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CATARACT surgery and specialty lenses

Sandi Bo

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I have to post how much I love my cataract surgery. I had one eye done about 1.5 years ago and had a vision checkup yesterday. I have a specialty lens - one that adjusts so I can read and see far vision in that eye. I don't need any glasses (for near or far vision) anymore. I call it my bionic eye and I just couldn't be happier. I had PRK surgery about 20 years ago and so haven't needed glasses for distance for a long time, but I had been using (and hating) reading glasses for some time.

At my checkup, we talked about my bad eye. It is still "ok" but I will need cataract surgery in that - he said likely next year and I can do it anytime I like. Since my good eye has the specialty lens that allows me to read, he is suggesting a different lens for my other eye that he called a light lense. It would allow him to adjust my distance, as needed using light after it's in place. How crazy is that? I continue to be in awe at how much they can do for vision. That will run $4,000 to $5,000 above what Medicare would pay - for one eye. and similar to what I paid for the eye already done (before I had Medicare but I couldn't wait).

Anyways, moral of the story - if you are having cataract surgery, you might want to ask what specialty lenses are available to you. I have a friend having it soon and their attitude is they don't mind glasses, they kind of like 'em. It's probably the most money I've ever spent on myself, or ever will, no regrets here.
 

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I had cataract surgery on my left, near vision eye, a little over two years ago. The ophthalmologist told me at the time that I had a catract on my right eye but it wasn’t bad enough to require surgery yet. Like you, I’d had lasik surgery in 2010 and had just required readers for the past few years. The problem is that if I’m sitting, I’m reading, so I had readers on most of the time. I was disappointed after the surgery on my left eye because I still required readers. Because of my right eye. Yep, if I covered my right eye I could read fine with my left but using both eyes, my vision wasn’t clear. Unfortunately, neither was my distance vision because of the cataract on the right eye.

So, after two years, I’m scheduled for surgery on my right eye next Tuesday. I’m hoping it corrects my vision well enough that I don’t need glasses or at least don’t need them all the time. DW had surgery on both of hers a couple months ago and they told her about the new light adjustable lens but they had not received training on it at that time. She was seriously considering it, despite the cost, until they told her she would have to wait a few months until they were trained on them. It does sound amazing and I’m sure will become very popular if the price comes down and/or insurance will eventually pay more for it.
 

b2bailey

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I am scheduled for cataract surgery on left eye in a couple months.
I've been pondering what type of lens to get.
I currently use readers at 2.5 level.
If my left eye is fixed for reading -- but right eye requires assistance, how do I do that?
 

Rolltydr

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I am scheduled for cataract surgery on left eye in a couple months.
I've been pondering what type of lens to get.
I currently use readers at 2.5 level.
If my left eye is fixed for reading -- but right eye requires assistance, how do I do that?
I still wore prescription glasses after my first surgery. I probably could have gotten by with readers but I prefer light wire rim frames and I have insurance that pays for one pair of prescription glasses every year so all I have to pay is the copay. If I'm going to have to wear glasses anyway, I wanted the most comfortable I can get. We'll see how it goes this time. Fingers crossed.
 

Sandi Bo

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I guess I should start with how lucky I am. He could not guarantee me that it would work out as well as it has.

You typically will see as good as the eye that provides the best vision. In my case, since I can read with my right eye - it does all the work for reading. If I close my right eye, the left cannot read. Sometimes if I'm struggling I'll close my left to be sure I'm only using the right. As a rule I get by really well and I'm very happy with that. Nothing was more frustrating than being somewhere and not being able to read - like at a grocery store and not being able to read a label. I instruct exercise classes and I just hated having to wear reading glasses when I taught. I would either rewrite the workout really big, or have to wear reading glasses. I don't have to anymore and I so appreciate being able to do those simple things. Then there's the navigator screen in the car, instrument panel, etc. I guess I could go on and on.

I only needed my right eye done at the time, I am still holding out on the left. Now it's the left one he is considering the light adjustable lens (when the time comes).

This video is longer than it needs to be... but shows a couple ways to test for your eye dominance (if you haven't seen it before)...
Kind of cool, if nothing else to prove to yourself how your eyes work. Really not together - the better one wins out. Amazing, I think.

Right now, my right eye is doing my reading for me and my distance vision fluaxates between the eyes (when I do the dominance test). But usually it is my right eye providing my distance vision (as well as my reading).

I originally I thought I would get a 2nd specialty lens for my left eye or the free one that would correct (actually keep) me to 20/20 on the left eye. But now these new light adjustable ones are available and he is suggesting that. I don't plan to do anything until next year, so we'll see then what he suggests.
 

clifffaith

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I guess I should start with how lucky I am. He could not guarantee me that it would work out as well as it has.

You typically will see as good as the eye that provides the best vision. In my case, since I can read with my right eye - it does all the work for reading. If I close my right eye, the left cannot read. Sometimes if I'm struggling I'll close my left to be sure I'm only using the right. As a rule I get by really well and I'm very happy with that. Nothing was more frustrating than being somewhere and not being able to read - like at a grocery store and not being able to read a label. I instruct exercise classes and I just hated having to wear reading glasses when I taught. I would either rewrite the workout really big, or have to wear reading glasses. I don't have to anymore and I so appreciate being able to do those simple things. Then there's the navigator screen in the car, instrument panel, etc. I guess I could go on and on.

I only needed my right eye done at the time, I am still holding out on the left. Now it's the left one he is considering the light adjustable lens (when the time comes).

This video is longer than it needs to be... but shows a couple ways to test for your eye dominance (if you haven't seen it before)...
Kind of cool, if nothing else to prove to yourself how your eyes work. Really not together - the better one wins out. Amazing, I think.

Right now, my right eye is doing my reading for me and my distance vision fluaxates between the eyes (when I do the dominance test). But usually it is my right eye providing my distance vision (as well as my reading).

I originally I thought I would get a 2nd specialty lens for my left eye or the free one that would correct (actually keep) me to 20/20 on the left eye. But now these new light adjustable ones are available and he is suggesting that. I don't plan to do anything until next year, so we'll see then what he suggests.
Turns out I am cross eye dominant. Right handed with a dominant left eye. Interesting.
 

Sandi Bo

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Turns out I am cross eye dominant. Right handed with a dominant left eye. Interesting.
Interesting... yeah, I think they say if right handed, you will typically be right eye dominant. (Maybe I'm lucky it was my right eye that needed surgery first and got the specialty lens)? All this extra cool technology and medical advancements and such - and still mysteries and a twist of luck are needed.
 

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Okay, my right eye is my dominant eye and my previous cataract surgery was on my left eye. Even though it was corrected, my dominant, right eye, is still affecting my vision to the point that I need glasses. Once I have the right eye corrected next week, there’s a much better chance that I won’t need glasses? Is that correct, or just wishful thinking?
 

Sandi Bo

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Looking forward to how your cataract surgery goes. Hoping to hear good news regarding your correction.
 

Rolltydr

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Ok, I’m two days in with mixed results, so far. My surgery was Tuesday morning and every went fine. I removed the patch at 4pm and applied the first round of drops. My vision was very blurry, as expected. For the first 24 hours, I couldn’t read but I could watch TV. And sleep. My cat enjoyed napping with me throughout the afternoon. Yesterday morning, I had my day after followup with an optometrist. The eye was still swollen and the pressure was high and eye was still dilated with the pupil about twice the size of my left eye. I was able to read better with my non-surgical (left) eye and my distance vision continued to improve throughout the day.

This morning, I woke up with a slight headache which went away after an hour or so. I’m glad because it is very unusual for me to have a headache and I was afraid something was wrong. Underneath my eye is still a little puffy and the pupil appears to be very slightly dilated. My distance vision is better but still a little blurry. My near vision doesn’t seem to be quite as clear as yesterday. I expect it to take a few days for the eye to heal completely. Still too early to tell if I might still need glasses for some things. Fingers still crossed.
 

DaveNV

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Timely thread! I'm going in for cataract surgery pre-op later this month, with surgery on both eyes two weeks apart in September. I expect at the pre-op they'll give me the whole salespitch about lenses, and try to help me make a decision on which types of lenses they'll use. I am extremely right eye dominant, and I am right handed, so no surprises there. They're doing surgery on my left eye first. I've never had good vision in my left eye, so I'll be curious to see (pun intended) how it goes.

I've worn glasses since I was about five years old, so not wearing them would feel weird to me. It'd be nice to not have to wear them. I've never been able to pick up a pair of non-prescription sunglasses and have them do me any good, so we'll see what I end up with.

Wish me luck!

Dave
 

Talent312

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DW had multi-focal lens put in both eyes about 10 years ago,
She hasn't used glasses since.

They say that I may need the surgery in about two year.s
.
 

Sandi Bo

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Timely thread! I'm going in for cataract surgery pre-op later this month, with surgery on both eyes two weeks apart in September. I expect at the pre-op they'll give me the whole salespitch about lenses, and try to help me make a decision on which types of lenses they'll use. I am extremely right eye dominant, and I am right handed, so no surprises there. They're doing surgery on my left eye first. I've never had good vision in my left eye, so I'll be curious to see (pun intended) how it goes.

I've worn glasses since I was about five years old, so not wearing them would feel weird to me. It'd be nice to not have to wear them. I've never been able to pick up a pair of non-prescription sunglasses and have them do me any good, so we'll see what I end up with.

Wish me luck!

Dave
Luck!!!

I don't think it was offered to my husband (the specialty lens)/ They are pricey. I know he would have done it if he could (it's possible he wasn't a candidate based on his history (lasik with some of those early-on RK manual cuts (if anyone remembers those) - he had really bad astigmatism that required the cuts)).

My Dad and step-mother got the multi-focal lens in a trial. My Dad's were great, my step-mother needs reading glasses (actually she's hard to know what is going on and is hard (no impossible) to talk through trying to determine what's going on (eyes, ears, anything, lol). So I've known for a long time I wanted them. And I knew the longer I waited, the better (as things are only advancing more and more all the time). I'd be at my Dad's without my reading glasses and they wouldn't have any I could borrow (when I was 50 something and they in their 80's).

Cataract surgery in itself is amazing, IMO. My husband is super happy with his distance vision and wears reading glasses (now he has all my spares, too) :)

Good luck with your surgery!
 
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Brett

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Timely thread! I'm going in for cataract surgery pre-op later this month, with surgery on both eyes two weeks apart in September. I expect at the pre-op they'll give me the whole salespitch about lenses, and try to help me make a decision on which types of lenses they'll use. I am extremely right eye dominant, and I am right handed, so no surprises there. They're doing surgery on my left eye first. I've never had good vision in my left eye, so I'll be curious to see (pun intended) how it goes.

I've worn glasses since I was about five years old, so not wearing them would feel weird to me. It'd be nice to not have to wear them. I've never been able to pick up a pair of non-prescription sunglasses and have them do me any good, so we'll see what I end up with.

Wish me luck!

Dave

good luck
My time for cataract surgery is probably within the next few years, I'm 3 on a 5 scale
 

Rolltydr

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Day 3 following surgery and the eye continues to heal and distance vision is improving but still a little blurry. It seems to be worse when I’m outside in the sun, which isn’t surprising as that is my surgical eye. My near vision, for reading TUG , is better this morning than yesterday. Prior to the surgery, I either had to wear glasses to read or cover my right eye in order to read with my left eye. Now, I have the monofocal IOL lenses in both eyes, right for distance, left for near. So far, so good!

Good luck, Dave! Are you even considering the new light adjustable lens that Sandi talked about in the OP?
 

Glynda

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Brewster Green (two weeks).
I'm past due. I have never been able to do mono-vision with contacts so I'm assuming that I may have to have them corrected for distant vision and wear readers. Ugh. I'd rather wear prescription glasses than rotate readers on and off so often.
 

DaveNV

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Day 3 following surgery and the eye continues to heal and distance vision is improving but still a little blurry. It seems to be worse when I’m outside in the sun, which isn’t surprising as that is my surgical eye. My near vision, for reading TUG , is better this morning than yesterday. Prior to the surgery, I either had to wear glasses to read or cover my right eye in order to read with my left eye. Now, I have the monofocal IOL lenses in both eyes, right for distance, left for near. So far, so good!

Good luck, Dave! Are you even considering the new light adjustable lens that Sandi talked about in the OP?

I'm considering everything at this point, because I don't know what is available to me.

When I was a kid, I was quite nearsighted. As I aged, my vision gradually changed, until I didn't need glasses in my late teens and early 20s (note my avatar picture - no glasses when I was 19.) Then by about 25 I needed them again. I am now quite farsighted, I have astigmatism, I have presbyopia, and who knows what all else I have. Some of it is due to aging, and the rest is just having lousy vision. Oh yeah, I'm also colorblind. I know my eyeglass prescription involves multiple prisms, and seems to get more complicated each time it gets updated. (e.g. I can't get a good prescription snorkeling mask made because they can't make the lenses work for me, so I've stopped diving. If I can't see well underwater, why bother?) So I'm game to hear about anything they offer. Price is definitely a factor, but function matters to me. If I'll "always" need glasses in some form, then I likely won't go with something really expensive. But I want to know how much I can get for a reasonable cost that will reduce my prescription.

My concern is that just about everything I do involves close vision on a computer, and multifocal use of my eyesight, and I'm the driver when we go anywhere. So whichever way I end up, I want it to be as good as is practical. As I say, I've worn glasses my whole life, so I don't mind continuing to wear them, if the prescription can be brought under control. So we'll see what the eye folks have to say.

Dave
 

Rolltydr

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I'd rather wear prescription glasses than rotate readers on and off so often.
100%! That’s what I’ve been doing since the surgery on my left eye in 2021. My insurance pays for a pair of prescription glasses every year so that was a no brainer.
 

Rolltydr

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1 week post-op.

I had my 1 week follow-up yesterday and the eye continues to heal very well. There is still a little swelling/puffiness under the eye and the doctor told me to try ice packs. I'm also having problems with a little dryness and I use rewetting drops for that. My vision is continuing to improve. I am reading without glasses and distance vision is improving but still a little blurry at long distances. I drove myself to the doctor yesterday and the only problem is reading the smaller street signs and car tags, things like that. Billboards, road signs, traffic lights are no problem. Doctor said vision would continue to stabilize over the next few weeks. My next appointment is in a month.

So, at this point, I am seeing much better than I did after the cataract was removed from my left eye two years ago. I never understood why my opthalmologist at that time kept telling me the right eye wasn't bad enough to need surgery so I would just need to wear glasses if I couldn't see well. I was very disappointed at that time. Hopefully, this time is going to be much better and I won't need those darn glasses, or if I do, it will only be for a very few specific tasks. I'm really enjoying reading all day without having to put them on!
 

rapmarks

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I remember so well when I had mine done. I was not a good patient. I tried to read the newspaper that day. The next day I went to play bridge and could see the difference between spades and clubs Without glasses. I drove to the dr office and had them pop out one lens in my prescription glasses. The following day I played golf. A week later I had the other eye done and did the same things. In other words I never rested,I’m strained my eyes, I drove the next day.
two months later I woke up and couldn’t see out of one eye and had terrible pain. I had macular edema. Dr said it was from the cataract surgery. Spent three months going to a specialist until it cleared up. But I have never needed glasses again.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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In pre-exam testing, the doc recommended the specialty lens for my right eye, which was the weakest of my eyes. She said the left eye was marginal.

The doc did my weaker eye first, with the specialty lens. I was so pleased with the outcome that I said I wanted a specialty lens in my left eye. She said ok, but then got back to me later and said the vision issues in the eye (not considering the cataract) were not in the lens and would not be corrected by the specialty lens. So she recommended against it, and I went with a normal lens.

Post surgery, my vision tested 20-20 in both eyes. But I still wear work station glasses; they make a big difference for reading and computer monitor.
 

DaveNV

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Post surgery, my vision tested 20-20 in both eyes. But I still wear work station glasses; they make a big difference for reading and computer monitor.

I'll be curious to learn what they'll offer me. My pre-op appointment is August 23rd.

Dave
 

Sandi Bo

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I remember so well when I had mine done. I was not a good patient. I tried to read the newspaper that day. The next day I went to play bridge and could see the difference between spades and clubs Without glasses. I drove to the dr office and had them pop out one lens in my prescription glasses. The following day I played golf. A week later I had the other eye done and did the same things. In other words I never rested,I’m strained my eyes, I drove the next day.
two months later I woke up and couldn’t see out of one eye and had terrible pain. I had macular edema. Dr said it was from the cataract surgery. Spent three months going to a specialist until it cleared up. But I have never needed glasses again.
I remember when I had my PRK (around 2000) the doctor said if I used glasses right away, my eyes wouldn't 'correct' as well. I started a new job shortly after my surgery and would have to put my face fairly close to the computer screen (I was a programmer, kind of had to use a computer). But I tried hard to not use glasses so my eyes would correct on their own as best as possible. I think that's a real thing, so did the same with my cataract. I think I could wear glasses for better reading, especially at the computer, but I don't. I love being able to get by with nothing. Pre-surgery, I had to have readers, never got used to hanging them around my neck (collected too much dust, crumbs, whatever, always dirty). I wore them on top of my head when I wasn't using them. Seeing older pictures - I always had them on my head or hanging from my shirt. Uggg, though never heard of macular edema. I'm glad it cleared up.
 
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