Yesterday I was diagnosed with catarats & clogged eyelid oil glands. I am a 50ish females with severe nearsightness.
Both my paternal grandfather & father had cataracts, though not until they were in their 70's.
My vision has improved over 2 diopters, so I have ordered new glasses. I can't yet wear my contacts again because of the eye gland problem. My vision had become blurry over the last 6-9 months, but I thought it was one of the side effects of tapering of Effexor XR. I was wrong & I'm sorry I waited this long to see my eye doctor.
I am posting here because I googled cataracts yesterday & started to read all the bad news postings from folks who had surgery & were not satisfied with the results - which I found very disconcerting, in the least.
My mental approach yesterday, at the doctors, was that this was no big deal- because my vision is so bad already (coke bottle lenses & glasses since the 2nd grade). The doctor said I might have 2 years before i needed surgery & I have a followup appt in 6 months to check on the cataract progression. I have them in both eyes. I feel that after the surgery at least my vision will be much better than it is now- cannot see a thing without my glasses. My doctor liked my attitude.
Finally my question...
Am I wrong to want to remain optomistic? Am I naive? I am an avid reader, crocheter, photographer, computer user & craftster. So most of my visual usages are close to midrange. Distance vision is for driving & because seeing clearly is a deeply desired need (because I don't naturally).
I guess I fear is that my vision will end up worse than it is now. How do I decide what range of vision to choose for the new lenses that will replace my clouding ones. I've read of progressive lenses, but have not read anything good about them.
I realize I will have a choice to make & any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
Cataracts are opacities in the lens which occur as one ages. We usually remove cataracts when the vision cannot be improved with a new glass prescription and they are affecting the activities of daily living. As your prescription for glasses has changed, it is possible, that the cataracts may take some time to require surgical intervention.
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful procedures that are performed by doctors. Most people obtain excellent results and are able to return to their normal daily activities; however, like all procedures, carries a certain risk. Additionally, the field of ophthalmology is rapidly changing with lots of new choices for implantable lenses in your eyes. Some change shape like your eye did when you were young [crystalens HD], while others are like wearing bifocals [Restore and ReZoom]. Still others enable improved vision in the distance at night [Tecnis and other aspheric lenses], while others, enable monofocal vision only. Thus, your doctor and you will need to decide which lens is best for you based upon your functioning, activities, eyes and personality. There are benefits and risks of each. This should give you some information to start researching on implants. There also may be new lenses which emerge on the market by the time you require surgery. You should be positive, wait until you need surgery and become educated at the time you require the procedure. Cataract surgery is wonderful and can restore sight!
Sandy T. Feldman, M.D., M.S.
ClearView Eye and Laser Medical Center
San Diego, California
You won't see many (any?) complaints from people who have gotten aspheric monofocal IOLs. My vision with these lenses is at least as good as it was before cataract development--probably even better for night driving. If you have never done monovision, you should consider "blended vision" (distance vision in dominant eye, intermediate in non-dominant). My friend who has this correction only needs glasses for prolonged reading or small print. At the present time, it's probably best to avoid multifocal/accommodating IOLs, which tend to be associated with more post-surgery problems.
Thank you both for your informative responses. A doctors opinion is always greatly valued, I appreciate all the info given to me for future research purposes. I guess I will have to be patient & wait until my new glasses arrive & then see how long this prescription lasts.
A person who has already experienced cataract surgery & the decision process leading up to it is a very useful asset to me. If anyone else reads this thread & wants to offer up their experiences to me- please do. I know it will help me in many ways.
the technology of cataract surgery is improving all the time and the longer you wait the more advanced it will be. My suggestion is to wait until your vision can no longer be corrected with glasses as Dr Feldman said.
at that point you need to talk with your surgeon and discuss all the options, and be specific about what is most important to you - maybe in your case it is your close-up vision since you do crafts - or maybe you don't want to have to wear glasses to use your camera. At this stage, many cataract patients have to use glasses for one thing or another, or else adapt to monovision which is not suitable for some people, so it's important to get an understanding of the possible outcomes.
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