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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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Avatar universal
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 universal
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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1 Comments
THANK YOU, Virgina! You have said it very clearly and I am so dismayed at any MD who would be so arrogant as to suggest that other people have "worse" issues, therefore a mere "twinkle" in the eye should be ignored.

Would they ever tell a patient with a disfigured face to stop being so shallow and just be glad they are not completely paralyzed like some are?

I am 70 and scheduled for cataract surgery, but I've seen my spouse's results and I do NOT want those refelctive eyes. Like another here said, my eyes have always been one of my better features, I still get frequent comments, but far better than that is the instant connection I've felt and the warm responses I've recieved simply from looking people in the eye when talking or even just smiling in passing. I know it is appreciated as someone who is genuinely focused on them. I have always had wonderful and instant connections from people when meeting face to face, and I do not want to ruin that by making others and/or myself uncomfortable. These bizarre reflections often bother individuals on both sides of the eyes.  My eyes, to me, ARE me.

I'm going to discuss with MD to see if she can assure no reflections. If she cannot, then I may well opt to skip this surgery and take up stronger glasses or contacts and just do my best without perfect vision.
1878304 tn?1320548784
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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1878304 tn?1320548784
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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2 Comments
I had my first cataract removed and lens implant on December 14th and due for my second one December 28th. I have noticed my right eye has a sparkle that looks like a crystal in my pupil. My eye doctor never mentioned there were different types of lens or gave me any kinds of options or anything I didn't know I had an option actually. I went in for my appointment and saw him, they measured my eyes and he took me back give me versed a week later at my surgery appointment,and I just had it put in no one ever gave me an ID card or anything. I had no restrictions that day for bending over or anything or lifting and we'll have drops for up to 8 weeks in my eye. . At follow-up today he Says my vision is now 20/20 and that I and it's completely healed I still feel it's a bit blurry on the peripheral vision and fluorescent lights in stores drive me crazy with a flicker. I'm a little mortified to get my second done on the 28th I certainly want them to match but I do not like the sparkle and feel like I should have been notified about this and given a choice of lens or at least advised of the side effects. I had no clue there were different lens. I wonder why they did not tell me there were different lens or give me an ID card? When I complained about the sparkle in my eye looking like glass or Crystal he just told me how pretty it was and that soon it what Sparkle even more and I would have the prettiest eyes in town! I can ask for an ID card on this lens correct in the event that I want them changed in the future and they can be changed out am I correct on that also does anyone know? I'm concerned that I have peripheral vision flicker he did make a cut in my eye to correct an astigmatism. He says my vision is now 20/20 and I'm completely healed in the right eye. Sorry for the long post. Very concerned I'm not getting proper information and possible care.
Start by reading this article carefully AND CONSIDER POSTPONING SECOND EYE TILL YOU ARE HAPPY WITH THE FIRST EYE.  LINK: http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/1648102/Consider-ALL-the-Options-Before-Your-Cataract-Surgery-Working-Through-Whats-Best-For-You
1878304 tn?1320548784
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?1320548784
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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177275 tn?1511755244
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233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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Avatar universal
Have you found a solution to the shine, I am truley bothter by having to address it eveyday.
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233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Reflections from the intra-ocular lens.

JCH MD
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2 Comments
My vision in the operated eye is great and I am really happy with it. Day six and three people have commented on the evil look as my eye flashes at them. So yes, it does affect ones sense of self. One friend said, Oh my god I can't look at you it's spooky, so I understand why people are upset. I hate to think what I will look like when I have both eyes flashing at people. My eyes have always been my only redeeming feature in a somewhat plain face, and have been used to people complimenting them. Now I guess I'm just plain.  
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233488 tn?1310693103
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
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Avatar universal
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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Avatar universal
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 universal
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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4 Comments
Avatar universal
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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2 Comments
177275 tn?1511755244
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 universal
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 universal
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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177275 tn?1511755244
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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1 Comments
My spouse gets comments about her new eye reflections and it's usually couched in concern... "what's wrong with your eyes?"  Most people probably wouldn't say anything at all, out of sensitivity to her, which tells me there are surely many others who wonder and are distracted by it.
Avatar universal
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 universal
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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12 Comments
ALERT!  In response to "SoftwareDeveloper" and his blase comments reguarding lense reflections and the resulting freakish glowing "devil eyes" after cateract treatment, I reply:  

THIS IS A REAL THING!  

Yes I can see better and yes I am greatful I did not lose my sight as a result of having the cataract procedure.  That being said, it is TRAGIC that this creepy side effect WAS NOT EXPLAINED TO ME BEFORE I CONSENTED TO THE SURGERY.  

I DO CONSTANTLY get comments ALL DAY LONG!  I am literally sick of constantly having to explain "what's wrong with my eyes".  

IT IS A VERY BIG DEAL and I can say without reservation that I would have NEVER agreed to this brand or type of cataract lense implant...period.  

This is SOCIALLY DEBILITATING...it has nothing to do with vanity.  EVERYBODY NOTICES IT!  People are disturbed by my "spooky eyes" and most are very vocal with their remarks and comments.  It certainly DOES need to be recognized , addressed and, most importantly, discussed with EVERY PATIENT considering cataract lense replacement.  

Shame on anyone who minimizes this Especially to DR JOHN HAGEN.  

Dr. Hagen states "internet forums are a magnet for unusual problems and unhappy people".  Give me a break.  I would love Dr. Hagen to spend one day in my shoes dealing with the constant negative comments and shaming that is now a part of my daily life.  

AGAIN, THIS ISSUE NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED!
ALERT!  In response to "SoftwareDeveloper" and his blase comments reguarding lense reflections and the resulting freakish glowing "devil eyes" after cateract treatment, I reply:  

THIS IS A REAL THING!  

Yes I can see better and yes I am greatful I did not lose my sight as a result of having the cataract procedure.  That being said, it is TRAGIC that this creepy side effect WAS NOT EXPLAINED TO ME BEFORE I CONSENTED TO THE SURGERY.  

I DO CONSTANTLY get comments ALL DAY LONG!  I am literally sick of constantly having to explain "what's wrong with my eyes".  

IT IS A VERY BIG DEAL and I can say without reservation that I would have NEVER agreed to this brand or type of cataract lense implant...period.  

This is SOCIALLY DEBILITATING...it has nothing to do with vanity.  EVERYBODY NOTICES IT!  People are disturbed by my "spooky eyes" and most are very vocal with their remarks and comments.  It certainly DOES need to be recognized , addressed and, most importantly, discussed with EVERY PATIENT considering cataract lense replacement.  

Shame on anyone who minimizes this Especially to DR JOHN HAGEN.  

Dr. Hagen states "internet forums are a magnet for unusual problems and unhappy people".  Give me a break.  I would love Dr. Hagen to spend one day in my shoes dealing with the constant negative comments and shaming that is now a part of my daily life.  

AGAIN, THIS ISSUE NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED!
I have the so-called "creepy eyes" - which are only visible in the just the right light, with just the right reflection - and friends have mentioned it maybe twice.  So insignificant in the greater scheme of things, in which I've been in danger of losing sight in both eyes to varying degrees.  If this small effect is debilitating to you, therapy might help.
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If you are constantly getting comments on your eyes, then your situation is different from what most of us have commented on. Usually no one ever notices that someone had cataract surgery.In 2+ years postop  I've never had anyone comment on anything visually different or odd about my eyes, let alone do so using a comment implying they are disturbed by it. It may be that your case truly is different than most.

Doctors don't talk about all the very rare complications that might arise since they are rare, and to some extent it is academic. If the person won't get them then they don't need to hear about it, if they get the complication then they'll discuss it. The existence of  all the rare complications isn't relevant if it doesn't change whether someone will get cataract surgery. The surgery is needed and  doctors assume that almost everyone   would prefer being able to see and having a cosmetic issue (even a visibly negative one) to being blind and being cosmetically perfect.

Its unfortunate that you are getting such negative comments.  I don't know what exactly is causing such a visibly negative result, since that isn't typical or common. Have you explored options to cover up whatever reflection or visible issue you are having? Although its unfortunate you have an issue, the productive thing to do is to figure out what can be done now rather than worry about the fact you didn't expect this.

I don't know if colored contacts (even ones the same color as your eye) would cover it up, or  even if a regular contact might change the reflections, or if glasses of some type could change the reflections?  Have you talked to the doctor about whether there is anything that can be done to address the issue, if it is so debilitating, such as whether say if a contact or glasses won't change the reflection, if a piggy back lens might?

  
I hadn't re-read my comments, but I think I left open the possibility that in some rare cases perhaps there is something visible to others in a way that is a problem. If so the issue is to get confirmation from others, rather than fearing the worst. Other posters didn't seem to have such confirmation.   It sounds like you may have gotten that confirmation.

  The issue most of us have addressed here is the more common case where people don't have the issue in perspective. There are some people who are anorexic because if they gain a pound they think everybody is thinking "she looks fat" even though they may be thinking "she looks too skinny".  However obviously other people do have weight issues and people are thinking "she should lose weight", the point is to be sure what others think rather than fearing the worst with something that might not be a big deal.


Its natural that if someone notices your eyes are "different" to interpret that comment as being  a critique, a negative comment. Its sometimes useful to step back to be sure we are interpreting people's reactions accurately. Are they truly being negative, are they really "disturbed" by the appearance of your eyes, or is it mostly that they are surprised by it, that they are "different", but merely in a neutral surprising way that they comment on once, and then don't think about again? I can understand it would be frustrating needing to react to such comments all the time, and to fear people are thinking something negative. However   there is a difference between people merely being surprised, and people truly reacting in a negative fashion. It seems likely most reasonable people would at most be surprised at the difference, but then not really care about it. In the big picture, does it matter if the unreasonable people care?

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It is a huge deal. I cannot concentrate on what someone is saying to me when it looks as if there is a hole into their brain. This cataract surgery effect really is creepy. I can't believe people would downplay that.
Not sure what this needs. patients that have IOL "sparkle" its something other people see not the person with the IOL.

What is this? is saying to me when it looks as if there is a hole into their brain.
You are 100% correct WCC777! My doctor just told me that I will need cataract surgery in the future. I had always wondered what made people have that freaky twinkle. Thanks to this forum I now know to avoid it at all costs. I’m sorry that I have to learn from your suffering but thank you!
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I must not have it since no one has ever commented that my eyes look "different" in the past year. I really wouldn't care if they did, I would simply tell them something along the lines of "so what and look at yourself in the mirror sometime", LOL.
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177275 tn?1511755244
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Avatar universal
Aside from your concerns about lens reflection, could you share your post surgical visual outcome?
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177275 tn?1511755244
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