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  1. #1
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    Surgery for Cataracts?

    In Jan. and Feb. of 2016, I had surgery for the removal of cataracts in both eyes. My wife also had one eye done, (both of us the same day.)

    Let me say from the start, that I would do it again without hesitation.

    However, I am not too happy, concerning the "professional preparation" as to what to expect afterwards. Hence this effort.

    Halos and glare were something that were to recede with time. A year latter, halos come and go, but not a bother, Was sort of looking forward to seeing Christmas lights with halos, but didn't happen.

    Upon being 'healed' enough for the Dr. to release me from his oversight, he recommended that I get a pair of sunglasses. That was an understatement. Bright light now bothers my eyes more then ever before. Even on cloudy/rainy days, I feel more comfortable, albeit, a little self conscious wearing sunglasses. I have found a pair of Ray-Bans that are lightly shaded that work well.

    Up until recently, I had been bothered several times a day with itchy eyes; a dry sandy feeling. I refrained from rubbing my eyes as much as possible.

    For a month or so after the surgery, I had outbursts of bloodshot eyes. Was told that this was normal, and would pass. It did. But thanks for the heads up!

    I can go without the aid of glasses except for reading. After 25 years or so of having to wear glasses, it is liberating to do without. But frustrating to hold items at arms length; struggling, not having my reading glasses at hand.

    My wife?

    At the last minute, the Dr came up with an additional procedure, that if done, she would not have to rely upon reading glasses. A total fail.
    Her eyesight never adjusted, something we later found out was due to the strength of her dominate eye. Two laser surgeries latter to correct the problem.

    Other than that, she never complained of any of my experiences.

    She also was to have her other eye done. Needless to say, as it is not a pressing issue, sometime latter.

    As I said, my gripe is with the lack of "professional preparedness" that was given to us. My position is: Tell me the full story up front, let me make an informed decision, when things happen outside of what I have been led to believe, it begins to reflect back.

    My wife also broke her ankle this summer, requiring three screws and a plate to hold her together. We have asked several times what to expect a year or so down the road, with no answers. It is like, we shall deal with it if and whenever some difficulties occur to be read between the lines.

    Anyone have any cataract surgery stories they would like to share, or reflections on their medical care in general?

  2. #2
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    I'm very interested in the responses to this because it is something I am actively considering.

    Because I do not want any problem with haloes etc I have been recommended a single focus lens.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  3. #3
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    Medical care in general: For something significant, I try to get second and even third opinions, checking out the docs as much as anything. I went to three orthos when I broke my collar bone a few years back.
    Do the math.

  4. #4
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    I had one done last year. No biggie.

  5. #5
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    I had both eyes done about a year ago also (cataracts are a side effect of the stem cell transplant I had, and no, the transplant docs didn't tell me that either but that was the least of my worries) and I really didn't have that many side effects other than dry eye (another side effect of sct). My doc's were great about letting me know what to expect, it was a huge relief to me that it was just cataracts as I thought I was going blind from my new immune system going after my eyes.

  6. #6
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    VB: I have the single focus lens, the halos that I experience, I don't find distracting, they don't last too long, usually just in the morning for a very short time. There are times in the early morning, just before and after sunrise, that I see them from headlights. Some are incomplete halos.

    By a short period of time, I mean a few seconds, I get up in the morning, notice them, go about my business, and never notice them again. On my way to work, I may notice them, from a headlight or a pole light, but a few seconds latter; not.

    BTW; if anyone is concerned about the actual surgery, as you are very sensitive concerning your eyes; (I was/am) no sweat.

    Considering the eventual outcome of not having the surgery, (blindness) or getting in a wreck, from improper vision; no contest.

  7. #7
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    for those with halos - did you get multi-focus lenses? These include reading distances as well as distance. My surgeon told me multi focal lenses were more prone to halos so I played it safe and went with pure distance replacements. Been wonderful 3 years now.

  8. #8
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    I had intraocular lens implants due to cataracts three years ago at age 68. I elected "monovision" where one lens focuses at infinite distance (in the dominant eye) and the other at about 18-20" for general closer vision (handiwork, most reading, computer/iPad/phone, car dash, etc.). It's worked out well. I have reading glasses that help with small print, but don't use corrective lenses for driving (even at night) or sports activities. Depth perception is fine, not an issue for mountain biking. The brain seems to adapt quickly to having two images in different focus. In fact, when I tried a pair of sunglasses to correct the close-up eye for distance (so both 20:20) it was disconcerting. I had to get used to both eyes being in focus, and I've decided it's just easier to give up a small bit of acuity in one eye for most things I do.

    A word of warning: the incidence of retinal detachments seems to increase following cataract surgery. RD is uncommon, but it's 2-4x more likely after cataract surgery presumably due to some trauma caused by the surgery. I can speak from experience. About a year after my surgery I began to notice small "floaters" and then weak light flashes at the edge of my field of vision in one eye. Then I noticed a small shadow starting to appear in one quadrant of that eye - the retina was detaching so I no longer had vision in that area! This progressed slowly to form a dark veil blocking about 10% of my field of vision over a period of about 24 hours. I went to the ophthalmologist and they did surgery immediately to reattach the retina. Without the surgery I would have lost most or all of my vision in that eye within a few days. Healing took several weeks, but my vision returned to normal. Bottom line: cataract surgery can fix your vision, but be aware of any indications (floaters, light flashes) that might suggest complications.

  9. #9
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    I had both done a few years ago with great results.

  10. #10
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    Had both eyes done (IOLs) in 2006. Still going good I hear.

  11. #11
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    I had RD in both eyes at the same time during chemotherapy. But the doctor said there's no way that the chemotherapy could be causing it but shortly after the chemotherapy was finished my eyes went back to normal.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom erb View Post
    I had RD in both eyes at the same time during chemotherapy. But the doctor said there's no way that the chemotherapy could be causing it but shortly after the chemotherapy was finished my eyes went back to normal.
    That's good.
    2017 Specialized Camber FSR

  13. #13
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    Anyone had this done that also had RK surgery long ago?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagwood_55 View Post
    Anyone had this done that also had RK surgery long ago?
    yes, I had RK in the early 90's, cataract surgery on both eyes in 2015, no problems.

  15. #15
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    Had both done in 2016 at the age of 48, couldn't be happier with the results to date, went with single focus, I don't mind using reading glasses as a trade-off for the good distance vision 20/15. Had issues with floaters immediately after the surgery, but that settled quickly, the halos have not been much of an issue. I am very cognizant of retinal detachment, but so far so good.
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  16. #16
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    Hey, Now-a-days the problem of vision occurs at any age. Therefore, people must prevent their eyes from various eye diseases. My mother was having vision problems, sometimes things seem blurry to her even after the cataract surgery. So we went to the ophthalmologist. My mother was suggested to wear wholesale reading glasses throughout the day.

  17. #17
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    Sand Rat and SADDLE TRAMP are one and the same:

    It has been 2 1/2 years + from the surgery, still see halos under certain conditions; but not a bother. A dry eye feeling from time to time, but does not last long, not taking any drops.

    Glare...keeping the sunglasses handy! Sun glare is my biggest distraction, quite uncomfortable...but my eyes do adjust after about 3-5 min. if I forget.

    An eye exam about 3 weeks ago, checked out fine, better than 20/20 using both eyes. Use 2X off the shelf glasses for reading.

    Overall...a thumbs up!
    "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway" John Wayne

  18. #18
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    My 56yo wife is lined up to have cataract surgery in one eye in a few weeks.

    Her eyes have always been perfect, and there is no family history of cataracts. The very first question the eye doctor had for her after the cataracts were discovered was "have you taken steroids for anything recently" Of course, she had. She had a recurring shoulder issue and a doctor prescribed a few steroid shots for it. What really sucks is that the shots didn't even help her shoulder. Apparently this side effect has been known all the way back to the 1980's, but do you think doctors ever warn patients of this possible side effect?

    So, if you have cataracts at a relatively young age, think about any treatments you have had along the way.

  19. #19
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    I'm 53. I just had Refractive Lens Replacement two weeks ago. I did not have cataracts but elected to have this surgery at the urging of my eye doc. I have severe myopia and have worn very thick glasses since age 2 and hard/gas permeable contacts since age 14. So far so good! I was told that my worse eye would not be able to be corrected to 20/20. Most likely I would need reading glasses but possibly also glasses for distance. This is 100% elective for me but it is well worth it to get rid of constantly irritated eyes, cloudy contacts, thick glasses, reading glasses with contacts, etc. I went mountain biking at my one week date. The first time with no dust filled contacts! It was pretty amazing. I still have some halos, and am well aware of the risk of detached retina. Also am fine with having to still wear glasses, since they'll be normal people glasses and not the coke bottles I've worn all my life. I had a full retina eval before the surgery - he said they both looked great. I'll do a full eval at 5 weeks to make sure they are still good.

    A few minor things that I don't think were adequately explained to me are that the dialation for the surgery will last 3 days. It wasn't what most tell you that have had the surgery - that you'll come out of the surgery seeing clearer than you ever had. For me it took the whole 3 days before I was actually able to relax that I hadn't just made a big mistake. Also, my surgeon said that my vision would settle and I could be evaluated at two weeks. At my one week appt. I was then told it could be 3 weeks to a few months before my vision could be accurately evaluated.

    At this point, my distance isn't as clear as I'd like but my reading vision is actually much better. The fact that I'm not having to clean my contacts every two hours, and my eyes don't constantly feel dry and scratchy is amazing. Maybe not too helpful to people contemplating this surgery since I'm only two weeks out but thought I'd chime in. Oh, also, really no discomfort with the procedure at all. The valium took care of all that quite nicely. My wife has some pretty funny stories about that though.
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