Don't Be Afraid Of A Cataract Operation
March 22, 2018 2:41pm CST
When I was 51, I had the feeling that I needed stronger glasses for my short-sightedness. Contours and outlines were blurred. I couldn’t make out people’s features anymore from a certain distance, especially with artificial light. I was a bit troubled how my short-sightedness was developing because not much time had passed since I had last seen the eye specialist. In order to cheer myself up I decided to have a new frame as well. As the optician is capable of measuring short-sightedness, I decided to skip the eye specialist and go to the optician directly. What I’m telling you here is very important. If you’re interested in the matter, please read on attentively. Yes, opticians can find out how short-sighted a person is, but they haven't got the instruments to diagnose a cataract. And as the sensation and perception are more or less the same in both cases, a cataract can be mistaken for short-sightedness. It always takes some time to get used to new glasses, but I just couldn’t get used to mine. I got a headache whenever I put them on. So back to the eye specialist! I was shocked when I heard the diagnosis because I was 51 at the time. Cataracts were for people between old age pension and seemingly dead! I learned that the average age is indeed still around 70 years, but that younger patients become more and more frequent, reason unknown. After the diagnosis – a blurring of 50% on both eyes – nothing happened. The following 2 years were really bad. I was back to my old glasses and a blurred vision of the world. A cataract must ‘mature’ before the eye is operated on and that means a blurring of about 75%. I was hoping that my eyes would become worse, can you imagine! After nearly a year the blurring of one eye had reached 75%. Hooray, the operation could be planned! I was ‘an interesting case’ because normally both eyes develop in the same way. Nobody could explain why that was not the case with me. The information I got from my eye specialist was good. I was given a leaflet with faqs which were all answered in a satisfying way. As I didn’t have any other diseases and was a ‘young’ patient (HA!), I could go to a day clinic. The operation – the pupil was cut open, my blurred lens sucked out and an artificial lens put in – lasted, preparation included – not more than 15 minutes. I had to come with someone, to sign that I wouldn’t be at home alone for the following 3 days and nights, was forbidden to lift and carry heavy weights and advised not to swim for a while. That was it. The sensation when I lifted the pad for the first time! Although only one eye had been operated on, the world looked already better to me. Sharp outlines, brilliant colours. While I had noticed that the outlines had become blurred I had not noticed that the colours had changed, too. As I saw afterwards, everything had acquired a pastel shade. Not ugly but not true, either. After another year the other eye had ‘matured’ and was also operated on, again without any problems. I have to wear glasses, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m thoroughly content with my ‘new’ eyes and can only tell everybody concerned: “Don’t be afraid of a cataract operation! Just do it (have it done, respectively)! ----- P.S. It is not uncommon to get a so-called 'after cataract'. In fact, one third of all patients get one. I got three on one eye in the first year after the operation. They were lasered away in a sitting. Again, no probs.
20 people like this
• Bunbury, Australia
This is good information. When Vince got glasses the first time, he didn't think he needed them when driving. But he wore them and was amazed that the road signs were all crisp and clear, not blurred and murky. We both need to get our eyes checked again.
• United States
It is sort of terrible that the standard time for maturation of the cataract MUST involve 75% of deterioration to finally be removed, with technology as advanced as it is how come a lesser degenerative value of lets say only 35% is shown and surgery could still be performed as cataracts are NOT like glaucoma those thin veils of protein clouding the visionary field, right ?
I have heard from all who had cataract surgery that is very simple and they had no problem. I still have no cataract and I am glad, because it will be a bit more difficult for me. I had a Laser iridotomy (a hole on the outer rim, of the iris) to correct a narrow angle glaucoma. This will create a little difficulty the day I will need cataract operation.
when i was an operating room nurse, i assisted in cataract extraction. during that time, it was not laser-extracted yet, and small stitches were done to the cornea after the cataract is removed. the operation usually lasted for less than an hour, or maybe an hour. now, the laser can do that in a matter of few minutes.
• United States
I wonder if computer use is why cataracts is happening more frequently. My boyfriend and his sister both had surgery for it when they were about 12. I'm terrified of anything to do with the eyes I can't even look at someone trying to get an eyelash out of their eye. I'm glad the surgery went smoothly for you! My father in law had it done about a year ago and he had to keep his eyes moist with drops if I remember correctly.
On the one hand, it's argued that the use of electronic gadgets may be harmful to the eyes. On the other hand, we need to have very good eyesight for our modern lifestyle. In the olden days, a farmer didn't have to have sharp eyes. (Today farmers use electronic devices, too, if they live in developed countries.) Many people were illiterate and didn't need to decipher written texts.
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
I'm waiting for my cataracts to mature so I can have the operation. Night driving is out of the question and has been for quite a while. I see the eye doctor in a couple weeks to find out the status of my cataracts and hope they have matured enough for the operation.