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Cataract surgery and glasses
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Cataract surgery and glasses

I was diagnosed with cataracts a year ago, my left eye being significantly worse. I could still see well (with my glasses, just had the infamous hazing). Almost 2 weeks ago, I awoke to near blindness in my left eye, extremelly hazy, able to see shapes and bright colors only. I went to the doctor within a couple of days, and he said he could barely see through the cataract and I would definetly need surgery. He said the right eye would probably follow within the year. I'm having my left eye operated on in July - ReZoom lens placed in it. My question is about my glasses. I'm very near-sighted. Once my left eye is done and the vision is changed in it (may or not need a script for it), what do they do about my right eye? I can't wear contacts (dry/sensitive eyes). I don't know when my right eye will be done, so this is a real concern for me. I don't want to spending a fortune on lenses that won't even work for me in less than a year. I've already spent almost $500 on this set I have now, and they are barely a year old. I know my left eye will be changing as it adjusts to the new lens, if it needs a script, will I constantly be changing it? How does all this work? My insurance will only pay for part of a script once a year, and I just see this as getting incredibly expensive.
Debi
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Avatar_n_tn
it doesnt work.  you're right, you're in a financial pickle.  it will definitely get expensive.  insurance doesnt care what you do in the meantime.  plus not only will any glasses you buy be worthless after your 2nd eye is done, if you really are "very nearsighted", then you likely will have trouble with the "in the meantime" glases b/c they'll be "strong" in one eye and "weak" in the other.  and yes, you could very likely be going thru multiple rx's.

the good news is this happens all the time, and most optical shops are willing to work with you.  they'll usually do some lens replacements for free or reduced charge to get you by and help you out.  but you should expect some amount of aggravation in this process...
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't understand why insurances won't cover the full cost of most glasses or eye exams.  I don't consider vision optional or cosmetic!  Mine pays for $50 a year for an exam, and $75 for a pair of glasses or contacts.  Ridiculous!  How far does that get you?  Not far!

Wonder what the rationale is for paying so little?
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Avatar_f_tn
I will be experiencing a problem similar to yours, and I'll share the info given to me.  I'll be needing cataract surgery in the next year or two due to a vitrectomy.  My other eye probably won't develop a cataract for 15+ years.  I currently wear contacts much of the time to correct moderate/high myopia with some astigmatism.  Post-cataract surgery, glasses to correct my unoperated eye won't be possible because of anisekonia (a difference in image size between the two eyes).  My choices will be (1) wearing a contact lens in the unoperated eye all the time (horrors!) or (2) having some kind of refractive procedure(s) on that eye.  Since you're less than a year from needing cataract surgery on your other eye, why not get a second ReZoom (or other multifocal IOL) implanted a little in advance?  From what I've read on this forum, your first ReZoom should work better.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am similar - and in two weeks have my worst cataract removed in my right eye.  The other eye has a very small cataract, however my surgeon has recommended having it removed also because of the visual disturbances between the two eyes post-surgery.  It made sense to me, because if I need correction after the surgery, I wouldn't want to be buying glasses twice.  I am -14 in one eye, -10 in the other, so the differences are huge.  

I figured that if I was going to have one eye corrected, then why not have both and enjoy the benefit of being contact lens free.  I am only 38, young for cataracts, but have been wearing contact lenses for 22 years !
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Avatar_n_tn
My eyes are not that diffeent in terms of Rx (both somewhere around -12.50) but I have  amblopia and I really don't see that well out of my non-dominant eye. I see out of it but not clearly for either reading, intermediate or distance.   I intend to have the dominant eye done also (probably second) but I am concerned about what to do between the procedure on non-dominant eye and the procedure on dominant.  I can wear a contact during day for distance but I will then need reading glasses at work, but don't know what to do when I can't wear the contact.  Have other people had to deal with this already---what did you do?
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Avatar_f_tn
I was told that I'd have to wear the contact lens all the time, which seems unimaginable.  I suggest that you consult with your cataract surgeon and come up with a plan in advance.  Moderator, suggestions please!
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Avatar_n_tn
After multiple appointments with various other professionals at the office (including a retinal specialist because I am such a high myope), I am finally meeting my surgeon this afternoon.    I do have a lot of questions for him and I'll follow up when I have more information. Thanks for your comments
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Avatar_n_tn
jodie:

suggestions on what?  i'm not sure what you'd like me to comment on.  some people do need to wear a contact lens all the time or most of the time.  even after cataract extraction.  every case is different...
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 49 and have worn contacts for 33 years. Rezoom was inserted non dominant in Jan 2006 with great success!

My second (dominant)has a small cataract and does not need done yet. I wear a multifocal contact full time (14-15 hours a day) with little or no problems. At times I do not insert my contact (-7.0) and can function ok but not great. I can tell you that glasses with one lens removed, cause an imbalanace effect and do not work for me.

A monofocal contact also causes a slight imbalance so I stick with the multifocal as that gives me the best match to the ReZoom optics.





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Avatar_n_tn
I can't wear contacts. I have in the past and was miserable. I can't afford to have the 2nd surgery done immed., so I'm really worried about my glasses. I'll definetly start saving immed., for the 2nd surgery, but in the meantime.....yikes.
Debi
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Avatar_n_tn
So you can have a full understanding of what this will probably be like, I want to tell you my situation.  As I said in a previous thread, I am also a very high myope (-12.50). I had a ReZoom implanted in one eye one week ago.  Because of similar concerns about functioning with one eye corrected but the other eye still extremely near sighted, my surgeon agreed to do both eyes less than 2 weeks apart (I am scheduled  for 2nd eye this coming Friday).  I am very glad I did and can not wait for the second eye to be done because wearing glasses with only one lens to correct the uncorrected eye DOES NOT WORK AT ALL FOR ME, IMAGES DO NOT MATCH AND I CAN NOT FUNCTION.  I am wearing contact lens in the non-implant eye for as long as I can during the day but do take it out in the evening. Without the contact lens, unless I close or patch one eye I can not read or watch tv or drive or do anything other than minimally walk around the house. If your experience is like mine, you will probably want to get the other eye implanted ASAP, or even though uncomfortable, get fit for a contact lens until you can get it done.  If I really couldn't do either of those, I would look into the implantable colamer lens (ICL) until I qualified for the cataract surgery (while that is still elective it costs less than paying for entire cost of lens replacement surgery). The best advice is talk to your surgeon and your OD and work it out ahead of time.
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