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Cataract and Retinal Tear
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Cataract and Retinal Tear

I has cataract surgery in Jan 2011 and had a retinal tear in that eye in Feb 2012.  3 years later - I am stable am pretty much back to normal after quite a ride.  Thought I would share my experience.  

My right eye wouldn't correct better than 20/60 due to cataract - my glasses prescription was a -13.  I was advised I had a above average risk for a detached retina but decided to proceed anyway.  

I elected to get an aspheric monofocal IOL - I am very happy - my right eye went from 20/800  to 20/20  Of course no near vision but my left eye was such that I had natural mono vision and was able to function without glasses for the first time since the second grade.  

Immediately after surgery the colors in my right eye were very intense - like cartoon colors - but the next morning - back to normal.   For about 3 weeks I experienced some stars around headlights at night - but that slowly faded to nothing.  For a year I enjoyed perfect vision - very happy.  

In Feb 2012, while at work, my right eye filled with micro floaters - almost like blood cells or something.  I could still see, but very hazy.  I call my cataract surgeon immediately and was in his office in 2 hours.   He said no detachment but retinal tear and referred me to retinal specialist.  

Specialist confirmed retinal tear and treated with freeze therapy.  Very uncomfortable - like a ice cream headache.  I also experience massage floaters.  very big and distracting.   I took the next day off work - laid in bed - taking narcotics.   Visited doctor 3 days later - more freeze treatment.   Another 3 days - more freeze treatment.   He was trying to keep everything fastened so my retina wouldn't detach.   Finally I went 2 weeks without treatment.  Then another tear, but this time treated with laser...not as painful as freeze.

I now go 4 weeks between visits.  No more freezes, but 2 more lasers.  Finally go 6 months - but get one more laser after 6 months.  This proved to be my last laser - one year after initial event.   A few weeks later, my vision getting worse but was easily  out to be fixed by the YAG laser.  

Now one year later - no further incidents - some floaters remain but I am used to that - doctor mentioned that he could remove vitreous if floaters got too bad, but I said thanks but no thanks....I can live with a few floaters.

After one year of no incidents I was able to get my FAA class II physical and am now on a 6 month followup.

Lessons learned.  Glad I went with aspheric monofocal IOL - very stable - very proven

Retinal tear - don't waste any time - treat ASAP!

Once things settle - you can get cleared for flying again after 1 year of stability...

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This has also happened to me 3 x in the past year or so.  It always happens after I am laying in bed reading my tablet then I get up to use the restroom.  I am not able to see out of my right eye.  Last night it lasted about 10 minutes.  My eye feels like I have a patch over it. I looked at the skylight and I couldn't see it, but I could I could see the shadow of it.  Last night when I picked up my phone to see what time it was, I was able to see again.  This all seems to be a very common issue with many people.
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