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Reflection in eye of friend who had cataract surgery
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Reflection in eye of friend who had cataract surgery

A friend recently had cataract surgery. I notice a different reflection in her eye than before. She had boht eyes done weeks apart. Now that the second eye has been done I see this different reflection in the second eye also. What is it? Thanks
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26 Comments Post a Comment
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233488 tn?1310696703
Reflections from the intra-ocular lens.

JCH MD
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Avatar m tn
Sounds interesting. Rather than red-eye in photos I used to have white-eye (bits missing in the back of my eye). Now I've had one eye done, I get halos in that eye which apparently is reflections off the edge of the new lens. Could you expand on what type of relfection you see? Sounds like a good party trick! (Hey, you have to look on the bright side!).
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Avatar f tn
My acrylic AcrySof IQs do have a noticeable reflection (youthful glow?) in certain lighting conditions.  If this is something that you want to avoid, I've read that the new acrylic one-piece Tecnis monofocal does not have this type of reflection.  Neither do silicone IOLs.
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233488 tn?1310696703
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Avatar n tn
I've had the same problem, and I've noticed that almost every doctor says "it's no big deal," "you're being too sensitive," or some other patronizing remark like "now you have a twinkle in your eye." When you look in the mirror and see what appear to be white holes in your eye, you do feel self-conscious, and even worse when people make comments like, "ooh evil eye." I completely understand why Gail says she avoids looking people in the eye. One doctor gave me pilocarpine drops to make my pupil contract. DO NOT TRY THIS! I ended up with a retinal detachment in that eye and more problems! Gail doesn't need counseling. She and I, and others who are disturbed by this kind of surprise after- surgery result, need a practical solution and honest responses from health care providers, not judgmental, self-protecting remarks. Does anyone make a tinted contact lens that cuts this unnatural looking reflection without compromising vision? I've tried various colored contacts and they were no help at all.
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Avatar m tn
Have you found a solution to the shine, I am truley bothter by having to address it eveyday.
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Avatar n tn
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nevk2mdkl21e3nz/catarcts.jpg

My right eye (your left) has a synthetic lens due to cataracts surgery; my left does not.  Notice the reflection difference.
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233488 tn?1310696703
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1878304 tn?1320552384
I am intensely upset that my doctor did not reveal that there would be a reflection and offer me an option to get the lenses you mentioned that DO NOT HAVE THAT BIG PROBLEM.  Yes, to me it is a BIG deal and I HATE that about my eyes now and am EXTREMELY self conscious about it!  I think it is unforgivable that I was not alerted to the fact that I would have Dog Eyes that glow in the dark and that people would think I have might shiny glass in my eyes!  I am truly angry about it.
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1878304 tn?1320552384
You said it sister!  SO AM I.  It is a doggone disgrace that the doctor didn't tell us we would have this issue and give us optional lenses (without that reflection problem) from which to choose.  
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1878304 tn?1320552384
Yes I do am VERY VERY MUCH disturbed by this reflection in my eyes (so much so that I would NEVER have had the surgery done with those lenses since there are others that do not have that "twinkle") -- and especially since MY DOCTOR NEVER INFORMED ME that it would happen.  There oughta be a law!  
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1878304 tn?1320552384
What happened to the link?  Mine would not show.  I really want to see it and show to my eye doctors who CLAIM they don't know why it's a big deal to me and they say they never notice it when they are looking at me, almost indicating that it's all in my head.  Hah!  This glare is UGLY and ABNORMAL looking and I believe it was an AWFUL side effect and I am APPALLED I was never informed that they have OPTIONAL lenses I could have gotten that had no glare.  This is BAD.
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Avatar f tn
I have never heard that certain IOLs would NOT cause a difference in reflection. I think it may be more dependent on the eyes of the person Some people do not notice anything. Some people are very bothered. I you need cataract surgery you have better things to worry about, like not being blind-- than whether or not your eyes will reflect light in a way that may be visible to others. I have dual optic IOL's and actually have multiple reflections of each image visible in my pupils. The people that notice it usually think its cool and I personally kind of like it. I am sorry that the reflections bother you, but on the bright side,  you will no longer have red eyes in photo's...
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Avatar f tn
The most important concern is vision improvement.  Did your vision improve?  If the answer is yes, be grateful for modern science and a good medical outcome.  Many of us in this community have serious complications and less than ideal outcomes.  A lens reflection is not unusual and not a big deal.  Stop looking in the mirror and obsessing about what you think you look like.  I promise you, most people would not even notice it unless you bring it to their attention. Take a walk and marvel at the gift of sight!  
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Avatar m tn
Or..just maybe....your eyes ALWAYS showed that reflection and you didn't notice it because of the vision reduction caused by your cataracts.
What nonsense.
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177275 tn?1438375244
Agree.  I have had patients that like the reflection and call it their "twinkle".  Reflections off the cornea occur in everyone that has a normal shaped cornea and tear film.

JCH MD
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Avatar m tn
Obviously those of you, including doctors,who are dismissing the claims of the reflection in the eyes as"nonsense" do not know what the others are speaking of nor do you live with it.    If it were an abnormality of the elbow or the knee it would be much easier to live with.  The eyes are the window to the soul.   The "glow" as I call it is nothing so benign as you and others have referred to as a "twinkle"  It is very disconcerting and an upsetting to have others remark when you are out in a social setting  "What is wrong with your eye?,  Or 'Your eyes are "glowing"    Some cataract surgery patients, like myself are in their 50's not their late 70's or 80's.    A person's appearance when it is in their eyes with a freakish 'glow' is nothing to dismiss or make light  of.   It affects ones self esteem and ability to look others in the eye.    The manufacturer of the IOLenses  will never need to look at this side affect if it is not taken seriously by the doctors who should be their patients advocate.    Take it from me,  anyone who is considering cataract surgery especially if you are younger,  research on your own as to which intra ocular implants cause an iridescent glow and which ones do not.    I am looking at a second surgery to change out my intra ocular lenses and hope to  travel to another hospital in another state (John Hopkins) to do so.  Insurance will likely not cover it and I will be paying for it out of pocket as long as the doctor says it is at a low risk.      So I ask you Do you really think I would take the time to research this issue, that I would make trips back to my own doctor, that I would go out of state and go through another surgery at my own costs of thousands of dollars for an unwanted "twinkle" in my eye?     This unnatural glow in my eye due to my IOLens implants is present everyday in sunlight and more at night with ambient light setting it off.   Doctors please listen to your patients complaints.      
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177275 tn?1438375244
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177275 tn?1438375244
For anyone considering cataract surgery that reads this discussion thread.  Consider the statistics for automobile accidents for 2014  in the USA: there were 5.5 million accidents, 2,339,000 injuries, 33,000 deaths. Yet does that really deter any of us from getting in our cars and driving to the store or across the country in our automobiles. Of course not because the risk is relatively very very low and falling due to safer automobiles.

Cataract surgery is the most common and  successful surgery done on adults world-wide. The reflections these posters find so troublesome usually do not occur, when they do occur they rarely bother the patient and some actually like the reflections. The complaints posted here are unusual and rare in cataract surgery.  Internet forums are a magnet for unusual problems and unhappy people.

I'm sorry all these posters find it so troublesome. Certainly some of the problems other posters bring to this forum that involve poor vision, blindness put these complaints in perspective.

Best of luck to those of you that are bothered by this symptom.

JCH MD
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Avatar n tn
I've got the glow you talk about and yes, it's frequently mentioned but I laugh and tell people it's my bionic eyes!  I went from about -13 to superb vision with my lenses and I'm grateful every day.  I also have a large amount of floaters, including misty ones that make me feel as if I'm looking through a greasy contact lens, these are from PVDs.  I can see them all the time but I've trained myself to look on them as positive!  Yes, I've got floaters but I didn't get retinal detachments!

Try to change your thought process, not your lenses.  You'll be much happier for it.
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Avatar m tn
re: "Do you really think I would take the time to research this issue, that I would make trips back to my own doctor, that I would go out of state and go through another surgery at my own costs of thousands of dollars for an unwanted "twinkle" in my eye?   "

No one can   know  without seeing you how large an issue it is. The mere fact that you wish to spend money to address it doesn't tell us either. Obviously there are some cosmetic issues such as say facial reconstruction after bad burns that almost everyone,  even the least vain in the populace is likely to feel appropriate.

However  individuals vary in their guesses as to  how much what they consider an  imperfection in their appearance is even noticed by others, and their sensitivity as to whether it matters. A tiny imperfection after say a minor accident that didn't heal fully and left a slight imperfection   might be something one person doesn't even notice, while another hides from public view and runs off to the plastic surgeon to deal with it.

Last year over

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/12/plastic-surgery-43-percent-among-men-report/

$12 billion was spent in the US on cosmetic surgery, with over 10 million procedures. An estimated $59 billion on cosmetics:

http://www.statista.com/statistics/243742/revenue-of-the-cosmetic-industry-in-the-us/

So the mere willingness to spend money on something doesn't give a good indication about the magnitude of the issue as it would be perceived by the typical person.

There are studies into what leads to lens exchanges in order to try to prevent them. Although I'm merely someone who read about issues due to having had cataract surgery and having visual  issues afterwards, I have read many articles on the topic of lens exchanges and post surgery issues. and hadn't run into this issue mentioned  other than on this thread as far as I can recall. There are many articles talking about the reasons for unhappy patients after surgery and how to handle it, even if the unhappiness doesn't extend to the level of getting lens replacement, and I also hadn't seen this issue mentioned that i recall. (though it is possible since it wasn't a concern of mine  that I missed it).

Lens designers aren't going to expend effort trying to fix an issue they don't hear about as being a problem. It seems likely if another lens does turn out to be better in this regard, that it will be so accidentally and that someone should be cautious beforehand to investigate the odds that a lens exchange will truly make any difference. In theory it is possible, I know my optometrist had commented during an exam on how much more reflective my lenses seemed than others (though I've no reason to suspect it is noticeable to people in general as a problem). Lens attributes differ even if designers weren't trying to worry about something like this.  However any sort of lens exchange surgery has risks, so it is always best to be cautious about whether the surgery is warranted and what the odds are it will improve things.

Even if some surgeon can be found to take your money, they aren't the one taking risks with their vision and risking a potential complication causing visual loss in exchange for a potential cosmetic improvement, you are. Each person has to make their own call about risks/benefits and obviously some will find it worth the risk.

It may very well be that there are rare cases where the issue is so abnormal that the average person would consider it a problem (I have dealt with a rare visual glitch with the lenses so I know some uncommon issues aren't talked about much, some surgeons never see a similar case), but without seeing it for themselves people may be skeptical of the magnitude of the issue when it hasn't been viewed as common enough to be talked about in the literature they have read (or for some surgeons to have seen it). Many people won't be   aware of cases where this is something they would agree is a problem, while they are   aware of the variances of human vanity and concern over even appearance issues that aren't considered a concern by others.

If this truly is an issue that many people would consider a problem if they saw it then you might urge whatever surgeon you use to publish about the issue (without identifying you unless you wished of course), especially if you or someone else with this level of concern might be willing to allow photos to be taken if it is something that can be perceived in photos (perhaps with other facial features photoshopped to hide identity).

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177275 tn?1438375244
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Avatar f tn
Aside from your concerns about lens reflection, could you share your post surgical visual outcome?
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177275 tn?1438375244
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Avatar m tn
"Or..just maybe....your eyes ALWAYS showed that reflection and you didn't notice it because of the vision reduction caused by your cataracts.
What nonsense."
That jerky comment does not add any value to this conversation. You must have been having a bad day.
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177275 tn?1438375244
KayakerNC is a thoughtful person who has added much to the discussions here and I know was not trying to be "jerky".  Patients often notice much more after their surgery that was already there.  We have been accused of making post cataract patients hair turn gray, causing wrinkles on their face and body, changing the color of their wardrobe and house furniture and putting dust all over their home. These are all things they could not see before that they can now post improved vision.
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