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Cataracts and Astigmatism Correcting Lens
Old 11-13-2010, 04:01 PM   #1
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Cataracts and Astigmatism Correcting Lens

Well, It has finally happened. I have been forced to admit that I can't see ****. I was told back in August that I have cataracts. My left eye was very bad back then, but the right wasn't quiet bad enough for insurance's assistance. In the ninety days since I told the Doc that I wasn't ready for surgery my vision has gotten progressively worse. Both eyes now qualify for insurance help. I was told yesterday that even with my glasses I probably couldn't pass the eye test requirements for driving!

I have set the appointment to have my post-operative testing done and the Doc sent me home with some lenses to consider.

Until the cataracts began developing I only needed glasses for driving. I had a mild to moderate astigmatism. Even with the catarcts I can still see to read without my glasses about eighty percent of the time.

I have been checking out the old threads on cataract surgery and gotten some good info. I have not seen any mention of the astigmatism correcting monofocal lens. I understand they have not been available that long, but I am wondering if anyone here has had these lens implanted or knows of anyone who has had them implanted after their cataract surgery and there opinions. My doctor seems to think this is what I should go with. Since they are $1200 each and there is no returning them after purchase I would like to hear from anyone that has them. The money is really not a problem, I just don't want to pay an extra $2400 and not be completely happy with the decision later.

To say that the thought of someone cutting on my eyes terrifies me is an understatement and I certainly want it to be done well and with the best possible outcome. I know I have one of the best doctor's in the area to do the surgery, but which lens is best.

Opinions please!
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisinthru View Post
To say that the thought of someone cutting on my eyes terrifies me is an understatement and I certainly want it to be done well and with the best possible outcome. I know I have one of the best doctor's in the area to do the surgery, but which lens is best.

Opinions please!
As one who has had both eyes operated on (right eye, five years ago - left eye, last month) let me just say that the procedure is really "no sweat", IMHO.

I'm a T2 diabetic, and had a problem earlier than most (e.g. the young guy's problem).

At the time of my first procedure, the "new options" were unavailable, and I just had the standard lens inserted. At that time, I stopped wearing glasses (after many years).

I asked about the new lenses for my current surgery, and the doc recommended that I stick with the "original", which I did.

As it turned out (six weeks after the last surgery), I find that I have "binocular" sight; e.g. one eye is better close - one far. Actually, it works out much better, even with the standard lens.

What is really neat is that when I go out in the early hours to let the dogs out, the night sky is amazing. A sight that I did not see since my very young years.

As far as the procedure? The first time, I went to a hospital (outpatient). The second - a surgery center (outpatient) near my house.

Both procedures were the same. Eye drops two days before surgery and a series of drops (3) for five weeks after the procedure.

After the surgery, I was rated at 20/25 without correction. Good enough (and much, much better than before surgery - where I was practically blind in my left eye; yes, I did wait till I needed it).

I know you are concerned about the procedure, but just to say as one "who has been there", the results were dramatic and overall, no problem at all.

Good luck to you...
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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I'm not there yet but I'm a surfer, so I'm interested in keeping up with the vocabulary and the brand names.

Are these the Rezoom or Restor lenses, or something else?
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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They are not Rezoom or Restor. The brand name is AcrySof IQ Toric IOL. They correct astigmatism only. It is my understanding they were only approved in late 2009. I have not been able to find much about them on the net. They may be good or bad. There just easn't much online about them that I could find. My doctor thinks they are great.

I am not sure if this is what his final recommendation will be for me. He said to consider them or the monofocal lens. I will not know his final recommendation until he does all the final measurements, etc. prior to surgery. But he kind in indicated he thought they would be the best. If they work as they are supposed to I would not need glasses at all. If I go with the monofocal lens (which ins. pays for) I may need glasses to drive, etc., or they can do lasik for the astigmatism.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:01 PM   #5
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Being extremely myopic (started wearing glasses at 6 years old), I have to admit that I'm actually looking forward to cataract surgery.

Last exam, the doc said I would probably be there in about five years, but honestly it can't come soon enough.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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Being extremely myopic (started wearing glasses at 6 years old), I have to admit that I'm actually looking forward to cataract surgery.

Last exam, the doc said I would probably be there in about five years, but honestly it can't come soon enough.
I was in the same boat and it is amazing to be able to see with the unaided eye. I have no memeory of ever being able to see without glasses or contacts so it really is great.

As to the OP, sorry, no experience on the issue of astigmatism. However, like others have said the operation is a snap: notwithstanding I, too, was nervous on the first eye.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:17 PM   #7
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I am not sure if this is what his final recommendation will be for me. He said to consider them or the monofocal lens. I will not know his final recommendation until he does all the final measurements, etc. prior to surgery. But he kind in indicated he thought they would be the best. If they work as they are supposed to I would not need glasses at all. If I go with the monofocal lens (which ins. pays for) I may need glasses to drive, etc., or they can do lasik for the astigmatism.
It always worries me what makes the doctor so enthusiastic. Is it the technology? The ease of the operation? The huge "rebate" he's getting from the lens company?

He gets thousands of attempts to figure out any kinks & surprises in the latest & greatest. You get... two.

I know that when I wear my monofocal contact lens for an extended period of time, like a week of 12-14 hour days, my brain adjusts to the point where I don't need glasses unless I'm reading for prolonged periods. So your brain will probably adjust to a monofocal replacement lens.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:56 PM   #8
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I too suffered from a significant stigmatism prior to my cataract surgery.
There was no lens option that corrected as little as a couple years ago. Instead, the docs used keratomy incisions to make the adjustment.
At my eye exam about a year afterwards, I still had a bit of stigmatism but not enough to require corrective lens.
After wearing glasses/contacts since I was 13, I have not had to wear any since my cataract surgery. I did use a combo of Restor and Rezoom that has worked well for me.
There is a lot more to the experience of your provider than gets often discussed on the boards so do your due-diligence well. My particular provider evaluated my stigmatism extensively and would not any consider the multi-focal lens if the stigmatism was too severe.
As others have said, the surgery is a snap so have no fear there. While the technology is changing rapidly, what is proven is pretty darn good. And it is not impossible to have your lens changed out if there is really an incredible breakthrough--you just have to pay the cost of repeating the surgery. .
Good Luck
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:33 PM   #9
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I had cataract surgery on both eyes almost a year ago....about six weeks apart. I believe I had the same models implanted that you are referring to...Acry Sof Toric IOL by Alcon in both eyes because of severe astigmatism. And they are monofocal so I can see distance with one eye, and read with the other. The only challenge I have had with them is occationally sensing the need to adjust distance to and from the computer screen for the best focus which is not a big deal. When I'm tired....I do use reading glasses to read but that's maybe only 10% of the total time reading.

These lenses were not covered by my insurance and I paid $1,500 for each. Sounds like the price is coming down a bit as they become more popular.

I have needed laser treatments on each eye post surgery due to scarring, which I was told was common. Other then that.....no issues with the surgery or lenses and overall I'm happy with them.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:11 PM   #10
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I also have mild astigmatism and I had cataract surgery a few years ago . Because I had worn mono vision contacts I opted for mono vision implants . I am 100% happy and never notice the astigmatism . These were just regular mono vision implants . The ones that are covered by insurance . I went that route because the other lenses had not be on the market for that long when I had my surgery . Very easy procedure & post op . It is great to not bother with glasses or contacts . I do wear reading glasses if I'm reading for long periods of time . The only thing I have found is when I go for my yearly eye check up I need to have a driver . After they dilate my eyes it is almost impossible to drive .
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:02 PM   #11
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Being extremely myopic (started wearing glasses at 6 years old), I have to admit that I'm actually looking forward to cataract surgery.

Last exam, the doc said I would probably be there in about five years, but honestly it can't come soon enough.
If you are willing to pay the dollars... they will do it for you now....

I wanted to get my eyes lasered a few years back, but I was not a candidate because my eyes open to much in the dark... I had asked about the insertable contact lenses... but again, not a candidate... but they brought me back about a year later and were going to 'fix me up'.... I thought it was the insertable lenses... except one of the nurses said something about 'clear lens replacement'.... and I went home to find out... they wanted to remove my lens and replace it with one of these new ones... not the insertable lens like I had thought... (which can be reversed if it does not work)... I opted not to go there... (clear lens replacement is permanent)....

But, they will do it if you want...
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:13 PM   #12
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I love this forum. You guys always come thru with the answers.

Thanks to Rescue, Silver, Nwsteve, and Moemg for your helpful comments. Silver, just hearing that you have these lens and are satisfied helps my nerves greatly. Moemg, I am hoping that the doctor will decide that my astigmatism isn't bad enough to warrant the $1200 lens, but if he recommends it after my final evaluation I think I am prepared to go for it. As I stated before, I only wore glasses for driving before the cataracts took hold, so I really don't think my astigmatism is all that bad.

I just don't want to do this over again. I want it done right and I don't want to wear glasses.....unless its readers....

The doctor that I am going to has a very good record. I have a friend that works for an eye doctor. He refers all his patients to this doctor for cataract removal and she says they all come back very pleased with his work. She has sent several of our friends to him and I guess I have talked to at least six of his patients who have 20/20 or very close to 20/20 after their surgery. So I am very content that I have a great doctor lined up. Whatever he recommends for my eyes I guess I will go for. I do plan on using these eyes for many years to come.

I go back for my final evaluation on Nov. 22 and should be having surgery on the first eye the first week of December.
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I got the Toric Lens late last year
Old 11-14-2010, 07:57 PM   #13
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I got the Toric Lens late last year

I had terrible astigmatism in both eyes, and needed cataract surgery in one eye. The surgery was a breeze (In December 2009) and the lens I got is the Toric lens that corrects astigmatism. My lens is set for distance, and my distance vision in that eye now is a touch better than 20/20. Yes, I still need a bifocal for reading, but that is not a bother to me. My current glasses have the unfixed eye with the old prescription to correct the astigmatism, and a bifocal and the fixed eye has clear plastic with a bifocal. I was a little worried that the glasses lenses would look different, but they made the clear glass one to look like the other one. Eventually, when I need the surgery for the 2nd eye, I will want the same Toric lens, and have both eyes set for distance vision. That will let me ditch glasses, except for reading, and the bifocals could be any drugstore glasses. Let me know if you have any more questions about it.

P.S.: I haven't even written an intro yet, but have been enjoying the site. Thanks all.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:00 PM   #14
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Thanks Gromit! And welcome to the forum.

It sure helpt to hear from others that have this lens. I feel better already.
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Clarifying
Old 11-14-2010, 08:04 PM   #15
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Clarifying

I should've clarified that wanting both eyes set to distance is just my feeling. The Dr. might convince me to set the other one close, but somehow I seem to want to have 2 eyes seeing rather than a one or the other kind of thing.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:43 PM   #16
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...but somehow I seem to want to have 2 eyes seeing rather than a one or the other kind of thing.
Your brain adjusts and makes the "switching" seamless.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:48 PM   #17
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How long does it take for your brain to adjust to this "switching"? Considering my brain is probably a few years past its prime, how long do ya' think it will take me?
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:29 PM   #18
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How long does it take for your brain to adjust to this "switching"? Considering my brain is probably a few years past its prime, how long do ya' think it will take me?
I'd give it a week. Maybe less if you drink a lot of alcohol.

I usually only wear my monovision contact when I'm driving, and a couple hours a day a few times a week doesn't change anything. However when I was on a vacation a few years ago, I started wearing it every day. After a week of 12-14 hour days I noticed that I was no longer aware of shifting from distance to close vision. My reading vision actually improved, too, as I was able to flawlessly use a 13" laptop screen and read restaurant menus.

I've also successfully worn my (disposable) monovision contact when I'm surfing. It's surprising how tightly it adheres to your eyeball, and I'd just close that eye before the water hit. However the contact would occasionally get pushed around by waveslap or get some debris under it (ouch), and when I'm out on the water I'd rather have both eyes focused on the distant bikinis waves approaching instead of the nose of my longboard.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:59 AM   #19
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The Dr. might convince me to set the other one close, but somehow I seem to want to have 2 eyes seeing rather than a one or the other kind of thing.
I wouldn't want to give up 3D vision. (I've only had my 3D TV for 4 months.)
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:00 PM   #20
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How long does it take for your brain to adjust to this "switching"? Considering my brain is probably a few years past its prime, how long do ya' think it will take me?

As soon as both eyes are done your brain will adjust instantly . It may seem weird when one eye is done because until both eyes are done there is a wider gap in your vision in each eye . After the procedure the gap will be narrowed and you will not even notice it .
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