Cataract surgery

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timothy42b
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Cataract surgery

Post by timothy42b »

My eye doctor says I need it, now. So I've made the appointment for the consult.

I'm sure it's been discussed here but search didn't find it. Any advice? Is it a layoff from playing for awhile?
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Doug Elliott »

One thing they probably won't tell you is that there are different levels of lens quality. Your overall satisfaction will somewhat depend on how much you're willing to spend on the lenses.

I haven't had it myself but my wife has. The cheaper lenses can produce halos and double vision - not necessarily but it's possible. But that's what you'll get if you don't ask.

I suppose those effects are possible with any lens, but it's a little late after the surgery when you find out that you could have had better lenses.
timothy42b
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by timothy42b »

Thanks, I will ask about that at my consult.
bwilliams
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by bwilliams »

I had them removed from both eyes. My doctor recommended a week. Other doctors don't see the need for a break.
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robcat2075
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by robcat2075 »

An aunt of mine had an old-fashioned doctor who did old-fashioned cataract surgery and she had to wear big thick glasses for the rest of her days.

My dad, who seemed to live to mourn avoidable mishaps like that, never stopped complaining about it.

I got curious about cataract surgery after a character on "Downton Abbey" had it done. Apparently, 100 years ago, the recovery required that the patient lie with their head immobilized for weeks afterward while the incisions healed.

Don't get that version.
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ghmerrill
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by ghmerrill »

In my experience, you don't "need" it -- you WANT it!! I had mine done about 4 years ago and can't believe the results. I haven't had such good vision since I was 12 years old. My "cataracts" weren't very far advanced, but since NC finally decided to switch to a "quality of life" criterion for the surgery (rather than the old-fashioned "acuity" criterion), my Duke opthalmologist was happy to do the work.

My only issue was that Medicare (and hence insurance, at least since the "AFC") wouldn't pay for toric lenses to correct the rather severe astigmatism I had. Their feeling was that you could wear glasses to correct for that after you had the surgery. I won't even begin to examine that view.

So I shelled out $1,000 per eye (of which I have two) for the extra cost of the toric lenses. The result is astonishing. I use dollar store glasses (literally, $1 per pair) for reading and music and any "close" work. But just don't need glasses for anything else. And I can't describe how much improvement there's been for night driving, especially in the rain.

As I recall, they like you not to play a wind instrument for a week or two (?). Just because it can increase pressure in the eye while it's healing. But I"m not sure how long that period really is.

My wife had similar results (and had hers done earlier) event though she has some significant chronic conditions with one of her eyes. Of course, this all assumes that you have a GOOD doctor do the work. And results vary across individuals, of course.
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imsevimse
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by imsevimse »

You could ask your doctor about night vision.

My mother is 81 and she has done cataract surgery on both eyes and got new lenses. She has now perfect sight without glasses.

The only problem now is driving her car at night time. Headlights from other cars makes driving hard without sunglasses and to use sunglasses at night is not a good idea. The doctor will do another surgery and put a lens in front of the other to help that problem.

You could ask the doctor about night vision to make sure you don't get that problem.

/Tom
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Doug Elliott »

That's part of what I was talking about. More expensive lenses apparently don't have that problem.
If you're paying for surgery you only want it once.
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ghmerrill
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by ghmerrill »

I had a noticeable degree of "photosensitivity" for a while (couple of months, and certainly immediately after the surgery for a week or two) that my opthalmologist regarded as "unusual", but it disappeared over time. However, I do have to say that I feel my eyes are somewhat more photosensitive than they used to be before the lens implants. I find that I wear sunglasses now, pretty much to the degree that a lot of people do. But previously I rarely wore them. Not at all a problem, but everyone is different.
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timothy42b
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by timothy42b »

My surgeon said no restrictions, keep on playing. I've done a lot of web research and most people talk about a week with no lifting or bending, and absolutely no shooting (recoil can bounce the slit open).

So while my surgeon has a good reputation, I'm going to be extra cautious and take the first two weeks of December off. He does one eye a week. Since I only have two I'll be done after the second week. That thing where pedal notes bounce the eyeballs? Can't be good for recently repaired eyes. I rarely play trombone for the Christmas pageant anyway, usually just do some sopranino fills while angels and shepherds get herded into place.
CharlieB
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by CharlieB »

My wife and I have each had both eyes done.
Coupla things we've learned.........

The surgical procedure is a piece of cake. Less trouble than getting your teeth cleaned by the hygienist.

Unless you specify different;y, the surgeon will install lenses that focus at long distance. Good for driving, but not so good for reading a book or music. Glasses will typically be prescribed for close vision after the eyes have become acclimatized to their new lenses. Drug store readers can be adequate. My wife uses drugstore readers because they're cheap enough that she can have several pairs scattered around so that she doesn't have to hunt for readers. For playing music, I found it better to have bifocals made with the lower portion focusing on book reading distance, and the upper portion focusing at music stand distance. Of course, that means that the director may be a little out of focus, but...well we won't go there.

The other thing that I've learned is that the brain trains itself to coordinate and optimize the images from both eyes. If only one eye is repaired, the other eye will still see well by itself, but when both eyes are open there may be some visual confusion until the brain retrains for combining the new data input. My eye guy recommends a month to allow this to happen before before getting new close-up glasses prescribed. If there are cataracts in both eyes, some surgeons recommend having the second eye repaired almost immediately after the first one in order to minimize the adjustment period. It sounds like that's what the OP is having done.
pmeiden
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by pmeiden »

Found this older thread interesting. I am beginning a cataract journey in early March. Surgeon does each eye separately, two weeks apart, and will benchmark my healing after eye #1 to determine how soon I can start playing again. He suggests that my initial playing should be careful to be “gentle” and to avoid full volume rehearsal. I will be anxious to see what he says. I am having my lenses set for distance (I am extremely nearsighted) and will likely wear clear or very light prescriptions with a reading progression for everyday wear (Having worn glasses daily since about 3rd grade, no one in my family can picture me without them - including me) and will get cheaters for music. I will look forward to wearing non-prescription sunnies as well.

A friend commented that one really doesn’t understand how much the brightness of their vision has deteriorated over time as the cataracts have developed, and that after the procedures he felt like he was seeing in 8KHD.

I guess the downside is that after the surgery, I will have lost one big excuse for missed accidentals!
CharlieB
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by CharlieB »

It's been several years since I had my cataract surgery, so the lenses may be improved by now ??
The one downside I experience is a problem with night driving. The oncoming headlights appear as bright giant stars coming toward me. That distorts my vision somewhat, and I need to be extra vigilant. That's a small trade-off for only needing glasses for close work. Now, if I could only keep those reading glasses from hiding from me..........
BrassSection
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by BrassSection »

Had my cataracts done in the late 90s, my restrictions were to not lift more than 30 pounds and do not move my head forward to look down for 4 days. Chose to go with right eye for distance, left eye for closeup. No regrets on that choice. About a year after first eye, the natural capsule that holds the lens clouded up, few zaps with a laser and all was well. Second eye waited about 25 years to cloud, again a few zaps and all is well with both eyes again.
whitbey
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by whitbey »

I got the cataract surgery and the toric lens in 2017. Find the really good Dr. and spend the $1000-1200 per eye.
I have eyes like a teenager and incredible vision now.
I had a retired eye Dr friend that gave the best referral.
You want the really good Dr really bad.
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KiaraEdward004
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by KiaraEdward004 »

You might have to wait longer for cataract surgery if there are delays in normal surgeries. Although this is inevitable, the information that follows might help you get by while you wait. If you have poor eyesight, there are a few straightforward adjustments you may do to maximize your vision. Please know that postponing cataract surgery won't permanently impair your vision. Cataracts do not result in irreversible vision loss, and delaying treatment for a few months does not put you at an increased risk of problems or degrade the quality of the outcome. Contact your Surgeon and Talk to them https://www.clearviewinstitute.com/ for more
Posaunus
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Posaunus »

Kiara,

Do you play trombone?

What's in your stable?
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dukesboneman
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by dukesboneman »

I had both eyes done. Not much of a lay off period
As far as the Halos and prisms etc that appear.
I had both eyes done and a week later I got a call to Sub for a friend in a community band ( he was conducting that day) We were rehearsing in a Huge Florescent light lit room. My eyes were going CRAZY !! Prisms everywhere, Halos around lights , the floaters in my eyes were going nuts. I ended up playing the rehearsal with my sunglasses on.
I called my doctor the next day as I was really worried.
He said " Your eyes have been getting , gradually worse since you about 25, Now you`re 63 and The Light switch turned on and everything changed.
My Brain had to get used to seeing everything clearly again. Took a few months for everything to calm down .
pmeiden
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by pmeiden »

I just had my second eye done (first one March 2, second March 16). I’ve worn glasses for 52 years so am finding it very strange to say the least but I am amazed at how much brighter and clearer the world is.

I’ve been able to play gently pretty quickly after surgery as long as not straining to lift cases or things like that. I had a few days of more aggressive playing after a week healing of first eye and pre second surgery. It’s weird seeing music so clearly - sharps and naturals are easy to see now (so much for having that excuse anymore)

It’s good to be reminded that the full process will take longer as the brain also adjusts. I hope to return to a community band I play in either the last week of March or first week of April.
whitbey
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by whitbey »

I got the real nice lenses. Worth it. eyes like a teen now. with the old guy ability to see stuff.
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BGuttman
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by BGuttman »

whitbey wrote: Mon Apr 24, 2023 6:35 am I got the real nice lenses. Worth it. eyes like a teen now. with the old guy ability to see stuff.
Glad it all went well. I am still marveling at not having to wear glasses after 65 years.
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Franticslide
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Franticslide »

In my day job, where I make my $ from (sadly not as a Pro Trombonist cause I’ve played in the garage for the last 30+ yrs after College Band) is as a Surgical Assistant (non-MD assistant) for eyes I assist the RetinalVitreous Surgeons (Back of the eye stuff), I will also scrub Cataract surgery’s. Our patients are back to their routines the next day. Avoiding direct sunlight for a few days but back to driving once the pupil dilating drops wear off.
Minimal discomfort. In & out of the surgical suite (room) 15-25min.
If you have a cataract, it’s not going away on its own.
After over 25,000 cataract surgeries for me (another 15,000 General, Thoracic, Vascular, Neuro, Ortho and Trauma Surgeries) that is my insight.
Posaunus
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Posaunus »

What a timely update to these posts.

I just had a consult with my (excellent) ophthalmologist yesterday. He's been following my glaucoma for about 6-7 years, and now recommends cataract surgery to replace my clouding natural lenses. I'm scheduled for one eye in July, the other in August. During the cataract surgery, he'll also implant small titanium stents into the natural drainage pathway of the eye, thus reducing the pressure that causes glaucoma, effectively killing two birds with one stone. Apparently, the "basic" monofocal IOLs will work for me, so the cost will be modest compared to toric or multifocal artificial lenses. I plan to take it easy (no heavy lifting or trombone playing) for at least a few days after each surgery. My biggest concern is how to adapt to my changed vision post-surgery until my eyes stabilize enough to get new glasses. Will I be able to drive (I'll have two weeks with asymmetrical vision), read (newspapers and books, computer screen, sheet music), etc? It may be awkward for a while. But I'm looking forward to the improvement.
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BGuttman
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by BGuttman »

What I did for the vision was to take one lens out of my glasses. You will probably have bad headaches for while due to the images being of different sizes. I had already stopped driving for other reasons and I'd strongly suggest you minimize driving. See if you can hitch rides with friends for a while. I was able to read and do my computer "job" here immediately. Sometimes I would wear an occluding patch on one eye because the two images would not fuse.

I got measured for permanent glasses a month after the second surgery
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Posaunus
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Posaunus »

Thanks Bruce.
Your advice is consistent with my ophthalmologists'.
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Doug Elliott »

My optometrist tells me I'm about due for cataract surgery... Lenses won't get me to 20/20 now.

What kind of extra money are toric lenses? I do have astigmatism in both eyes. Who's got experience with multifocal lenses? What's the extra for those, and do they work?

A couple years ago my wife got one eye near and one eye far, and it seems to be OK.
cigmar
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by cigmar »

Doug Elliott wrote: Thu May 04, 2023 8:38 am My optometrist tells me I'm about due for cataract surgery... Lenses won't get me to 20/20 now.

What kind of extra money are toric lenses? I do have astigmatism in both eyes. Who's got experience with multifocal lenses? What's the extra for those, and do they work?

A couple years ago my wife got one eye near and one eye far, and it seems to be OK.

Had my left eye done April 24th, having the right eye done this coming Monday. Seems like the typical wait period between eyes is two weeks and recommended non-playing time is one week. I also have (had) pronounced astigmatism in both eyes so my surgeon recommended the toric lenses at $1200 each. I did not get the multifocals upon my surgeon's recommendation. He said many people with astigmatism experience the halo effect with those lenses. I'm extremely happy with the result so far. My vision has never been this good. My left eye is now a perfect 20/20. Everything is clear and bright. Can't wait to have the right one done. I will need to wear reading glasses of the drug store variety, but nothing for distance. I would strongly recommend shelling out the extra bucks for the toric lenses. They are absolutely amazing!!
pmeiden
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by pmeiden »

I had mine done in March - Right eye March 2, Left March 16. Both with standard lenses; as others have mentioned my Ophthalmologist suspected I would have an increased risk of halos with the upgraded lenses. I was able to play gently (long tones, nothing high) a couple days after surgery, and back to full activity after a week.

He set my focus so that my right eye is optimized for closer distance and left is for long distance, so individually they are 20/40 right and 20/20 left, and combined I have close to 20/20. For the first time in 52 years I no longer need glasses. I can read music and drive, use computer and iPad all without glasses and use a pair of cheaters for writing checks, reading small print, etc.

Aside from the vision itself the biggest difference is in the brightness and near elimination of the nighttime halos when driving. My left eye had a bout of secondary inflammation after I came off the steroid drops the first time - extreme light sensitivity, discomfort, achiness. The Dr restarted the steroid drop for a 15 day tapering off, and I am now two days removed from finishing that with no recurrence. Hopefully that solved it.

Between surgeries I attempted the ‘remove one lens’ trick, and it just didn’t work for me, but the repaired eye was so improved that I functioned quite well even with the other eye un-corrected. Both eyes pre-surgery were -4.5 or -4.75 corrective glasses.
Posaunus
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Posaunus »

This forum is a great way to share information - and relieve my mild anxiety!
Thanks friends. :cool:
cigmar
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by cigmar »

pmeiden wrote: Thu May 04, 2023 10:39 am
He set my focus so that my right eye is optimized for closer distance and left is for long distance, so individually they are 20/40 right and 20/20 left, and combined I have close to 20/20. For the first time in 52 years I no longer need glasses. I can read music and drive, use computer and iPad all without glasses and use a pair of cheaters for writing checks, reading small print, etc.

That's a great idea! Since my surgery is Monday, I contacted my surgeon to determine if this were an option for me. He said they don't like to commit to this with a permanent implant unless it was previously tested with contact lenses. Apparently some people adjust well to this, others don't. Had to find out though. Glad this is working well for you.


One other thing I forgot to mention Doug is that I know of a guy who had the multifocals done and was so unhappy with them he went back and swapped them out for the torics.
cigmar
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by cigmar »

Posaunus wrote: Thu May 04, 2023 12:22 pm This forum is a great way to share information - and relieve my mild anxiety!
Thanks friends. :cool:
I had severe anxiety!! The idea of someone coming at my eyeball with a knife freaked me out!!! But there was absolutely nothing to it. You're fully awake of course, but they give you some feel good juice that calms you done. The whole thing was over before I knew it. Didn't feel or see a thing other than the bright light of the surgeon's lamp.
TomWest
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by TomWest »

I’ll be getting cataract surgery May 18 right eye and June 15 left eye. getting Toric lenses. I’m very nearsighted with astigmatism factor +9. I have worn glasses since I was 7 years old, so I don’t really know what it’s like to have good eyesight. Looking forward to really SEEING!
Posaunus
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Posaunus »

TomWest wrote: Thu May 04, 2023 10:25 pm I’ll be getting cataract surgery May 18 right eye and June 15 left eye. getting Toric lenses. I’m very nearsighted with astigmatism factor +9. I have worn glasses since I was 7 years old, so I don’t really know what it’s like to have good eyesight. Looking forward to really SEEING!
Good luck, Tom! :good:
Nolabone
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Re: Cataract surgery

Post by Nolabone »

Cataract surgery can be truly life-changing for folks with your current eyesight issues. Just follow the post-op advice and you'll probably be amazed!
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