure, on his other eye, had stitches though! Did something go wrong? Considering the problems he had with it even afterwards (still has), I wonder if something went wrong during the procedure, or if they found something unexpected (e.g. more damage than they expected) and therefore they had to do it that way - with stitches?
 

acraven

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I was told in advance that sometimes stitches are required, sometimes not. I suspect it depends at least partly on how difficult it is to remove the old, foggy lens after they break it up. My problem was getting the toric lens into the right position; they had to move it, and even then it shifted a bit. Again, my eyes are bigger than usual, which made it easier for that lens to reposition itself.

The don't-bend rule didn't last long at all for me; it may have been only 24 hours. I had to have someone pick me up and drive me home (the same as for a colonoscopy), but there was no need for someone to stay with me. Surgery for something like a detached retina tends to have more restrictions; I did stay overnight with a friend after she had emergency surgery of that type.

The multi-focal (IOL) lenses hollygrove has were not presented as an option to me. I'm guessing it was because the size of my eyes made it possible the lenses would not remain in the desired position--as happened with the toric lens in the left eye. It would certainly have been lovely not to need bifocals; it's more difficult to get them cut just the way you need.
 

Moto Guzzi

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I had cataract surgery in January 2016 and chose the multi-focal lenses. They were more expensive but the cost was worth it to me. I was extremely near sighted but could read without glasses before the surgery. Now I use cheap reading glasses only for the smallest type and don't need them for distance.

My opthamologist did not recommend doing one eye for distance and the other for close up. He said people sometimes have trouble adapting to it and it was better to do both eyes the same and then make any adjustments with glasses. Mine was done under a local anesthesia. They gave me a sedative but I remember bright lights and people talking. My other eye was done two weeks later.

I had to have someone drive me home; you aren't allowed to drive yourself. Even with one corrected eye and one uncorrected eye, my vision was significantly better. My eyes had deteriorated quickly from the time I made my appointment and had measurements done until the surgery two months later. On the ride home, I could read license plate numbers and street signs--something I couldn't do before.

I am a terrible coward about eye surgery and had been afraid but it really wasn't that bad. My aunt had had cataract surgery several years before and told me everything she had experienced.

In August 2016 I had to have laser surgery to clear up some cloudiness that had developed. This happens to some, but not all, people; two of my friends had had cataract surgery not long before I did and both had laser surgery to correct the cloudiness. It was done at my doctor's office and took only a few minutes.
 

A.H.Black

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For those who chose multi-focal lenses - Have you had any issues with halos or trouble with glare, especially at night?

Also for those who chose enhanced lenses, can you give me a ball park idea of how much you paid per lense?
 

Judy

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I had cataract surgery in January 2016 and chose the multi-focal lenses. They were more expensive but the cost was worth it to me. I was extremely near sighted but could read without glasses before the surgery. Now I use cheap reading glasses only for the smallest type and don't need them for distance.

My opthamologist did not recommend doing one eye for distance and the other for close up. He said people sometimes have trouble adapting to it and it was better to do both eyes the same and then make any adjustments with glasses. Mine was done under a local anesthesia. They gave me a sedative but I remember bright lights and people talking. My other eye was done two weeks later.

I had to have someone drive me home; you aren't allowed to drive yourself. Even with one corrected eye and one uncorrected eye, my vision was significantly better. My eyes had deteriorated quickly from the time I made my appointment and had measurements done until the surgery two months later. On the ride home, I could read license plate numbers and street signs--something I couldn't do before.

I am a terrible coward about eye surgery and had been afraid but it really wasn't that bad. My aunt had had cataract surgery several years before and told me everything she had experienced.

In August 2016 I had to have laser surgery to clear up some cloudiness that had developed. This happens to some, but not all, people; two of my friends had had cataract surgery not long before I did and both had laser surgery to correct the cloudiness. It was done at my doctor's office and took only a few minutes.

yes I had the gradual clouding too which is common. It’s almost like another cataract but it isn’t. Mine too was fixed by laser .. they put a little hole in the lens by laser and it doesn’t return.
 

Moto Guzzi

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2,781
For those who chose multi-focal lenses - Have you had any issues with halos or trouble with glare, especially at night?

Also for those who chose enhanced lenses, can you give me a ball park idea of how much you paid per lense?
I haven't had problems with halos or glare at night except when my allergies are bad. I don't remember how much I paid. It may have been $3,500 but I'm not sure. I used a Care credit card that didn't charge interest for 24 months.
 

Colleen

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206
I haven't had the surgery (yet) but have been the driver for both my dad and a friend. Both were done under light sedation. I dropped my dad off in the morning and met a friend for breakfast - the hospital was calling me to pick him up before we were done eating - maybe 1.5 hours at most. I took him home and tried to convince him to rest (he was around 85 at the time) but he felt fine and we ended up washing all of the china in his china cabinet that day. The other eye was similar. He did have eye drops. He wore glasses pre surgery, and couldn't adapt to life without glasses so kept his frames with plain glass in them. He could read, watch tv and drive without any trouble.

My friend had a similar outcome. She too didn't want to be without glasses and has plain glass in her frames. She said she does prefer to wear reading glasses when she's tired.

I have the start of cataracts but they aren't progressing much. My optometrist tells me every year that I'll be very happy when they get to a point where I can have surgery and get len implants. I have astigmasm and am very near sighted Being able to see in the morning without fumbling for glasses will be a novel experience. I ask every year if it's time yet - but so far no luck. I've looked into the lens implants on a private pay basis but am thinking I would rather wait and get it done through the medical system. After my appointment this fall I will decide - if it seems like cataract surgery is a long way off I may go the private route and just get it done and enjoy life without glasses.
 

acraven

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@Colleen, my cataracts were in "we'll watch them" mode for several years. I wouldn't have realized I had cataracts if the doctor hadn't told me. I've been religious about wearing sunglasses every time I set foot outside for decades, so I just figured they'd progress really slowly and eventually one of my two eye doctors would say it was about time to do something. Ultimately, that wasn't what happened. Last year while I was in Europe I started having difficulty reading my tablet computer and small labels in museums. I thought it just meant I needed new glasses (an every-year occurrence). When I got back home and went in for my annual refraction, the optometrist threw up her hands and said I needed to see a cornea specialist. No amount of fiddling with her lenses could get my vision above about 20/120. It had been about 20/40 with glasses the previous year. I was very lucky that a new cornea surgeon was joining the group so I didn't have to wait multiple months for the initial consultation.

Based on my experience, I think your eyes could go downhill at just about any time. I don't want to think about what it would cost to pay for the surgery totally out-of-pocket.
 
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sk8pics

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Thanks for your stories, @acraven and @Colleen. My cataracts are also slow growing, and I always wear sunglasses or my photosensitive glasses outside. My vision is also not changing very fast; it’s every 3 years or so that I need new glasses. I hope I won’t need surgery while YNW is going on.

@Colleen I didn’t think you could get your vision fixed while you had untreated cataracts, or did you mean you’d get the cataract surgery and vision correction together on your own?
 

Colleen

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The last time I went for a consultation for laser surgery the specialist recommended lens implants as my prescription would require a lot of contouring to the cornea. That was a few years ago so procedures have probably improved. The lens implant would correct my vision and have the bonus of dealing with the cataracts as well.
 

Judy

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@Colleen, my cataracts were in "we'll watch them" mode for several years. I wouldn't have realized I had cataracts if the doctor hadn't told me. I've been religious about wearing sunglasses every time I set foot outside for decades, so I just figured they'd progress really slowly and eventually one of my two eye doctors would say it was about time to do something. Ultimately, that wasn't what happened. Last year while I was in Europe I started having difficulty reading my tablet computer and small labels in museums. I thought it just meant I needed new glasses (an every-year occurrence). When I got back home and went in for my annual refraction, the optometrist threw up her hands and said I needed to see a cornea specialist. No amount of fiddling with her lenses could get my vision above about 20/120. It had been about 20/40 with glasses the previous year. I was very lucky that a new cornea surgeon was joining the group so I didn't have to wait multiple months for the initial consultation.

Based on my experience, I think your eyes could go downhill at just about any time. I don't want to think about what it would cost to pay for the surgery totally out-of-pocket.

I had rapidly growing cataracts so within a year I had the surgery. Part of that time was waiting for the surgeon to see me as a patient. In Canada our family dr’s have to refer us. Not sure how it works in the U.S. but I would think some referrals are faster there vs Canada with our free health care (not really free our high taxes pay for it).
 

A.H.Black

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My ophthalmologist didn't even mention cataracts 2 years ago. In fact he lessened the prescription of my contacts, saying "I like the way you're seeing". He retired. Then, in July, I was in a car accident. I got my eyes checked as a matter of course. The new doctor announced "You have cataracts". I don't know if the accident exacerbated the growth of my cataracts, but I noticed a change afterward. That, plus I'm having a lot more difficulty with my contacts being foggy all the time, makes me feel like I need to get this done sooner than I originally thought.
 

KatieC

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In June 2019 I told my family doctor I could no longer read the gas signs (the bigs ones displaying the price). I only started wearing glasses late in 2016, but had to replace them in 2017 and again in 2018. My family doctor agreed that was a bit too fast so booked me an appointment with a specialist a week later. That doctor told me I had cataracts and they needed looking after now. He got me an appointment with a surgeon and I got the right eye done in Sept, the left in early Oct. I paid $77.00 for each new lens. I'm in Canada and was delighted with the fast service. I did go back to work too early after the first surgery and had to leave early. Staring at a computer should not be done too quickly. Oh, and I hummed through the first surgery, I was nervous!
 

A.H.Black

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I went yesterday for my first appointment with the eye surgeon. My contacts are so foggy all the time, I decided I either need a new pair of contacts or I need to get the cataract surgery. I found out it's going to take longer than I thought.

I have worn hard contacts for over 50 years with very little problem. The eye surgeon tells me I have to go without contacts for at least a month before they can even evaluate my eyes before surgery. I haven't had a pair of glasses for over 50 years. I'm not happy about having to buy a pair of glasses (over $200) to wear for a few months at the most. Insurance won't cover the cost of glasses. They did suggest an online Optical that can save me some money so I will check that out. After all, I won't want any of the fancy upgrades.

I'm also a bit concerned about my vision with glasses. The reason my parents agreed to contacts in the first place (50+ years ago) was because my prescription was changing as much as 3 times a year. I'm sort of afraid my vision will get a lot worse when I am out of contacts. The doctor said I would definitely see changes but that older eyes didn't change in the same way as young eyes.

I have really good close-up vision. When I want to read, I take out my contacts (I can use my readers, but it's more relaxing to go without contacts). I found out I'm going to lose a lot of that near vision when I have the cataract surgery no matter what choice I make about lenses. That's disappointing, but I sort of knew that would happen.
 

Judy

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I went yesterday for my first appointment with the eye surgeon. My contacts are so foggy all the time, I decided I either need a new pair of contacts or I need to get the cataract surgery. I found out it's going to take longer than I thought.

I have worn hard contacts for over 50 years with very little problem. The eye surgeon tells me I have to go without contacts for at least a month before they can even evaluate my eyes before surgery. I haven't had a pair of glasses for over 50 years. I'm not happy about having to buy a pair of glasses (over $200) to wear for a few months at the most. Insurance won't cover the cost of glasses. They did suggest an online Optical that can save me some money so I will check that out. After all, I won't want any of the fancy upgrades.

I'm also a bit concerned about my vision with glasses. The reason my parents agreed to contacts in the first place (50+ years ago) was because my prescription was changing as much as 3 times a year. I'm sort of afraid my vision will get a lot worse when I am out of contacts. The doctor said I would definitely see changes but that older eyes didn't change in the same way as young eyes.

I have really good close-up vision. When I want to read, I take out my contacts (I can use my readers, but it's more relaxing to go without contacts). I found out I'm going to lose a lot of that near vision when I have the cataract surgery no matter what choice I make about lenses. That's disappointing, but I sort of knew that would happen.

Ugh that is a pain! I agree with you about the extra cost for glasses. Yes I lost my close up vision when I got contacts. You can discuss that with your dr. I just wear reading glasses now and I eventually kinda forgot that I lost it if that makes sense. I think you can have something done with the lens replacement to fix it though. I just never asked.
 

MacMadame

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The doctor said I would definitely see changes but that older eyes didn't change in the same way as young eyes.
That's been my experience as an older person who wears mostly glasses and not contacts.

There are a lot of places you can get cheap glasses such as Warby Parker (online).
 

A.H.Black

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Ugh that is a pain! I agree with you about the extra cost for glasses. Yes I lost my close up vision when I got contacts. You can discuss that with your dr. I just wear reading glasses now and I eventually kinda forgot that I lost it if that makes sense. I think you can have something done with the lens replacement to fix it though. I just never asked.
I'm thinking I will have reading glasses as well. It's just the really close stuff I will miss. When I look at my hand, for example, I can see every teeny tiny line and everything else. If I have a splinter, I can see right where it is. It's that kind of close up sight I think I will lose. I will just have to come to terms with that.
 

Judy

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I'm thinking I will have reading glasses as well. It's just the really close stuff I will miss. When I look at my hand, for example, I can see every teeny tiny line and everything else. If I have a splinter, I can see right where it is. It's that kind of close up sight I think I will lose. I will just have to come to terms with that.

Yes I was like that too!
 

acraven

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I recently discussed the loss of my previously-superlative near vision with my optometrist. She told me one can buy LED-illuminated magnifying glasses. I've definitely noticed that it helps to have extra light when I need to read print smaller than 8-pt type.

I haven't looked at magnifying glasses online yet, but I need to do that before I acquire a splinter, because I certainly would not be able to remove one the way my eyes are now. I need to get needle-threaders, too.
 

A.H.Black

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2,888
I ordered glasses today. Both the optical shop at the eye center and Costco recommended Zenni Optical (online) for my needs. They both said they normally don't recommend online sites, but for my situation where I would only be wearing them for a month or two, they both said Zenni would be the best price.

The optical shop would have been $200 ish for no frills
Costco would have been $100 ish for no frills
Warby Parker starts at $95
Zenni was $65 - including a couple of upgrades (uv and such), clip on sunglasses, and shipping. I could have paid as low as $45. I was also happy they have a choice of payment methods (google, Amazon, Paypal) so I didn't have to give any financial information.
 

KatieC

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About losing the close up vision, I also had great close up vision in my right eye, for years. Then the left eye stopped seeing distance and I realised I could use the right eye to see things two inches away, and the left eye was great for 3 to 12 inches away. Everything beyond a foot was smudgy. When the cataracts were done, the surgeon tried to give me reading vision in the right eye, and she succeeded to a point. I need a bit more light to thread a needle, and I use cheaters to read those tiny instructions on pill bottles. And I prefer reading on my iPad or hardcovers, older, small print paperbacks are out. I'm pretty happy with the results, and even though the optometrist gave me a new prescription, I didn't bother to get new glasses. Hope you have good results @A.H.Black
 

A.H.Black

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Does anyone want to offer some tips on getting used to wearing glasses. Please.

I got my glasses today. This is awful. I went to my order and checked to make sure I entered the information correctly - I did. I do see things clearly so I think the prescription is right. Everything is smaller. Everything is curved. They make me terribly dizzy. I thought I would try them for an hour to see how it went. I had to take them off after 40 minutes and lie down.

It's been 50+ years since I have worn glasses. I have a pretty strong prescription. I guess it's going to take some time.
 

acraven

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One thing I immediately noticed after my cataract surgery was that things seemed artificially close to me. My doctor assured me that I was seeing things correctly for the first time. I've gotten used to , but when I think about it, it still seems odd.

Opticians have told me it can take a bit of time to adjust to new glasses. I have to say that time has never solved my problems when glasses weren't right, but it's certainly reasonable to give it a day or so. Definitely put them on when you first get up tomorrow morning and see whether your eyes adapt better.

You might also fiddle a bit with the glasses. Is your vision better if you push them closer to your eyes or move them farther away? What about raising them just a bit or pressing them down? Look through just one lens at a time; is one of them OK? I suspect one OK lens and one seriously-off lens would be very uncomfortable.

I have had glasses mis-cut in a variety of ways; it definitely does happen. It sounds as if you have gotten your glasses via mail order; I've never done that, but I wouldn't expect that to be any more accurate than what you get by walking into a discount optical shop. The first thing I do when I have a problem is return to the shop and have them verify the lenses were cut accurately. The good thing about the guys I work with is that they will re-cut for free. (The work is done somewhere in Asia, no doubt at dirt-cheap rates, so they can afford the re-work.) On at least two occasions I've gone back to my optometrist (another $60 out of pocket) for a re-check. That has never turned up an error in the prescription; the one time we tried to tweak the reading prescription, the new glasses were worse.
 

sk8pics

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@A.H.Black are the lenses small and/or rectangular? There can be more distortion, and especially if you wear progressive lenses. I switched to more rounded lenses and I notice a big difference.

Other than that I second @acraven’s suggestions about making sure they were cut properly and trying different positioning.
 

A.H.Black

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Thanks everyone. I read Spun Silver's comment and remembered I still have the prescription for my contacts (the contacts I am currently wearing) from my doctor that retired. I dug it out and it is much different than the prescription given to me for the glasses. I think this new prescription is way too strong. I will check in with them tomorrow.

My reaction to the glasses was really strong. I was off balance with a headache (I don't get headaches) and slight nausea all day yesterday after I stopped wearing them. I still have a touch of it today. The thought of having to get used to those glasses - well, I hope I don't have to.
 

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