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Cataract surgery and a BIG difference between eyes
Old 10-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
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Cataract surgery and a BIG difference between eyes

I am looking at cataract surgery for one eye. I am highly myopic in both eyes. The eye will be corrected, hopefully, to about 20/40 and maybe better. That means I will have one eye that is pretty good and the other eye will be very myopic ( about 5 diopters worth.)

They are recommending I get the other eye done since 1.) it has a small cataract presently - though it doesn't really bother me at the present time and 2.) they seem to think the difference between the eyes will be bothersome in daily life.

Has anybody had this situation where cataract surgery 'cures' one near-sighted eye but the other stays very near-sighted?
How did that work for you?
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #2
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Just finished mine and had both eyes done. However, in the six weeks between, one eye was at 20/25 and the other was really bad (-12). My doctors solution which worked very well was to give me a contact lens for the bad eye (my left). That normalized the eyes and I could have done it indefinitely if the second eye wasn't getting worse (visibly so after the patch on the right eye was removed).

So, ask about a soft lens until you are ready.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:49 PM   #3
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I did and, being the basic chicken that I am ,planned on spacing the 2 operations as far apart in time as possible. I thought w/ one good eye and one bad eye the good eye would dominate and the bad eye would be ignored. Maybe my brain is retarded but that's not how it worked. Either the brain averaged the signals or weighted the bad one more so vision was not great unless I closed the bad eye. That's w/o glasses. Then I thought I would wear the glasses and remove the thick lens from the good eye......I don't recall the results but it looked kind of ridiculous.

I eventually gave up and did the 2nd eye within a month. Sounds like mine were much worse than yours tho.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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I had my surgery three months apart & my vision was like yours .There was too much of a difference in vision in the eyes so I ended up nauseated a lot and really had problems adapting . I was so glad to get the other eye done and start seeing normally .
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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Unlike many replacement body parts, the lens will most likely outlast the rest of my body. So unlike some joint replacements, there is no advantage of waiting until it must be done.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:59 PM   #6
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I had -12 correction and had mine done 3 weeks apart. I normally wore glasses, but got so nauseated at the difference, that the doctor had to give me a contact to wear for the remaining 2 weeks in the uncorrected eye. It helped, but there was still a dizzy feeling. The best thing I EVER did was to get cataract surgery on both eyes. I was so self conscious of my thick glasses that I hated to look anyone in the eye. Now I don't wear glasses at all, except occassionally for small reading, like the phone book. I feel so much happier and more confident when I'm in a social setting and being an introvert, that's a big deal to me. Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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The contact lens seems to be the way to go. They tell me that glasses reduce the size of what we are seeing and the brain just can't deal with 'life size' in the corrected eye and a smaller size in the one depending upon the glasses. Any other thoughts on getting through this problem or any other issues with cataract surgery? I keep hearing about people who are driving and going to work the next day, but...... I wonder if that is wise.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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I haven't had or needed cataract surgery yet. Everyone I know who has had it is thrilled with the result. Some examples:
DB: never needed glasses (except presbyoptic) came out 20/20 (or better) on both sides and can read some small stuff
Friend: glasses all his life, readers only now
DW: came out 20/25 and 20/30. Still wears glasses but (I think) partly because they have been part of her since she was 8
DS(ister): didn't need cataract lens replacement 'yet'. Did it for cosmetic reasons and ended up like DB above.

If and when the doc says do it, I'm ready.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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DS(ister): didn't need cataract lens replacement 'yet'. Did it for cosmetic reasons and ended up like DB above.
So the DS basically had her otherwise good lens replaced with an artificial one simply to improve her vision and thus rid herself of the need to wear glasses? I did not realize that eye surgeons would do that.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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My vision was very nearsighted, too much for lasik. When I had cataract surgery and found I no longer needed glasses, I asked if he would have done it for vision alone. He said yes, but insurance wouldn't pay for it, so it would cost $5000. Had I known the benefits 10 years earlier, I would have paid it instantly. I was so self conscious about my thick lenses.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:49 PM   #11
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So the DS basically had her otherwise good lens replaced with an artificial one simply to improve her vision and thus rid herself of the need to wear glasses? I did not realize that eye surgeons would do that.
Yes, actually 2 of them. I think they will do what people are willing to pay for (think LASIK).

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My vision was very nearsighted, too much for lasik. When I had cataract surgery and found I no longer needed glasses, I asked if he would have done it for vision alone. He said yes, but insurance wouldn't pay for it, so it would cost $5000. Had I known the benefits 10 years earlier, I would have paid it instantly. I was so self conscious about my thick lenses.
DS paid. No idea of the cost but I'd guess less than $5K. No insurance, this is Canada.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:25 PM   #12
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I keep hearing about people who are driving and going to work the next day, but...... I wonder if that is wise.
I returned to work four days later only because they did not want me to do any heavy lifting and I was an Rn . I drove as soon as the dressing came off but my sight took a few weeks to settle into the great vision I have now.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:33 PM   #13
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The second day, I had to go back to get a contact on the eye I would correct in three weeks. After I got it, I was able to drive. It's a miracle how well you see the next morning!
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:45 AM   #14
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I had one cataract, and was pretty nearsighted in the other eye. Our family history with cataracts is pretty bad (mom at 45 or so, grandmother in her 60s, dad). Doc told me it was a matter of time, given the family history, so he suggested I get both done. I went with his suggestion, got the ReStor lens, and I'm really happy with it. Doc did the cataract eye first, and in the two days between surgeries I had a really hard time using the glasses, with the glass for the fixed eye taken out. I just couldn't do it...made me kind of nauseous. I'm REALLY glad I got both done. I highly recommend it.

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Old 11-08-2012, 11:31 PM   #15
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The one eye was done today. Vision appears to be very good, but I cannot deal with glasses. As others have pointed out a corrected lens and a null lens are just to much to put together. I get a contact lens in the non operated eye tomorrow. Then I will see how that works.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:59 PM   #16
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Thanks for the update. Glad it went well. I am facing this also.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #17
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One thing I have to do is quash the idea that cataract surgery is so simple that the next day one can race about leading an almost normal life. I heard stories of people who went to work the next day, played golf!, drove all over the place, etc. I think that is pushing it.

Modern surgery is certainly better than what people went through years ago when they spent days in the hospital healing. But... I would not want to go to work or have to do a lot of reading at the moment. I have to put drops in my eyes 4 times a day, and while the eye does not hurt I am aware of it especially when I turn my head quickly or make a quick eye movement. After all, they did cut a hole into it! I avoid anything that feels like it is stressing the eye. Driving? I am certain I could if I have to, but I am going to avoid driving for another day or two just to give the eye more time to heal. Vision with the contact lens is great - both eyes work together very well. However, if I over do it, the operated eye lets me know with a dull aching and sometimes an odd sensation that comes and goes quickly. Nothing bad or painful, just a message to back off and "let me heal".

Oh night vision is much better. There are still some halos around bright lights but they are a lot smaller and don't interfere with reading signs, seeing people and small dogs, etc.

Looking at this computer screen to write this message has been enough for now. Time to lie down and rest the eyes for a few minutes.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:53 PM   #18
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They tell me that glasses reduce the size of what we are seeing and the brain just can't deal with 'life size' in the corrected eye and a smaller size in the one depending upon the glasses.
Yep, it's a magnification problem do to the different distances from the lens to the retina. My opthalmologist told me that one can deal with a difference up to about 2 diopters. So, for example, if one wore glasses with a correction of minus 2 diopters for each eye, one could probably comfortably wear glasses with a blank lens for the corrected eye. More than this and a contact lens for the uncorrected eye appears to be the way to go.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #19
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Those halos and flashes of light at the edge of your vision ( if you have those) with go away in a few weeks.
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