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Jeruba's avatar

Cataract surgery: your experience?

Asked by Jeruba (41894 points ) April 30th, 2012

If you’ve had surgery for cataracts, please share your experience, including

•  a mention of how recent it was,
•  how it went,
•  any problems,
and especially
•  anything you wish you’d known before going ahead with it.

Thank you.

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13 Answers

DrBill's avatar

it was about 14 months ago

it went very smooth, had right done on Monday, left on Tuesday, no problems

I wish I would have known how smooth it would go, I waited several months because I was worried, needlessly.

They also fixed my eyes so I no longer need glasses.

Judi's avatar

How bad does it have to get before they will do the surgery? It feels like my glasses are always dirty.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I am having my second one done on Wednesday. It was not a bad experience at all for me. My doctor has her own surgery center so I was not admitted to the hospital. This worried me because I tend to have anesthesia problems. But they didn’t put me to sleep so no worries. The worst things about it were having to be somewhere at 6:30 AM and having to sleep with something over the eye for about 10 days. I have new lenses that put my vision at 20/20 so I do not need glasses for distance, just for reading. My sister had one eye done for distance and one done for reading so she doesn’t need glasses for either. I wasn’t comfortable with that so I’ll stick with readers. I was afraid it would make me feel like I was in motion and I’m very sensitive to that. They also offer very special lenses for extra money not covered by Blue Cross but I had no interest in them. I, like Dr.Bill, put it off for a while and am glad I have now done it.

The best thing (and remember this is with just one eye done), is the colors. I never realized it but it’s just like I heard others say—like looking through a glass of iced tea. Right now I can look at something white, like my stove, and close my eyes one then the other then the other and so forth and I see white brown white brown white brown. I just never realized it because I had nothing to compare it to.

john65pennington's avatar

My left eye appeared to have Vasoline smeared over it. I really could not see at a distance.

I had the surgery. The initial surgery went okay. I had problems afterwards.

I will not tell you my problems as it may scare you.

Most people make it okay and you will, too.

Jeruba's avatar

Actually, John, I’d like to hear. I can scare myself enough without any help. Information gives me more comfort than ignorance.

Sunny2's avatar

Mine were done about 5 years ago. After the first one I could immediately see better and wanted the other one to be done ASAP. They were going to have me awake but sedated, but I asked them to put me just under, because I didn’t want to hear them talking about what they were doing. At the time, there wasn’t an option to do it so you didn’t need glasses for either far or near vision. I’d opt for that if it’s a possibility for you. I need reading glasses, but that’s okay. The Dollar Tree has reading glasses for a dollar a pair. They are cheap and break easily, but I have 7 or 8 pairs with different colored frames to coordinate with my clothes. It’s kind of a kick. Oh, and the difference in color perception. I’d been told about it, but it didn’t seem to be happening. Then, one evening, I asked my husband if he had changed the color on our TV. He hadn’t. It was my new eyes. Colors were much more saturated, bright, and gorgeous. The sky was bluer; flowers were intense. It’s wonderful. Don’t hesitate for a moment.

Bellatrix's avatar

I didn’t have cataracts but did have the surgery.

I think the worst thing was the time between having surgery on one eye and then having surgery on the second eye. I had pretty bad eyesight so it was pretty disorienting in that intermediate period. I left the doctors surgery after he removed the dressing a day after surgery and I could read number plates on cars with my operated eye. It was like a miracle. Trying to see through that good eye and my still ‘bad’ eye, was hard though. I found I had to cover my operated eye so I could wear my specs to read out of my still to be operated on eye.

Also, my eyes watered a lot in the three months after I had the surgery (I think it was mostly the second eye to be operated on but both did water). I had to get my husband to drive me to work. I think it was the light. As soon as strong light hit my eyes, they would just stream with water and it would take a long time for them to settle down.

After the first three months though – perfect. I have much better eyesight than I had. Still have to wear specs for reading because I have astigmatism but I can legally drive with no glasses. I can read without them but the astigmatism makes things a little fuzzy around the edges.

Main thing – I won’t go blind.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Sunny2 apparently, the light problem I experienced and probably your new colour vision experience may be due to how perfectly clear the new lenses are. My specialist said it is a bit like having brand new windows that let lots more light in. Even though I didn’t have cataracts my lenses would not have been so crystal clear as brand new, perfect lenses. So the brain has to get used to all this new sensory information.

My surgery was about three years ago @Jeruba.

augustlan's avatar

My father-in-law had both his eyes done last year. He was able to ditch his glasses, and is extremely happy with the outcome.

picante's avatar

I had both eyes done a year ago, and I have nothing but good news to report. I had my “worst” eye done first, so the immediate gratification was outstanding.

In addition to cataracts, I simply had very bad vision, and I’d been using an arsenal of different eyewear for different situations. Very annoying. I opted for the high-tech, multi-focal lenses, so I am completely without corrective eyewear at this time. There is a “halo” effect with bright lights, but my brain is compensating for that, and it’s become less bothersome over time.

I think the newfound crystal clear vision is a bit disconcerting at first, but your brain will join the happy dance in no time.

I really have no bad experiences to convey—I know that you’ll follow the doctor’s post-operative instructions to the letter, and that will surely mitigate potential problems.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m so grateful for all responses! Please keep them coming. The prospect of eye surgery is frightening to me, but the potential benefits include two important secondary gains (one of them correcting acute-angle glaucoma, which is a whole other problem in itself), so I have to weigh this seriously. Personal experiences good and bad add a significant dimension to my research.

Bellatrix's avatar

That was the reason I had this surgery @Jeruba and it has been a complete success. The pressure in both of my eyes has been significantly reduced. It has resolved the glaucoma problem and given me improved eyesight. Win/Win.

jaytkay's avatar

My dad wore glasses from approximately 1939 until 1999.

He didn’t need them after his cataract surgery. I was jealous (I’ve been wearing glasses since about 1971).

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