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Author Topic: Cataract surgery  (Read 2621 times)

halfwright

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Cataract surgery
« on: November 26, 2017, 12:47:45 PM »
I posted on another thread that I was having cataract surgery and it drew a few comments, so I thought I would share my experience.

I had the left eye done almost 3 weeks ago and the right eye done last Tuesday. I had the option of having the lens for distance or close-up vision. I chose distance.  The results have been fantastic. I have worn glasses for 60 years. Now, I see distance better than I ever did, even with glasses.  Whites and colors are at least 30% brighter. I bought a $5 pair of reading glasses  (2 power) and can read and use the computer easily. I am going to call mine "eating glasses" not reading glasses because I use them to see my food also.  The great thing is the distance vision.  I find myself just looking around and thinking, "I never noticed that before." The lens replacements is so much better than glasses. Glasses can get dirty, scratched and have reflections. If any of you have done photo editing, it is much like the "sharpen" function. The edges of everything are  more defined and details are clearer.

I asked the receptionist how many surgeries that the doctor does, since Rene said that should be a factor. He operates only on Tuesday and has follow-ups on Wednesday. He had 9 scheduled for last Tuesday and she said he usually does from 12 to 15. I did   get a scratch on the cornea of my right eye that caused it to heal 2 days slower than the left, but now it is as good as the other.

Last night was the first time I did any night driving since the operation. I had tried to avoid night driving for the last year or more.  Before the oncoming headlights were a large glob of light and with rays extending out. Now,  they actually look like headlights.

The surgery itself was relatively painless, just some pain from the injections (2) around the eye. The "fear" factor was the worse thing for me. It was very uncomfortable for me to be tied to a table and my head strapped down. That, and not being able to see, caused anxiety. Healing time was 2 days for the left and 4 for the right. There is a feeling of sand in the eye or an arc burn from welding. Drops are prescribed.

Is it life changing? Probably not, but  it is surely life  improving to a large degree and I would dertainly do it again. 
Jim And Darlene Wright
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Rene T

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2017, 01:05:52 PM »
Congratulation Half.  How old are you if I may ask?
I went to the Lasik Vision Center here in Tampa just 4 days ago to see if they could do my eyes. They advertise $299.00 per eye. Because I was 70 years old, they would not recommend it because the chances are I'm going to develop cataract in the next few years just like you. I could have had the surgery and had the lenses implanted right now at a cost of $9000.00. Medicare would not pay any of that. I opted to wait till I get cataracts. That could happen anytime or never.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 01:07:28 PM by Rene T »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 01:06:31 PM »
Glad to hear everything is alright. Very encouraging. ;D
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VallAndMo

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2017, 01:26:58 PM »
Hi Half,

Thanks for the report, glad to hear everything has gone alright with your surgery.

If you don't mind, I have two questions:

1) Did you have any astigmatism before the surgery? Did it get corrected too?

2) have you considered correcting one eye for close vision and the other for distant vision? Some folks I know did that with Lasik and report that the result gave them almost perfect vision for both close and distant ranges.

Cheers,
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halfwright

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2017, 01:57:59 PM »
  How old are you if I may ask?

I am 72 and diabetic--type 2 for 10  years. I was told diabetes can cause cataracts to grow faster.


1) Did you have any astigmatism before the surgery? Did it get corrected too?

No astigmatism, but my wife does and she was told it could be corrected, if the lens was the cause.

have you considered correcting one eye for close vision and the other for distant vision?

No, I really wanted clear distance vision, since I have never had it. I was not told of the other option, but would not have taken it.
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Rene T

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 02:24:08 PM »


2) have you considered correcting one eye for close vision and the other for distant vision? Some folks I know did that with Lasik and report that the result gave them almost perfect vision for both close and distant ranges.

That's interesting. I'd be curious if any of our members did that and how is it working out for them. Does it have any affect when driving?
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Larry N.

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 02:33:18 PM »
DW had cataract surgery a month ago, the two eyes a week apart. The afternoon of the first operation (it was done early morning) she encountered very strong pain, called the doc, and we went to the office, where the doc applied an eye drop that immediately reduced, then eliminated the pain. Seems there was pressure buildup internally, and the eye drop took care of that. Of course a prescription to get those drops let her take them for several days.

After that, other than a slight feeling of something in her eye (eye drops helped this, too), there was no pain. She commented more than once how much brighter things were in the affected eye than in the other one (she'd had to stop night driving, too). The second eye went as well as the first, except that she didn't get the pain from the high pressure, so there was only that feeling of something in the eye.

Prior to the first surgery she was given a chart for each eye showing when to apply what eye drops (prescription, of course), and starting a couple of days before the first surgery she had to start certain drops. She just put her last drop in the last eye yesterday, and is enjoying the difference, except that she no longer can read small print without glasses (it was surprising she could before at 75), but she's adjusting, can can now drive at night again. I've even heard her complain a time or two about lights being too bright (but adjustment comes quickly).
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 03:41:56 PM »
My late wife has had terrible eyes most all her life. I tried to get her to have corrective surgery many years ago but she was afraid something would go wrong and she would be blind. When she started taking chemo it really affected her eyes, she could hardly see and we were getting her new glasses every few months. She got so there wasn't much they could do so her Dr. sent her to another Dr. He talked her into having surgery. Her first eye was done right before thanksgiving in 16 and she wound up in the hospital that night with a bowel blockage. But she could see for the first time as far as she could remember. The Dr. even came to the hospital for her fallow up visit. They did her second eye right before Christmas 16, she could finally see again, but had to wear readers when reading a book but could use the computer with out the readers. She was so happy she could actually see better than she had most of her life.
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Dan de La Mesa

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 03:47:50 PM »
For 25 years I wore contacts that allowed distance vision in the right eye and reading vision in the left. The only problem was in getting the brain accustomed to switching back and forth as needed. Worked fine, but I probably wouldn't do it again. There's nothing quite like having perfectly focused stereo vision for judging distance.

ChasA

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2017, 03:58:34 PM »
My wife had cataract surgery about two months ago and then some laser procedure called Yag to remove some cloudiness left after the surgery. She now just uses glasses for reading. She's having a time getting used to not wearing glasses after wearing them for 40 years. I'm getting mine done when we go home in the spring.
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Rene T

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 04:02:21 PM »
My wife had cataract surgery about two months ago and then some laser procedure called Yag to remove some cloudiness left after the surgery. She now just uses glasses for reading. She's having a time getting used to not wearing glasses after wearing them for 40 years. I'm getting mine done when we go home in the spring.



Is she on Medicare and if she is, did they pay for the surgery?

Are you going to check on getting one eye for distance and the other for reading?

I've was in Apex last year. Had to go to the Progressive Industries factory to exchange my surge protector.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 04:25:33 PM »
Well the one eye for distance and one eye for close up would not work for me at all. My $2000 3D TV would be worthless. ???
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jackiemac

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2017, 04:35:24 PM »
Hi Half,

Thanks for the report, glad to hear everything has gone alright with your surgery.

If you don't mind, I have two questions:

2) have you considered correcting one eye for close vision and the other for distant vision? Some folks I know did that with Lasik and report that the result gave them almost perfect vision for both close and distant ranges.

Cheers,
--
   Vall.
I have contact lenses like that. I find a bit of difference at night or wearing sunglasses where my vision is not as clear. Otherwise its quite good but not quite as clear as it used to be when my prescription was a bit better.  I couldn't be bothered having to keep reading glasses around, That would annoy me. 😁

Glad Jim had a positive result!
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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2017, 05:14:34 PM »
Rene T,
Yes medicare and our BCBSNC supplemental (no copay) paid it all. She did have to get some very expensive drops that our drug plan doesn't cover. The doctor gave her some coupons that helped a lot. With the coupons and some free samples from the doc, it cost $60. Would have been several hundred without the coupons.
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2017, 05:55:00 PM »
Glad to hear everything is alright. Very encouraging. ;D

Rene, it sounds like you were considering Lasik.  If so I'm glad you decided against it.  I had Lasik done about two years ago by a very famous Doctor in MN.  I ended up with warped corneas.  It turns out that at my age and with my need for good eye sight for editing photography, fly fishing, hunting, bird watching, reading, sewing, and driving, I was not a good candidate for Lasik but the famous Doctor didn't tell me this. 

I had one eye done for distance and one for near vision.  It was a disaster.  After the fact the famous doctor explained that not everyone can adapt to "mono vision".  Then he suggested that I probably should have tried contacts prior to the Lasik surgery to check out my tolerance for mono vision.  BTW my Lasik surgery was very painful.

On the other hand, Eric had cataracts and had cataract surgery done.  He is happy with his results.  I should have waited for cataracts to develop.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 06:03:34 PM by MN Blue Skies »
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Rene T

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2017, 07:32:22 PM »
Rene, it sounds like you were considering Lasik.  If so I'm glad you decided against it.  I had Lasik done about two years ago by a very famous Doctor in MN.  I ended up with warped corneas.  It turns out that at my age and with my need for good eye sight for editing photography, fly fishing, hunting, bird watching, reading, sewing, and driving, I was not a good candidate for Lasik but the famous Doctor didn't tell me this. 

I had one eye done for distance and one for near vision.  It was a disaster.  After the fact the famous doctor explained that not everyone can adapt to "mono vision".  Then he suggested that I probably should have tried contacts prior to the Lasik surgery to check out my tolerance for mono vision.  BTW my Lasik surgery was very painful.

On the other hand, Eric had cataracts and had cataract surgery done.  He is happy with his results.  I should have waited for cataracts to develop.

Hi Max,
I was kinda bumbed when the doctor said I was not a candidate at this time. We're going on a 10 day cruise the end of January and was looking forward and was all siked (spelling?) up to not need glasses before the cruise.
Yes I decided against it for 2 reasons. One was that I may get cataracts anytime in the future and having it done now, it would have been a waste of money and two, it would have cost $9000.00.  :'( (:(
I'll wait till I need it done. 
I need to hear from more people who had the "mono vision" surgery.  Right now, I would do the distance and live with having to wear glasses for reading. I don't read much anyway. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 07:33:53 PM by Rene T »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2017, 07:41:36 PM »
siked = psyched
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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2017, 09:37:29 PM »
My two cents and some various meandering thoughts:

I had cataract surgeries on both eyes in 2000. My doctor talked me into mono vision,where one eye is set for distance and one set for reading. He made my left eye 20/50 for reading and my right eye 20/15 for distance. When the visions are that close together, the brain will compensate and essentially blend the visions of the two eyes together so you can't tell which eye you are really focusing with, depending on how far away the object is that you are looking at. I also had the YAG laser after cloudiness developed on the back of the lens capsule.

Since then, I had both retinas detach - not from the surgeries - just bad timing. I had LASIK done on both eyes afterward to correct their visions since the insertion of the scleral buckles used to correct the detachments squeeze the eyeball and causes near sightedness all over again.

In February of this year, I discovered that I needed emergency eye surgery because the zonules that hold the lens capsule in place had dissolved and the lens in one eye was ready to fall into the retina. This can be caused by taking Alpha blockers that dissolve celluloid, which is what the zonules are made of. There are supposedly only 10-12 surgeons in the world that can perform the surgery to suture the lens capsule to the inside of the sclera, or white of the eye. Getting it at just the right focal point is nearly impossible, so my distance eye is now 20/30. In September, the reading eye also had to have the same surgery, and it is now seeing about 20/60. I can get by with the vision as it is, but if I want good distance vision, I have to wear a weak contact lens or as an alternative, get glasses. Since I wore glasses my entire life until the cataract surgeries, I really don't want to go back to them.

Mono vision may sound like a very strange concept, but it is quite convenient and you can get used to it quite easily. There are some people who simply cannot adapt to it, however.

Most doctors don't want to provide LASIK procedures to anyone over the age of 50 because it has been proven that the correction the operation provides may not last very long. I don't know why, but it has something to do with changes in the cornea as you age.

MN Blue Skies sounds like he or she had an incompetent eye surgeon. LASIK should not hurt other than a bit of stinging for about a day that a couple of aspirin or Tylenol can alleviate. Someone else brought up the point of making sure your doctor has performed the surgery of any kind - cataract or LASIK - numerous times. Going to a doctor that performs eight or nine surgeries in one day means nothing. You want to find a doctor who has performed this surgery a minimum of 10,000 times. A good doctor would have not waited to suggest contacts until after the surgery to determine if you could tolerate mono vision, but instead, prescribe you contacts prior to the surgery and ask you to wear them for a month. Please do not assume that LASIK is not good for anyone just because you had a bad experience. I'm very sorry that this happened to you, but I think it was due to the individual doctor, not the overall procedure.

Tom - I can watch a 3D television and still get the full effect because even though the eyes are set at different focal points, they still have binocular ability, meaning they can work together to detect distance. If you couldn't watch 3D with them, you also couldn't drive with them.

At present, I have had 14 eye surgeries to retain my vision and I feel very fortunate that I can see as well as I do. I'm not happy with the fact that after all those surgeries, I now have to wear contacts or glasses if I want perfect distance vision, but my doctor tells me that even though I'm 65 and have already had three LASIK procedures done, he'll consider doing another to get my vision to what it was before he repositioned the lenses. I can't ask for more than that.
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Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2017, 10:54:25 PM »

1) Did you have any astigmatism before the surgery? Did it get corrected too?

2) have you considered correcting one eye for close vision and the other for distant vision? Some folks I know did that with Lasik and report that the result gave them almost perfect vision for both close and distant ranges.
I have astigmatism and have been using mono vision contacts for about 20 years. For most of those 20 years I've only been wearing one lens. The reading lens and not the distance lens. Over the years I have occasionally tried using the distance lens, but don't see any real benefit, so I go back to using just one lens. For me there wasn't an adjustment period. When I'm reading my reading lens (left eye) takes over and as soon as I look up my right eye takes over. I wear it most of the day, but take it out in the evening if I'm going to be doing a lot of reading or watching TV. The TV is far enough away that I don't need the reading lens and if I'm just reading a book for awhile reading glasses are clearer. But for 80% of the day one contact makes life easier not having to wear bifocals or put on and take off reading glasses all day.
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henkelphoto

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2017, 11:01:15 PM »
Just a thought for the OP and anyone else coming from wearing glasses for a long time. I had my cataract surgeries after wearing glasses for over 50 years. One thing to remember, is when you are doing anything that can possibly cause something to fly up into your eyes to wear safety glasses.

I was mowing the lawn one day when it was overcast and wasn't wearing my sunglasses. In the past, I would have been wearing my regular glasses. This time, however, I wasn't due to having perfect distance vision. Guess what, a piece of wood came flying up and hit me in the eye. Not enough to do any damage, but enough to get my attention! So now, whenever I am doing anything with tools, mowing the lawn, riding my bike, etc, I'm wearing either sunglasses or safety glasses.
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Rene T

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2017, 07:45:16 AM »
siked = psyched

That looks better. Thanks Tom.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 07:53:51 AM »
That looks better. Thanks Tom.
It looks better but it is sure not logical. You're welcome.
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Bill N

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2017, 08:03:59 AM »
I posted on another thread that I was having cataract surgery and it drew a few comments, so I thought I would share my experience.

I had the left eye done almost 3 weeks ago and the right eye done last Tuesday. I had the option of having the lens for distance or close-up vision. I chose distance.  The results have been fantastic. I have worn glasses for 60 years. Now, I see distance better than I ever did, even with glasses.  Whites and colors are at least 30% brighter. I bought a $5 pair of reading glasses  (2 power) and can read and use the computer easily. I am going to call mine "eating glasses" not reading glasses because I use them to see my food also.  The great thing is the distance vision.  I find myself just looking around and thinking, "I never noticed that before." The lens replacements is so much better than glasses. Glasses can get dirty, scratched and have reflections. If any of you have done photo editing, it is much like the "sharpen" function. The edges of everything are  more defined and details are clearer.

I asked the receptionist how many surgeries that the doctor does, since Rene said that should be a factor. He operates only on Tuesday and has follow-ups on Wednesday. He had 9 scheduled for last Tuesday and she said he usually does from 12 to 15. I did   get a scratch on the cornea of my right eye that caused it to heal 2 days slower than the left, but now it is as good as the other.

Last night was the first time I did any night driving since the operation. I had tried to avoid night driving for the last year or more.  Before the oncoming headlights were a large glob of light and with rays extending out. Now,  they actually look like headlights.

The surgery itself was relatively painless, just some pain from the injections (2) around the eye. The "fear" factor was the worse thing for me. It was very uncomfortable for me to be tied to a table and my head strapped down. That, and not being able to see, caused anxiety. Healing time was 2 days for the left and 4 for the right. There is a feeling of sand in the eye or an arc burn from welding. Drops are prescribed.

Is it life changing? Probably not, but  it is surely life  improving to a large degree and I would dertainly do it again.

Your experience pretty much reflects the same as mine Jim but I never had any pain at all and don't even recall the surgery being performed but that was 5 years ago.  Now two weeks ago I had laser surgery to remove a film that frequently follows cataract surgery.  I had no idea that I had developed the film before the Dr spotted in on my yearly exam.  Quite common supposedly.  My wife developed a film after two years.  The corrective 'surgery' is a 5 minute treatment with a laser in an office setting - no meds or anything.  Tomorrow I go back to the regular eye doc to see if my vision has changed enough to need a new presription but I don't think it has.  However, the results of the laser surgery were spectacular.  Everything seemed so much brighter all around me. Even my computer screen looked three times brighter on the lettering and displays.  So keep that in mind for the future.

Bill
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 08:09:01 AM by Bill N »
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2017, 08:48:57 AM »
I have mono vision and adapted easily. Actually, I think I could have just had the far seeing eye done as I was very near sighted.  Subsequent to Lasic I had a detached retina in the far eye that changed the vision to near sighted. I elected cateract surgery on that eye to restore far sight; worked quite well. Incidentally, the main difference I observed with mono vision was less brightness. That is I need more light to see clearly.

A caution - after the buckle is used to correct a detached retina, it is rare but blood leakage can form a blister on the eye. I had one and the dr diagnosed incorrectly as cancer and instructed me to have the eye removed. Fortunately his pardner disagreed with his diagnosis and I got a third opinion. Actually just pierced the blister (bubble) to drain it. Scarey stuff!

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8Muddypaws

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2017, 02:57:09 PM »
Mrs. Muddypaws got her left eye done a couple of weeks ago.  She breezed through the surgery and now had perfect eyesight in that eye.  Like many her comment was "why did I wait so long?"
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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2017, 05:19:55 PM »
I've worn glasses since before I started school because my poor sister almost flunked first grade.  She couldn't see the blackboard!  I'm very farsighted.  Back in the 1970s I tried the new soft contact lenses.  They were wonderful for about a week - except I didn't recognize that person in the mirror!  Then my eyes started getting extremely "scratchy" and it affected me enough that the girls I worked with told me I had given them a fair try and needed to ditch them before I drove THEM crazy!  That little episode caused a permanent dry eye condition made worse by allergies.  I'm intending to put off cataract surgery as long as possible because I use prescription eye drops to prevent the itching but sometimes they're so bad I really rub my eyes a lot.  It seems logical that rubbing like that would be bad with implanted lenses.  Luckily my cataracts are very slow growing.

By the way, YAG lasers are used when that "film" develops.  It's kind of like a scar tissue.  Jerry thought he might need it but the doctor (who has done thousands of cataract surgeries) says he doesn't need it.  The first night we went out and I drove but he said the lights really bothered him.  He's definitely more sensitive to light now than he was and prefers to sit at tables facing away from windows when it's bright outside.

Mother had her cataract surgeries when she was around 75 and said her vision was like when she was 20.

This has been an interesting and very informative discussion.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

grashley

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2017, 09:41:01 PM »
Jim,
My cataract surgery experience last summer is virtually identical to yours.  I've worn glasses for 60 years, too!  My biggest issue is the ingrained memory.  I still want to take off my glasses, which I no longer wear, when I go to bed, and put them on in the morning.  After my first eye was done, I noticed the "new" eye saw brighter and whiter, while the "old" eye saw yellow and a bit fuzzy.  My night vision is improved.

Rene, hold out for cataracts!  With Medicare and a supplement, my total out of pocket cost was $$$-0-!  One script was expensive, so Dr used a different med which my ins did cover.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
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2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
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halfwright

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2017, 11:32:11 PM »
Thanks to all who have told of their experiences and others that shared their knowledge. I now have things that I know to look out for, such as safety glasses and "fog" or secondary cataracts. I hope that all you old people have benefited from this thread as much as I have.
Jim And Darlene Wright
Full-timing with
Ryder, half poodle-- half garbage disposal
All in a
2007 Montana Mountaineer
2002 F250 Super duty 7.3 liter

Rene T

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2017, 04:49:42 AM »
Thanks to all who have told of their experiences and others that shared their knowledge. I now have things that I know to look out for, such as safety glasses and "fog" or secondary cataracts. I hope that all you old people have benefited from this thread as much as I have.

Thanks Half for starting this thread. I learnt an awful lot. I'm going to wait till I get the cataracts before doing anything like Gordon said. I was talking to the DW last night and I was wondering if I should wish for cataracts or let mother nature take it's course.   ???
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

kjansen

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Re: Cataract surgery
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2017, 08:11:50 AM »
Halfwright, did you have laser surgery to do your cataracts?  I had mine done a year ago and she did it with a scalpel, never had injections, just a couple of drops.  I have a slight astigmatism, which could be corrected with the new lens, but Medicare does not cover that lens.  Will have to get glasses to correct that plus I need to have progressive lenses to cover my reading needs.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn