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Cataract Surgery
Old 09-29-2015, 02:50 PM   #1
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Cataract Surgery

Seems it's my turn for cataract surgery, according to the ophthalmologist I saw today.

This has inspired some trepidation, to put it mildly , for reasons that are completely irrational. Namely, my grandfather was 100% blind because of detached retinas in both eyes due to botched cataract surgery in 1949. However today's procedures are not comparable due to advances in surgical techniques so there is no logical reason to fear.

My first surgery is in a week. Once that one is done and I can still see out of that eye afterwards, I'll feel like I am "through the woods", so to speak. The second surgery will be a week later. The sensible decision here is to have these surgeries done pronto and I am completely determined, full steam ahead. This is the way it has to be, because frankly my vision is pretty awful right now.

I chose to get the distance only lens, because I have never been able to deal with multi-focals and because I did really well in the past with distance only contacts and reading glasses.

Looking forward to better vision ahead. According to what the ophthalmologist tells me, there should be a remarkable improvement because I waited longer than most for this surgery. After the surgery, my new next door neighbor (my dear Frank), has volunteered to drive me everywhere until I can drive myself. What a sweetie.

Everyone, if you feel like sharing I'd love to hear anything you want to say about your cataract surgery, what you thought of the procedure, and the results you experienced.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:11 PM   #2
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Wouldn't worry about it. DW had it 20 years ago in one eye at 45. No problems then or since, and she wears contacts. Had it done just before our 25th anniversary trip to Alaska, Dr. promised her spectacular vision improvement for the trip and she got it! Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:15 PM   #3
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Wouldn't worry about it. DW had it 20 years ago in one eye at 45. No problems then or since, and she wears contacts. Had it done just before our 25th anniversary trip to Alaska, Dr. promised her spectacular vision improvement for the trip and she got it! Good luck!
Great! That's encouraging, thanks.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:36 PM   #4
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Yay, W2R! Eight months after both of my eyes' surgery six weeks apart, I still wake up every morning and cannot believe I can see a clock. I was okayed to drive the day after each surgery (and no doubt am a much safer driver now!). I hope you will feel as happy after eye no. 1 is finished next week.

I read up a little on the history of the surgery and the risk today does seem minimal. We nearsighted people will always be at risk of retinal detachment but I hope the additional risk of cataract surgery is minimal.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:44 PM   #5
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Yay, W2R! Eight months after both of my eyes' surgery, I still wake up every morning and cannot believe I can see a clock. I hope you will feel the same after eye no. 1 is finished next week.

I read up a little on the history of the surgery and the risk today does seem minimal. We nearsighted people will always be at risk of retinal detachment but I hope the additional risk of cataract surgery is minimal.
True, and also sometimes they can re-attach retinas with laser surgery now, which they couldn't do in 1949.

Glad to hear that your surgeries went so well and that you can see a clock now! At this point I'd just be happy to be able to see a street sign.

It would be awesome if I could drive at night again, although I am not necessarily expecting that. I need to do some more reading to see if that will get better too. Right now, driving at night is completely out of the question for me.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
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Everyone, if you feel like sharing I'd love to hear anything you want to say about your cataract surgery, what you thought of the procedure, and the results you experienced.
Welcome to the club. Worrying about surgery is normal - if anything, it shows you're human.

Feever's right. Not only can you see the clock and tell the time, the numbers are nice and bright.

I've probably had more negative after-effects than most, and with all that it's still a positive. On the downside, my eyes are super dry and react to dust and airborn allergens which were never a problem. They tire and irritate easily. I now need PITA reading glasses. On the upside, much easier to drive, especially at night, which is important for us.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:55 PM   #7
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Frank volunteered for an easy job. After surgery, they will probably have you keep a bandage on until a next day appointment, but after that you'll be able to see and drive.
I had one eye done years ago and the other one just this summer. The procedure itself was easy. The only annoyance was having to use eye drops. I had drops for a few days before surgery, none on surgery day, and then drops again for about 4 weeks following. I also had a few follow up appointments.
About a week after surgery I had the "vision correction required" removed from my driver's license. I didn't want to get stopped or in a fender bender and then ticketed, with the proverbial "tell it to the Judge" when I try to explain that I no longer need glasses to drive.
Good Luck with your procedure. I think you'll really like how much clearer your world is once your done.

update: I also had to put a patch over the eye when sleeping for a week. Wasn't bad though.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #8
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I suspect you're going to love it. I certainly have.

Nobody was ever more terrified than I was about someone cutting my eyeball open to suck out the natural lens and insert a piece of plastic. I still shudder at the thought of it.

But my doc was great. Very experienced and reassuring. I was also so completely fascinated by being fully conscious during the procedure that I kind of forgot to be scared, once it began. Propofol is kind of a miracle drug!

Just be very religious about using the eyedrops. Infection is the only serious potential problem, and that can be taken care of easily if you follow directions to the letter on applying the drops.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #9
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Welcome to the club. Worrying about surgery is normal - if anything, it shows you're human.

Feever's right. Not only can you see the clock and tell the time, the numbers are nice and bright.

I've probably had more negative after-effects than most, and with all that it's still a positive. On the downside, my eyes are super dry and react to dust and airborn allergens which were never a problem. They tire and irritate easily. I now need PITA reading glasses. On the upside, much easier to drive, especially at night, which is important for us.
Oh great! It's good to hear that you find it easier to drive, especially at night. That's important to me, too. I don't mind reading glasses at all.

My eyes already react to airborn allergens. I think New Orleans must be the worst place ever for allergies! So, I'll be watching for that; if it gets worse, I'll see if my ophthalmologist has some pricey eyedrops or something for me. Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:00 PM   #10
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Frank volunteered for an easy job. After surgery, they will probably have you keep a bandage on until a next day appointment, but after that you'll be able to see and drive.
Wow, that is FAST! We were thinking maybe 2-3 weeks.

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I had one eye done years ago and the other one just this summer. The procedure itself was easy. The only annoyance was having to use eye drops. I had drops for a few days before surgery, none on surgery day, and then drops again for about 4 weeks following. I also had a few follow up appointments.
About a week after surgery I had the "vision correction required" removed from my driver's license. I didn't want to get stopped or in a fender bender and then ticketed, with the proverbial "tell it to the Judge" when I try to explain that I no longer need glasses to drive.
Good Luck with your procedure. I think you'll really like how much clearer your world is once your done.
Thank you!! And thanks for the reminder to have my driver's license changed. I hadn't even thought of that.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:00 PM   #11
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My DH had his left eye done at 8:15AM today. He is having his other eye done on 10/20/15. He could not wait to have it done, as his vision has not been good either. He has had some tearing today and I have encouraged him to nap some in between all the drops today. He has one drop that I put in his eye every 2 hours and another drop 4 times today. Tomorrow both drops are only 4 times per day, so should be much better. He received the distance lens also, per his doctor's recommendation.

I would love to be able to see distance without my glasses. I used to wear contacts, but can't any longer due to dry eyes.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:03 PM   #12
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I suspect you're going to love it. I certainly have.

Nobody was ever more terrified than I was about someone cutting my eyeball open to suck out the natural lens and insert a piece of plastic. I still shudder at the thought of it.
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But my doc was great. Very experienced and reassuring. I was also so completely fascinated by being fully conscious during the procedure that I kind of forgot to be scared, once it began. Propofol is kind of a miracle drug!

Just be very religious about using the eyedrops. Infection is the only serious potential problem, and that can be taken care of easily if you follow directions to the letter on applying the drops.
I already have the prescription for the drops, so as soon as I get it filled then I'll be sure to study the directions carefully. Thanks for that tip.

I sure hope I get propofol. That's what I had for my colonoscopy and it was very nice (although I wasn't awake for my colonoscopy and I will be for this procedure).
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:06 PM   #13
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My DH had his left eye done at 8:15AM today. He is having his other eye done on 10/20/15. He could not wait to have it done, as his vision has not been good either. He has had some tearing today and I have encouraged him to nap some in between all the drops today. He has one drop that I put in his eye every 2 hours and another drop 4 times today. Tomorrow both drops are only 4 times per day, so should be much better. He received the distance lens also, per his doctor's recommendation.

I would love to be able to see distance without my glasses. I used to wear contacts, but can't any longer due to dry eyes.
Thanks! Maybe I should get a timer, too. They're cheap and I wouldn't want to forget the drops or accidently nap for too long on that first day.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:41 PM   #14
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How timely, I have a consult the middle of October!

I'll be anxiously awaiting your thoughts on the procedure. When DM had hers done she was so happy. She'd worn glasses for 60+ years.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:59 PM   #15
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How timely, I have a consult the middle of October!

I'll be anxiously awaiting your thoughts on the procedure. When DM had hers done she was so happy. She'd worn glasses for 60+ years.
I'll be sure to let you know how it goes! If I forget, please remind me. I have been waiting for this appointment since July. Basically, today they just shuttled me from one test machine to another ("Put your chin on that, move forward until your forehead touches that, look at the red dot"). There must have been half a dozen machines like that. They asked me about family history and my own medical information. Then the doctor came in and looked over everything and told me it was good news - - my bad vision can be improved by this surgery. I was hoping that was what he would say.

I just want to be able to SEE again. This crummy vision "just isn't makin' it", as they say. I can't drive at night at all, I barely passed the vision test for my new driver's license last June, I keep tripping on things and falling, due to bad vision, and it's even starting to interfere with my reading. Grrr.

Not having to wear glasses except for reading glasses, will be icing on the cake.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:07 PM   #16
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Thanks! Maybe I should get a timer, too. They're cheap and I wouldn't want to forget the drops or accidently nap for too long on that first day.
DH said to use your iphone timer. I was using the microwave timer and it was working well. However, I just fixed dinner, we ate and I washed the dishes. Came back to the computer and read this and realized that his drops should have been at 5:15 and did not get put in until 5:51. I am now carrying the kitchen timer around with me.

DH did not have a patch put on his eye. He has one that he has to tape on when he sleeps though. He is not allowed to drive for 24 hrs. He is supposed to have someone with him for 24 hrs. I would have Frank stay with you and put the drops in for you. He goes back for followup on 10/7/15. He had his driver's license changed when he had Lasik surgery several years ago.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:10 PM   #17
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Good luck on your procedure!
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:18 PM   #18
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I just quit the post-surgery eye-drops last Monday for my right eye. So far I am pleased. Even colors are more vivid and pretty. I too opted for a monofocal long distance IOL. I wasn't brave enough to schedule both at once. My left eye seemed so much better than the right before surgery. I used to call it my good eye and the right one my bad eye. I now call them the old eye and the new eye. If I had known how well I would see out of the first one after surgery, I probably would have scheduled both. My doctor is in favor of one eye optimized for driving and one optimized for reading so that you won't need glasses unless you still have some residual astigmatism. But I think I'd rather have both for driving and use reading glasses. Right now I don't need readers but if my other eye were done I think I would.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:31 PM   #19
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I just quit the post-surgery eye-drops last Monday for my right eye. So far I am pleased. Even colors are more vivid and pretty. I too opted for a monofocal long distance IOL. I wasn't brave enough to schedule both at once. My left eye seemed so much better than the right before surgery. I used to call it my good eye and the right one my bad eye. I now call them the old eye and the new eye. If I had known how well I would see out of the first one after surgery, I probably would have scheduled both. My doctor is in favor of one eye optimized for driving and one optimized for reading so that you won't need glasses unless you still have some residual astigmatism. But I think I'd rather have both for driving and use reading glasses. Right now I don't need readers but if my other eye were done I think I would.
Sounds like great results. So, are you wearing your old glasses with one of the lenses gone, for now, or what? I am thinking that that is probably what I will do for the week between my surgeries, but I guess I'll have to get readers and take one lens out of them, too. Or maybe for a week I'll just make do and listen to the radio a lot.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:53 PM   #20
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colors are more vivid
This was the most surprising and delightful side effect for me. I could hardly believe how washed out colors had become for me, pre-surgery.

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are you wearing your old glasses with one of the lenses gone
I went to my local optometrist where I had bought a previous pair of glasses and they were happy to remove one lens and replace it with a plano (no prescription) "lens". It was only for a month, so not a big deal but kind of a nice service.
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