Sunday, June 06, 2021

Closer To The Deadline

      The nearer I get to the date for this cataract surgery, the less sanguine I am about it.  My expectations appear to have been unrealistically rosy and while it's better than it used to be, outcomes are still not all that great.  And I can't get much in the way of straight talk from the cataract surgeon's office.

      Unless I am really impressed by high-quality information on my first visit to the surgeon, I'm probably only going to get the worst eye done.  It's my non-dominant eye and if the results aren't that great, well, it's not seeing all that great right now, either.

      A decade ago, they were supposedly five years away from a nice, soft drop-in replacement for one's natural lens.  It looks like that never happened.  I am disappointed by this.  The things they are putting in people's eyes instead scare me: small, odd-looking....  Just not comfortable with the idea.


Chris said...

I did both my eyes four years ago. Both at the same time. Lenses inserted matching my prescription. The procedure was very easy, and no real pain afterwards. Visus fluctuated for a couple of days, but stabilised, and, apart from needing reading glasses because of my age, I now have perfect sight.
Wish you the best of luck!
Chris from Sweden

Dave said...

Fear not... Had both of mine done about ten years ago. The weird-looking hard plastic lenses and have had zero problems with them. Love it. Night and day.

Your vision will be a bit wonky for the first couple of days but it will improve.

Do both eyes with the same lens - I have heard people try one for close and one for distant vision but many of them go back and have it redone one way or the other. I chose to optimize for distance vision. I use cheap 2.00+ Walmart readers for anything close up and it works great.

There are also varifocal lenses out there. Call me old-school but I would rather have perfect vision from infinity in to about four feet and use readers for anything closer than to compromise on everything.

Mike V said...

I had mine done in 2018. It is an odd thing to be awake and your eye taped open while they do the procedure. On my 1st eye, I was asking questions, kinda wanting the surgeon to talk me through what he was doing; and he said "This will go faster if you stop asking questions." I did and it was done about 5 minutes later. The procedure took about 10 minutes and I'm back to 20/20 vision.

Don't fret. For me the worst part was getting the IV. I hate needles.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Well drat.

In my experience, too, lately, the medical community has been blowing my skirt up with concrete, positive alleviations.

I am hoping that if they try enough times eventually they'll eke out a win for me.

Roberta X said...

"...[T]o be awake and your eye taped open while they do the procedure," is pretty much my definition of a horrific nightmare.

I am hoping for a good outcome but because I have been nearsighted all my life, I am not at all comfortable with any correction that robs me of the near vision I need for reading. I fall asleep reading most nights and I have a horror of falling asleep wearing eyeglasses. (I have done so a few times, and ruined at least one set of frames that way.) I doubt my degree of nearsightedness is correctable by this procedure anyway -- but I am used to my vision and don't want it be changed.

Lin Barker said...

Had both of my eyes done two years ago. While it improved my vision and little bit, I still have astigmatism for which I still need corrective lenses.

rickn8or said...

What Mike V. said. Yes, you're awake and aware, but you're verrry calllmm about it.

If a cowardly whiny five-year-old crybaby candy-ass like me says it's no big deal, then it's no big deal.

Breath in, breath out, say "ouch" when they start the IV, then experience the joy of seeing your vision get better every day, so much so that you look forward to having the other eye done.

And hey, they also promised we'd have flying cars by now too.

Glenn Kelley said...

They told me that if my nose itched to tell them and they would scratch it for me . It did itch but I never got around to asking them to scratch it . That's the level of drowsiness you want and should ask for .

The vision you have now is what your used to but it isn't the vision you had 10 years ago,it has changed and will continue to change .Not for the better .Don't try to anticipate what the outcome will be , ask for what you need to be comfortable during the procedure.

Good Luck .

Roberta X said...

I am worried about a bad outcome, especially as orginally set up, one eye one day and the next the day after.

I have never functioned in the adult world without vision correction. I am completely dependent on having eyeglasses (or contacts). Without them, I cannot drive or do most things except read and do very close work. The idea that my vision may be changed in unpredictable ways is terrifying. I have worn glasses since third grade, and needed them long before then.

Art said...

Bobbie, I had the procedure done about seven years ago. I have had terrible vision (20-200 in one eye 20-400 in the other) since the third grade, likely needed them sooner. Anyhow cataracts happened and though I was apprehensive about getting my eye cut open I went ahead with one eye first. I was mildly sedated numbed sufficiently and on with the show. Took maybe 5-10 minutes. Wore an eye cover the rest of the day and that night. Took one lens out of my glasses so I could read. The next morning I went to my regular eye Doc and he slowly uncovered the eye and WOW! I had never seen as well ever! I asked him to call the surgeon and schedule the other eye. Did it two weeks later. Same result WOW! I was now 20-20 in both eyes. I had both eyes done with distance vision used readers until my eye Doc ordered a set of progressive lenses in the lower area plain up top. Only wear them while reading or doing close work. It was a fantastic change in my life. The long term dent in my nose from decades of wearing glasses all the time slowly went away. I never looked back after that. Good luck. I hope you have similar results.

Bruce said...

My big fear before cataract surgery was loosing use of my good eye, I have a blind spot in my other eye. I started researching artificial eyes, I was that paranoid. I had both eyes done despite knowing I'd still have the blind spot. It worked wonderfully well. My hood eye had perfect distance vision and I no longer get halos around lights at night. I found bifocal readers with clear upper lenses on Amazon because I still wanted to wear glasses and not fumble with desperate reading glasses
I was extremely scared before the procedure but it worked perfectly for me.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

A friend had both done at the same time. His only complaint was the county put up a bunch of stop signs while he was away.

emtgene said...

My focal range was about 3 inches as a child and growing up. Super nearsighted. Had RK surgery done when I was 39 and went from legally blind to perfect 20-20 vision. I'm 68 now and have a cataract that is "not ready to come out" according to my eye doctor.
A friend of mine had both eyes done a few months back, about two weeks apart. She now has great distant vision and uses a cheap pair of readers for near vision. She was nervous about it, also, but in hindsight she said it was nothing to be worried about.

Mike V said...

"...[T]o be awake and your eye taped open while they do the procedure,"

I worried about that too. But you have enough valium in your system to not care (If you're uncomfortable at all, they'll add more valium IV and it works FAST) and your eye is so numb that you don't feel anything. The numbing drops make your vision so blurry you don't even notice when that take your lens out and put the replacement in. Once back in the holding area, I noticed an immediate difference in my vision (mine were a week apart). I thought the eye shield would bother me at night but it didn't. I went from 20/200 back to a little over 20/20. I have some fogging of the right lens but they told me they can laser that off if it gets too annoying. I still wear readers.

Believe me when I (and the others here) say you won't regret it.

hoosierboy said...

I had mine done in conjunction with cornea transplants. I had no issues with the cataract lens portion. Fret not. Tens of thousands do it every day.

RHT447 said...

+1 to comments above. The procedure is a snap. Needle in the back of my hand, drifting along, done. What I learned--

There are three lens choices--

1) Clear lens with no correction, just gets rid of the cataract. You still wear glasses as you did before. Least expensive, covered my Medicare.

2) Clear lens with correction, including for astigmatism. In a nutshell, the correction you wore on your face is now in your eye. More expensive. This is what I chose. The correction is fixed, and you have a choice of near or far, and must wear glasses for the other. It sounds like near might be the one for you. Which ever best matches your lifestyle. I chose distance.

3) Multi-focal. Most expensive. Never wear glasses again. In my research, a common remark was that folks who chose 1 or 2 above had the clearest vision. That cinched it for me.

Like you, I have worn glasses since grade school, but I am (was) far sighted. Right eye was about 20/17, left about 20/22. It wasn't until my mid-20's that my eyes began to fatigue when I tried to read.

My surgeries were a week apart, left eye first. Wow. Bright! And I could really compare the yellow tint from the cataract still in my right eye. Heh, looking in the mirror, you just thought you were white. NOW you white. Am also dealing with a separate and un-related issue in my left eye, so final results remain TBA.

Had my right eye done and am quite pleased. I am at 20/20, which is just slightly less crisp at distance than I remember, but that's OK. It is wonderful to get out of bed and begin my morning routine without having to reach for my glasses. Focus now starts about six inches inside arms length and goes to infinity. The biggest plus is that I can now see the sights on my lever guns again.

Expectations. At one point talking with my eye doc, he said something and I replied, "Yeah, I know, you don't have a crystal ball". He said "Yeah, I used to try do that for my patients, but gave it up". Point being that everyone is different. Your eyes have to "settle" for a few weeks after surgery. The good news is that any further correction you may need can be done easily with glasses, quite likely the cheap drugstore readers.

Talk all of this over with your surgeon. Pin them to the wall for straight answers. Make the best decision for YOU.

All the best, you will do just fine.