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Old 08-24-2016, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,635 posts, read 17,165,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Funny I found this thread. I just had a pre-op appointment this morning for my cataract surgery on the 1st.

I've always had bad eyesight, but when I realized something just wasn't right, was when I went to get a new eye glasses prescription last year. It had been quite a few years since my last eye exam. So, I figured I just needed new glasses. My vision just wasn't as clear in one eye.

Optometrist gave me my new prescription and after a few days, I realized the vision was still not very clear in my left eye. Went back, and the optometrist told me basically, that I'm just getting old and that's as good as it gets.

After about 9 months and the vision getting more and more blurry, I asked my primary care doctor for a referral to an opthalmologist to see what was going on. I was afraid it was due to diabetes, even though I'm just pre-diabetic, not actually diabetic.

Go see the ophthalmologist and he finds a really big cataract in my left eye. He said it's so bad he wanted to know if I've ever been injured in that eye. I said, no, I've been in car wrecks where I've hurt my head and gotten bad neck whiplash, but no trauma to the eye. Anyway, that's how bad the cataract is.

I'm so mad at that optometrist. He should have sent me to a specialist to see what was wrong and not just tell me I'm getting old and should accept blurry vision! Grrrr.

So, surgery is on the 1st. The surgeon told me he will also be able to correct my vision during the procedure, and it won't cost me anything because I'm already approved for the cataract surgery. He said, basically, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as I couldn't afford to get corrective surgery just to improve my eyesight and my insurance wouldn't cover it.

He says he can get my vision in that eye to be what it was when I was 20 years old, and I probably won't need glasses - just a contact lens in my right eye. He also said that at some point I'll probably need surgery in the right eye, too, as there is a small cataract in that eye, too, but my vision is still good in that eye. I'll come back and report on the success of my upcoming surgery. Wish me luck!

I turned 60 this year.
That would make me mad too. And it reminded me of what happened to me recently. I go to an optometrist to check out my eyes once a year. Went a few weeks ago - and he told me I need new glasses. Not quite ready for cataract surgery yet. Now he doesn't do my glasses (long story). I go to an optician for that. So I went to the optician. And he made up a "dummy" of the new prescription for me (nice service - don't know if every optician does that). And it was worse than the prescription I have now. So the optician said he wouldn't do new glasses for me until I saw an opthalmologist. And I'm in the process of setting up that appointment now.

Now I have used both of these guys for a long time. And trust both of them. But the conclusion I've drawn - especially when it comes to the optometrist - is that providers are different in terms of when they think it's appropriate to "pull the trigger" in terms of cataract surgery. For any number of reasons. One of which may be the financial resources/insurance of their average patients.

When in doubt - I think it's wise to consult an opthalmologist. My husband's opthalmologist apparently likes to pull the trigger sooner rather than later - especially if you're 70 or so. He said he would rather operate on a senior in basically good health at 70 than postpone surgery until that senior is closer to 80 and has developed other health issues. We all have to remember that cataract formation is a process that can often take a very long time. And there is no single optimal time to do surgery.

FWIW - I thought my optician was great. A less scrupulous optician simply would have made me new $600 glasses instead of telling me to see an opthalmologist first. Robyn
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
6,940 posts, read 7,668,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
In addition - we've heard that the development of cataracts can be speeded up if you spend a lot of time in the sun (like most of us who live in Florida do). Don't know if that's true or not. Robyn
Yes, it is true.

It is also true that if you have blue eyes, green or light hazel eyes, you are more likely to develop them earlier, as opposed to people with dark brown eyes.

I am age 69, and have fairly light blue eyes. I do not yet have cataracts, but my ophthalmologist told me a couple of decades ago to wear UV type sunglasses whenever I went outside. I have pretty much done that, and so far, so good. Wearing shades when you are outdoors, if done consistently, will reduce your exposure to UV rays from sunlight, and will delay onset of cataracts. This is especially important if you have blue, green, or hazel eyes.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:44 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,178 posts, read 14,267,784 times
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I am 67 and had cataract surgery in both eyes about 8 years ago, so in my late 50s. I delayed. My eye specialist tried to convince me to have that surgery when I was around 55, but I was afraid. I am profoundly hearing impaired and the thought of losing my vision also was petrifying. I developed another issue in one eye which was horrendously painful and it did require eye surgery which was done in one of the most exclusive hospitals for eye care. My doctor was a teacher of that surgery.

Within a year of that surgery, the cataracts in both eyes were becoming problematic - I had extreme difficulty driving at night. My doctor warned me it would continue - and it did until I began having trouble in anything but daylight and then that started to become a problem. I am the sole driver as my husband has vision issues from having been involved in an explosion in the army. So I NEED to see.

I scheduled the first surgery and it was done without any pain. I had the 2nd one a week later. I am now looking at having the new cataract removed from the IOL (artifical lens) in one eye and it is done in the doctor's office.

There are new lenses out that take away the need for reading or distance glasses but they don't remove the old lenses to replace them because of the possibility of complications. If I were planning to have my first surgery now, I wouldn't hesitate. I will not hesitate having the cataract removed from this lens when the time comes.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,035 posts, read 3,272,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Yes, it is true.

It is also true that if you have blue eyes, green or light hazel eyes, you are more likely to develop them earlier, as opposed to people with dark brown eyes.

I am age 69, and have fairly light blue eyes. I do not yet have cataracts, but my ophthalmologist told me a couple of decades ago to wear UV type sunglasses whenever I went outside. I have pretty much done that, and so far, so good. Wearing shades when you are outdoors, if done consistently, will reduce your exposure to UV rays from sunlight, and will delay onset of cataracts. This is especially important if you have blue, green, or hazel eyes.
Back in the 1980s, I was using steroid eye drops for heavy duty allergy symptoms that resulted in an ulcerated cornea, and when my ophthalmologist saw the beginning of cataracts she told me that this was one of the risks of using steroids. So I've often wondered if that was the reason I developed them at an early age.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:04 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 1,462,552 times
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I'm currently 14 months into a 90-minute cataract removal procedure. This includes a total of six hours of surgery.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,635 posts, read 17,165,137 times
Reputation: 6685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Yes, it is true.

It is also true that if you have blue eyes, green or light hazel eyes, you are more likely to develop them earlier, as opposed to people with dark brown eyes.

I am age 69, and have fairly light blue eyes. I do not yet have cataracts, but my ophthalmologist told me a couple of decades ago to wear UV type sunglasses whenever I went outside. I have pretty much done that, and so far, so good. Wearing shades when you are outdoors, if done consistently, will reduce your exposure to UV rays from sunlight, and will delay onset of cataracts. This is especially important if you have blue, green, or hazel eyes.
I think all/almost all glasses have some form of UV protection these days. I know mine do. And I wear them all the time. OTOH - I do have green eyes.

I think what's apparent from this thread is that different people develop cataracts at different ages. And they also have different tolerances for the symptoms of cataracts in terms of when they think they're ready for surgery. Robyn
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,635 posts, read 17,165,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
I'm currently 14 months into a 90-minute cataract removal procedure. This includes a total of six hours of surgery.
So what happened? Robyn
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,931,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deelighted View Post
... If you have been diagnosed with cataracts:

  1. At what age did you notice symptoms? I have had poor distance vision since childhood. My eye doctor told me I was getting cataracts during the course of a normal exam when I was in my early 50s but I didn't notice any symptoms at that time.
  2. What was your first symptom? In my late 50s I kept feeling like I had something in my right eye that was interfering with my vision (as if I had soap in my eye or something). Later I began noticing that I couldn't see well when I was driving at night
  3. What kind of cataracts did you develop? No one ever told me a name. I eventually was diagnosed with having them in both eyes, the right one where I had worse symptoms being much more developed.
  4. Did you have surgery? If so, at what age did you have surgery? I had surgery when I was 60. The doctor (a highly touted surgeon in Southern Arizona) removed the worse one first. He said his practice was to attempt to restore the vision to normal while he was doing the surgery but that my distance vision was too deteriorated for him to do that for me. He said he would correct my close vision so I could read without corrective lenses if I wished. I agreed. Unfortunately, when he operated on my first eye, my cornea was scratched. It was VERY painful. So much so I was reluctant to allow him to do the other eye. He insisted he didn't scratch my cornea in the course of surgery. It "must have been" one of the nurses who cared for me post-op. Nice throwing his employees under the bus, huh?
  5. Did you wish you had cataract surgery earlier in life? Not particularly.
I have to say, the doctor's promise to restore my close vision was met. I still have to wear glasses to see distance, but I can read without wearing my glasses. Even the phone book. Something I lost the ability to do by the time I was in my early 50s.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,484 posts, read 2,540,022 times
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My wife had a brain MRI about the same time she got the cataract surgery. They found air spaces in her brain proving what I knew all along---that she really is an airhead. She hasn't had it go much beyond that, and I don't think that having her cataract surgery was a result of being an airhead.

But you never know.





BTW, the MRI technician said if I were to have the scan they would find air spaces in my brain too. Not gonna do that. Don't want to spoil my pristine reputation.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
1,611 posts, read 3,115,018 times
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I was diagnosed last year, age 59, with cataracts in both eyes. At my last eye exam in May, I was told that they're stable, for now. The opthalmologist guesstimates that I'll need surger in 3 to 5 years. So, just stronger lenses in my eyeglasses for now.

And to anyone who is considering trying the eyedrops that claim to clear up cataracts, save your money. My surgery-phobic husband tried them on his cataracts, they did not work at all.
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