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Recovery from cataract surgery

On Health & Drugs & Medications » Optical & Eye Health

19,944 words with 22 Comments; publish: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 23:06:00 GMT; (90093.75, « »)

I had cataract surgery on both eyes (one week apart). The first eye healed perfectly after just one week. However, my left eye is still causing problems. It will be four weeks on Tuesday, and I am still having a glare problem. It isn't a halo I see, but a diagonal beam through any light (TV, lamp, street lights, etc.). At night is the worse, of course, and I can't drive then because of this annoyance. Has anyone else had this problem? How long before it will go away? Or will it? I haven't seen my doctor for two weeks, but he said it would "just take time". :confused:

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    • i get that when i blink. thats normal. if u squint ur eyes at a light or a tv in the dark u will notice a ton of beams. so if u actually think about it and blink u will see this real quick. also for some reason looking out a window with a screen will cause this while a window without a screen will not cause this. i know this is normal because I have had my eyes checked 3 times in the past year because I developed floaters which sucks but every doc I went to concluded that my eyes are unbeliavly healthy and I have 20-15 vision. also the winshield on ur car can cause it to seems like a light beam is coming out of the source. Your just obsessed with ur eyes I think and are hyper sensitive to everything. I was the same way with my floaters. they had me so depressed and I dwelled on everything and thought my eyes were a mess. but everyone I asked said they saw the same things when they thought about it. its just that they normally didnt because they werent thinking about it. i found I was the same way once I stoped wasting my time worrying about my eyes which are perfectly healthy. now you just did have catarct surgery so I could be diffrent. i'm just giving you an example of myself and how the brain can mess with you if you let it.
      #1; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:15:00 GMT
    • Thanks, BobK, but this isn't quite the same. I don't have to squint to see these diagonal lines, and I don't have them in my right eye. I know this is a healing problem. I'd just like to know if it will ever go away. Thanks for your input.
      #2; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:16:00 GMT
    • Diane, This may be a stupid question, but did you tell your doctor? A lady at work had a similar experience. Some months later she went back and had a quick, painless zap with a laser to dissolve something that is sometimes there after cataract surgery. It's better now.

      I am supposed to get surgery very soon.

      There aren't many forum posts on cataract surgery.

      I'm in a quandry about lens choices and when to have it done.

      Plus, I am very nearsighted, and have been for 40 years (since I was 10).

      It seems everyone I encounter who has had the surgery was farsighted--so they could just get one eye done, and didn't mind not being able to see things really close anymore.

      Plus, there's that new Crystalens now. Should I wait for it?

      And, if that's not enough, my cataracts (and my sister's) are called "early onset" and are very small but in the center of the lens. This means I can read those letters at the optometrist's (but who needs to? after 40 years, even I have them memorized), but the glare when driving at night can be blinding, and printed words look gray.

      So, with all I hear about glare AFTER the surgery, I'm really wondering if I should do this now.

      Okay. I'm done.

      Thanks for reading.

      #3; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:17:00 GMT
    • I have to set up my surgery for cataracts tomorrow. I have been going back and forth on which lens to get. Right now I am going for the Crystalens. I have talked to so many people that have had the other lens and they said they would get the Crystalens if they could. Most of them it was not an option at the time. I just hope it works as good as they say. Of course the Ins. company won't pay for the lens so I have to pay the difference. One lady I talked to had the older lens put in so she could see far with both eyes and she can't see her plate to eat without glasses because she feels sick if she doesn't have them on. She also has to have reading glasses hanging around her neck all the time. My brother had one lens far and one near and had double stacked vision. Had to have a prism put in one eye or something, but took him a year before his vision was correct but he still can't see the dash board when he drives and had bifocols too. The Crystalens you have vision far, mid and near. The bullseye one you have to train your brain to see right. A lot of people have them taken out because they can't get use to them. I will keep you updated on what I get for sure and how they work.

      Have to see how the first eye does and then may get the second one done if needed.

      #4; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:18:00 GMT
    • I just had my cataract surgery and had the regular folding lens put in. I can now watch tv without glasses for the first time in 40 years! But, as the previous poster stated, I can't see anything close and do need reading glasses. However, I will still need glasses anyway because I have another issue in one of my eyes that still requires correction even after the cataract surgery. So once things settle down from the surgery I'll be back to my progressive lenses. In answer to Diane's original posting, I have not had any "diagonal beam" effect at all after my second eye cataract surgery. The first time I did have the halo effect, but I also had a retina problem that needed correction, so that probably contributed to it. It took me longer to recover from my first cataract surgery than my second. Have you had your check-up yet after your surgery? Mention it to your doctor, just to make sure there isn't something else there. It must be very annoying!
      #5; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:19:00 GMT
    • I am also in need of cataract surgery. Have visited two local DR's regarding Crystalens. One recommended it and the other did not. Some background, I am 49 years old, mature cataract in non-dominant eye and early stages of cataract in dominant eye. So why did the one DR not recommend Crystalens?

      1. Age - Crystalens accommodates better in older patients; this was confirmed in an article that I read on www.osnsupersite.com. The article was a lengthy interview with DR's involved in the clinical trials. They said it was unexplainable why the lens did not work as well in younger patients in the clinical trials (the low end of the age range in the study was 50)

      2. Crystalens works better if implanted in both eye's vs. one eye - since I still have okay vision in my dominant eye there is a lower probability that the Crtystalens will accommodate. This was also confirmed in the clinical trials.

      3. Difficult to size the lens for one eye - he said that distance vision is not that good in a single lens implant; the other DR who did recommend the implant gave me a reference to call who was similar in age and circumstance and guess what? He was nearsighted in the eye that was impanted with the Crystalens. When I questioned the Dr about the nearsightedness he admitted that the lens power was probably not correct.

      Seems like the Crystalens needs more time to mature accounting for the low number of Dr's impanting. If someone has another single lens implant story to tell then please post.

      #6; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:20:00 GMT
    • I have had the Crystalens in one eye for a week today. I was amazed at how well I saw because my left eye is bad. I was really worried about getting the lens in the right eye and see double or be dizzy or something. But I have no problem with any of that. In fact I am not going to get the left eye done until insurance will pay for it. I have a cataract in it also but not real bad yet. I just went back today to have my eye checked because I felt things were not as clear at a distance as they were the day after surgery. But everything is okay. I still have to keep my eye dialated for a couple of more days. It has also been so sunny the past few days and even with sun glasses it seemed bright. I have to start using the muscle in my eye in a few days to start moving the lens back and forth for the near and far focusing. I think I just want to rush things and you can't when getting this lens. My Dr. said as long as I can see to drive with monovision as it is now I don't need the other eye done. I am also having gallbladder surgery on the 7th of April. I had to pay for the lens because ins. considers it cosmetic surgery because you don't need glasses when you are done. I am amazed how well I see without glasses after wearing them for almost 50 years. I just can't get use to being without them. I keep looking for my glasses when I get up. There are not a lot of Dr. yet that do the Crystalens but more are learning to do it every day. I'm sure later the ins. may cover the lens when done with cataract surgery. I will keep you posted in about a week when I get off all the drops and start working with my eye muscles.
      #7; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:21:00 GMT
    • Orangecrate, good info in your post. There is not a lot of data on single eye implants of Crystalens. The two Dr's I met with had done less than 70 eyes each and most were bilateral. Will look for your update in the next week.
      #8; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:22:00 GMT
    • I had the Crystalens put it almost two weeks ago. I am now of the drops that kept my eye dialated. Now my eye is working great!! I can see really far nice and clear. I had a few good days right after the surgery and then it was not so clear. But I guess you just can't rush it and do all the drops for the time needed. My left eye has a cataract too. I can see so well I don't think I will get the other one done until ins. will pay for the surgery. They paid for it on my right eye because the cataract was so bad. So I have monovision for the time being. Now I should not have any problems with my eye test to drive.
      #9; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:23:00 GMT
    • I just came back from the eye Dr. I now have 20/20 in my right eye with the Crystalens. I have 20/150 in the left eye but have monovision because of not getting the other eye done. He said the cataract in the left eye may not change for maybe two years. Have a paper saying I can drive without glasses. I was his first patient to have monovision with the Crystalens and he was really happy with the results.
      #10; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:24:00 GMT
    • Orangecrate,

      Can you comment on your up close and intermediate vision with the Crystalens eye? Up close would be reading distance and intermediate would be 2-20 ft. How well can you see the computer? TV?



      #11; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:25:00 GMT
    • lemondropkid,

      I am so happy with the Crystalens so far. Just using that eye I can read your post on the computer and your edit part from about almost 7ft. back from the screen!! My computer reading has been great from day one. Walking down the isle looking at shelf item I can read real well. Very small print at about 1 1/2 arms length away is very good. Remember I still have a cataract on my left eye so when I use both things are a little less crisp. I am having trouble reading with both eyes say 5 or 6 inches from my face. Right now things are blurred with the Crystalens but if I focus a little bit it is getting more clear. I am also still on drops twice a day in that eye yet. They said to read to strengthen the eye. So I just finished a book last night and feel my sight is getting better up close. My worry is right now I can read close with my left eye and what will it be like if I have a Crystalens put in that one. The mono vision is working very good for me right now but my sight would really be awesome with both eyes done. I'm sure Crystalens eye will improve so all should be well. I go back to the Dr. the end of June. Right now I am recovering from gallbladder surgery and my vision may be messed up because of the pain pills. Just waiting for the ins. to cover the eye. I am 59 and the Dr. said right now if you are on Medicare you can not get the lens put in even if you want to pay for it. He is hoping things change because he has a lot of people who want to get it. I have to go to the DMV because I have a form from the Dr. that I don't need to wear glasses to drive. I have only driven a few times because of all the drops I didn't feel secure and now I can't drive with my other surgery for a few more days. I have talked to a lot of people and that had the other lens put in and wish they had this lens when they got theirs. My ins. paid for the surgery but I had to pay $2400 for the one lens. Hope they come around soon and pay for the lens too. I was the first patient that the Dr. did mono vision on with this lens and he is so pleased. The only other thing is once every so often I see like I am looking through a water droplet and see a slight reflection. Dr. said that is normal it is the light hiting the edge of the lens just so. There is no problem seeing it was just a surprise to me!!

      #12; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:26:00 GMT
    • Well I don't know what my lens is called, it had a long name, but I had cataract surgery in my left eye in January 2005. I'm 45 and my eye had been bothering me for a year and got worse. I was nervous about having the surgery, but I'm happy I did! What a difference. I had no problems but that little flashing/flickering thing I get when I'm near a lamp is a nuisance, and the 3 different eye drops for 4 weeks I had to take were a mild annoyance, but it's better than the alternative.
      #13; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:27:00 GMT
    • Orangecrate,

      Good info in your post. These are the results that I hope that I would get with the implant. I am going to see another Dr near the end of the month regarding the Crystalens. As stated in my earlier post, I have already seen two doctors about Crystalens and one Dr. did not recommend and the other Dr did recommend but had me call a former Crystalens patient who informed he was nearsighted after the surgery. As a result, I have not found a Dr that I feel comfortable with performing the operation.

      Please keep me posted on your progress.


      #14; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:28:00 GMT
    • orangecrate, thanks for your encouraging posts! I am scheduled to have my first crystal lens implant June 6. It would have been done earlier, but I too have to jump through health insurance hoops.

      My Dr. will only do the Crystalens implant if I commit to doing both eyes. Since both are "ripe," that's not an issue. He believes that the muscle(s) cannot focus very well unless both eyes are done and can work together.

      The hospital where I will have the out-patient surgery is supposed to submit a "pre-determination" form, in hopes (my hopes) of getting approval for coverage for the Crystalens. This is different than a "pre-certification." If not, than I will "only" have to pay $650 per eye for the Crystalens itself.

      Now I'm worried about macular degeneration. I have floaters, and have read that cataract surgery can worsen macular degeneration (it happened to my mom). I'm "only" 51, but have been impacted by cataracts since I was 35.

      Does anyone here have anything to say about macular degeneration (or retinal detachment--another worry with cataract surgery)?

      #15; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:29:00 GMT
    • I know how you worry about macular degeneration. My mother also has it. She has had it for several years and now is 89. She get so down about it. I live 800 miles away and only get together in the summer. She still lives alone and does everything herself. My brother lives near so all the headaches are on him. I also have a sister there that is in a nursing home for 3yrs now with a bad stroke.

      I plan to get my eye done as soon as I can. My surgery was the first monovision for my Dr. with the Crystalens. He would like me to get it done sooner but is amazed at how well I am doing with the monovision. I would love to see far with my left eye but things are going okay. I just had gallbladder surgery 3 weeks after my eye so that threw a wrench in my plans on getting the other eye done. I was just going to pay for the other eye myself but it is a lot of money I can save if I can wait. I am just amazed at my far and mid vision is. I'm hoping the close in the crystalens eye gets better. I'm reading to get the muscles to work better. I am still using drops in my one eye. It is amazing how many drops are in that bottle!!! I go back to the eye Dr. the end of June. I also have floaters and I'm diabetic.

      #16; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:30:00 GMT
    • I've been waiting for several months because of the insurance.

      Mine are bad enough to be 'medically necessary,' but I have to wait til June 1 when I am allowed to switch from the PPO to the HMO, so it will only cost me the price of the Crystalens and not $250 plus the lens plus 20% of the surgeon's fee, the hospital room, etc. for about $7000 each. :eek:

      Having memorized the eye chart long ago (definitely 'without even trying'), and with the eye test administer giving me unlimited time to make out the letters (something you don't have the luxury to do with street signs, or even worse, highway signs), I would not have been in the "medically necessary" category based on my "visual accuity" results alone.

      But the Dr. does a test called the BAT (Brightness Acuity Test) test, in which he put something like a white, plastic, ice cream scooper with a hole in it over first one eye, and then the next. Then it sort of turned into a flashlight. I don't remember what I was supposed to see. Anyway, that was the test that clinched it. It seemed to tell them that I see 20/100 in my worst eye at night while driving.

      Well, that would explain why I keep turning in the "outs."

      :wave: :yawn:

      #17; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:31:00 GMT
    • My left eye is 20/150. The right eye with the Crystalens is 20/20. When looking with both eyes the right eye really does most of the work I guess. So I have monovision. Yesterday I went to the DMV with my papers from the eye Dr. They gave me the test but I could not see three boxes the way she had the machine set up. Anyway what I did see was real clear. But she kept saying I wasn't reading it right. Any ways she got someone to help and that lady knew what monovision was and said the only restriction was that I needed outside mirrors on both sides of my car!! Don't you think everyone should have them?? Any ways I do not need glasses to drive and that is good until 2010. It has been about 5 weeks and it is still hard to remember I don't need glasses and keep looking for them or poking myself because I think they need to be adjusted!! I still have blurred vision a little up close with my right eye, but I am still on drops and I have been on meds for my gallbladder surgery. I think it is improving slowly. Everything is fine if I use both eyes. It just feel funny not to have glasses on and feel the loss of protection by my eyes. Guess everything takes time.
      #18; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:32:00 GMT
    • Is the 20/150 with or without glasses? The figures I gave were with corrective lens, so even with my 20/550 corrected with glasses, I can still only see 20/100 at night in the 'bad' eye.
      #19; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:33:00 GMT
    • The 20/150 is in my left eye with a cataract and no glasses. The right eye with the Crystalens is 20/20 with the lens implant. I guess the right eye does most of the work and with both eyes no glasses with monovision it is 20/20. I will get the left eye done as soon as ins will pay something on it. Maybe within a year or so. Just depends on the cataract.
      #20; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:34:00 GMT
    • Orangecrate,

      How is your vision these days with the Crystalens? Can you provide an update? Also, can you comment on any issues you may have with glare or halos (e.g. how often? under what circumstances? bothersome?).



      #21; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:35:00 GMT
    • lemondrop,

      thanks for reviving this thread.

      I hope orange gives us an update.

      I just received my first Crystalens on Monday. Right now I'm in a good position to tell very near-sighted patients what to expect after surgery, but it will be at least a few weeks before I could say anything definitive about my vision in that eye.

      I'm scheduled to have the other one done on July 25th.

      #22; Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:36:00 GMT