Cataract Surgery

Well, looks like I might soon be joining the cataract surgery club. Don’t know for sure if I will end up doing it now, but my vision in one eye has gotten worse pretty quickly and is difficult to correct with glasses/contacts. I have a consultation at the end of January.

ETA: Age 52 with high myopia.

Thanks for your advice, which helped to spur me to action.

Just got back from the ophthalmologist earlier today. There are various little issues with my eyes associated with becoming an ancient fossil, but the bottom line is that the problem with my left eye is due to developing cataracts. I have another appointment in two months to check on the progression, and will have to decide at that point if I want to proceed with cataract surgery (or I suppose I could decide right now). I’m pretty sure I will do so because my current state of vision is becoming annoying. It could be mostly corrected with new glasses, but if I’m going to have cataract surgery, that should happen first.

So glad you saw the doctor!!! Sounds like it’s nothing too drastic, at least.

You and your doctor may want to try glasses-only at first; if the cataracts are progressing slowly enough, but in the long run of course the surgery is the best option. Not rushing into it will also give you plenty of time to do your own research and reading, to decide on the right correction for your situation (do you want the eyes set for distance, close-up, or in between) and to decide on any premium upgrades you may want to spend your own money for.

Do you have cataracts in both eyes? Most of us do, when we reach a certain age, but they’re not always bad enough to require surgery. My right eye wasn’t causing me noticeable problems: the left eye was the one that really HAD to be dealt with. I was a little concerned that insurance might try to say “nope, can’t do that one yet” but fortunately they did not argue.

Keep an eye (hah) on how you feel your vision is progressing. Before the surgery, I’d come to realize that I was no longer comfortable driving at night. There were a couple of times where I was travelling out of town, and had to break up a trip into 2 days, as a result. If it gets bad enough you may not even want to drive during the day. Both of those, obviously, are a good sign that you don’t want to postpone things any more. I also found that my depth perception was a bit off, due to getting such radically different signals from the two eyes. As someone who started out clumsy, this was frightening (though I managed to avoid injuring myself).

I have to wonder if there’s a connection between higher myopia and cataract development. My weaker eye is the one that developed an issue sooner. Not sure if Wolfpup’s left eye is the weaker one. And a close friend - who really should move to Atlanta because Coke bottles are cheaper there - had both done not long after mine. Her eyes were something like -13 or worse even before the cataracts. She and I were both in our late 50s when we had them done.

Technically, yes, but it’s negligible in the right eye. The left eye is the culprit.

The next appointment will also run specific tests for glaucoma. This appears to be mainly because of my status as an ancient fossil, and therefore possibly subject to almost anything! I do have a slight amount of ocular hypertension, which is a risk factor.

Rereading this old post: Neither I, nor my friend who had her eyes done a few months after I did, had our eyes taped shut at all. We both had the plastic guard to protect the eye when sleeping.

Also: while they used to do an injection to deaden the nerve, that does not seem to be the standard for cataract surgery any more. Not that it’s not EVER used, but nobody I know has had an injection (beyond the IV).

I just had my semi-annual eye exam before Christmas, and my eye pressures were 14 in each eye. Cataract surgery often has a permanent pressure-lowering effect. I asked the doctor, and he said (if I remember correctly) something about the cataract lens is actually slightly swollen and blocks normal eye drainage. My pressures had routinely been in the low 20s for years beforehand, so clearly it’s worked for me.

They may also put you on pressure-lowering drops for a bit before the surgery.

And if they’re worried, depending on the situation they can sometimes combine procedures - my friend had a goniotomy done at the same time as her cataract surgery.

I was under the impression that it is a risk factor. My worse cataract is in the more myopic eye, just anecdotally.

A friend of mine has/had high myopia also, maybe a bit worse than mine, and had cataract surgery a few years ago. We’re about the same age.

I must admit the idea of an eye injection is kind of freaking me out!!

Apparently it is indeed, which had never occurred to me until yesterday. The friend with the coke-bottle-worthy vision did not have the same risk factors I did (T2DM, corticosteroid use) but does have others. They did the goniotomy not because she’d ever had signs of glaucoma, but because it’s tough to get good pressure readings with such long eyeballs. Myopia is a risk for glaucoma as well per this link:.

Of course, my husband (whose better eye is -5 or so, and worse eye is -7 or so) has only the “normal” amount of age-related cataracts. He doesn’t have any of the risk factors my friend and I do, however.

Like I said, that’s pretty unlikely. The friend who had a goniotomy at the same time didn’t mention having any kind of injection, I didn’t have one, and nobody else here (except ChefGuy) has said anything about it. Discuss it with the doctor when the time comes.

I will say, it would have required a LOT more sedation for me to stay put for a needle. Abso-fucking-NO-FUCKING-LUTELY not.

The friend who had a non-cataract procedure, where his eye doc insisted he do it without adequate sedation, makes my insides turn to jelly.

I’m pretty sure no reputable place does that any more. I was really pissed off when I learned that it was what amounts to medieval practice in the eye business. I was so pissed that my eye doctor had recommended them that I canned his ass and started seeing my wife’s eye doctor, who is actually operating in the 21st century.

Well, that’s good to hear, though I’m sorry you went through that. I’d have been upset too.

The whole procedure sounds a little freaky, but most people seem to feel it was fast and no big deal.

It’s really not, as long as it’s explained to you what is going to happen before they start. Your optic nerve is dead and they cover the other eye, so you can’t see anything going near your deadened eye, nor feel anything.