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Cataracts In My Eyes

I’m A Writer, I Need Good Vision

Photo Credit

Cataracts In My Eyes ~ Say It Isn’t So!

Isn’t this a great, colorful photo? Later on this page, I will show you how my eyes actually saw it before my cataract surgery. I recently had my eyes checked because I’d been noticing my vision was very soft and blurry, most especially after a short time on the computer. I thought it was just eyestrain and I needed new glasses. Imagine my shock when I was told, new glasses would not help my vision…and those fateful words “you have cataracts in both eyes.” Oh, and remember this photo at the top of the page, it will be mentioned in a different way later in the story.

What Should I Do? AHA! This Can Be Fixed!

As you might imagine, anything that affects a writer’s vision is dreadful…not only do we write, but we’re readers too. As a writer, I sometimes do a lot of research for articles I write and I find that I can’t read as long as I formerly did and can’t work on my computer as long. So it’s time to do something about it, because I’m not going peacefully into that darkness. I’m looking into restorative surgery and this is the start of that journey, which will get frequent updates as the story progresses. I invite you along with me, on the chance that someday you might have a reason to want to know these things too.

Cataracts Are Caused By….

….Age, Trauma, Radiation, Genetics

There are numerous reasons for cataracts to form, including age, diabetes, infections of the eye, blunt or sharp force trauma, radiation from too much sunlight and other sources, genetics of a single gene disorder, certain skin diseases, drug use, and even some medications. Most of these sources of cataract cannot be prevented by the individual, but some can. For instance, wearing sunglasses when outdoors is a prudent thing to do. Limit drug use to only those that are necessary to good health. Smoking is also a contributory factor. If you have diabetes, follow your doctor’s orders regarding diet and insulin usage.

Vision Of Same Photo BEFORE Surgery

Update About My Surgery

Right Eye First

Remember the photo of the two little boys you saw at the top of this article? Well, this photo of the same scene shows you the way I saw it before my surgery. But I had the surgery back on July 29th, 2013, on my right eye only. This is the worst affected one Doctor Taylor says, so we’re doing it first. The left one will be done on August 15, 2013. He went over all my medical records and medications and instructed me about the eye drops and how they must be used, in the days just before surgery. Dr. Taylor also calmed my fears and gave me confidence with his competence and knowledge. Since I am an emphysema/COPD patient, he assured me that will be no problem, and I will be on the facilitiy’s oxygen during the entire procedure, rather than mine that I’m on now. I was concerned about my familial (essential) tremors, which cause me to shake a bit, and he says the local anesthesia will stop that so that I will be very still for the procedure. My thoughts are two-fold; grateful that there is a procedure that can improve my vision, and dreading the surgery at the same time. But I’d rather do this and hope I’m able to see better, than not to.


So You’ve Got A Cataract?: What You Need to Know About Cataract Surgery: A Patient’s Guide to Modern Eye Surgery, Advanced Intraocular Lenses & Choosing Your Surgeon

I Know It’s Hard To Read, But This Is Important!

It may take you a little time to do so, but reading everything you can on this condition will help you to understand more about cataracts, why they form, what the symptoms are, and what can be done about them. You can also show this information to your family and friends, so they can better understand what you’re experiencing.

Better Vision, Better Life

Photo Credit

Something From Outer Space? – No, just an eye exam!

Outer Space Simulation?

Getting an eye exam can feel very daunting, especially when they have you looking through all these different lenses on this big machine. Then they ask you “which lens is better, #1 or #2?” And sometimes they don’t look any different! You feel like you’re going to fail a test in school! But hang in there, settle down and do your best, because it will tell the ophthalmologist or optometrist what they need to know about your vision. Still it’s a funny photo when you’re looking at it from the other side.

Pre-Surgery Preparation

Eyedrops and More Eyedrops

My surgery was on Monday, July 29th, 2013. On Saturday and Sunday preceding that day, I have to do eye drops every four hours, with two different eyedrops. One is an antibiotic and one is an anti-inflammatory. I understand that both help the outcome of surgery to be more successful and it’s important to stick to the schedule. Here are the names of the eyedrops, and they are only prescribed by a physician for the very reason I’m taking them, they are Ofloxacin Opthalmic Solution and Flurbiprofen Sodium Opthalmic Solution. I wrote this on my second day of the eye drops, Sunday, July 28th. Tomorrow is the BIG day…..As of now, I have no idea when my doctor will allow me to return to my computer, but I hope he doesn’t hold me off too long. I have work to do!

Post-Op

Surgery Went Well

The day after my cataract surgery on my right eye, on the 30th of July, and I was back online. Dr. Taylor knows what I do, and his two cautions were to continue to wear my dark glasses while working to ward off the glare of the computer and not to lose track of time and work too long, stressing my eyes. Still “seeing is believing!”

Lightening the Mood

To be honest, the day of my surgery I was nervous, so much so that they gave me an intravenous dose of Versed to relax me. But the mood lightened even before the surgery when they wheeled me into the suite where the doctor and nurses were all standing waiting for me. I looked at them and said, “I guess you’re wondering why I called you all here this morning!” and everyone burst out laughing, including me.

The surgery went well, only took about 15 minutes from the time it started, and today I’m feeling pretty good. The daily eye drops are continuing, and now they’ve added another one that is to be used twice a day, for a pressure buildup in the eye. They tell me that’s not uncommon, and is one of the reasons he wanted to see me early this morning after the surgery. Dr. Taylor touched the eye lightly and painlessly with the tip of a needle and water ran down my cheek, relieving a small amount of pressure build up. He tells me this will not happen again now that the eye is healing.

Vision in the right eye is already sharper than that of the left eye, and the biggest change I’ve noticed so far are how bright colors are…even the light coming in a window is brighter and whiter. They tell me this is because the cataract causes an effect like trying to look through a dirty window. Dark glasses are a “MUST” for now.

Modern Cataract Surgery – A Refined Procedure

Here are some videos about modern cataract surgery. It isn’t as invasive as it once was, and results in much better vision than that done 20 years ago. Doctors are continually adding to their knowledge of how the eye works and using that knowledge to refine surgery.

 

 

 

I See You…With Both Eyes Now!

Yes I had my final cataract surgery!

I had my final vision correction at the Shepherd Eye Clinic on the 15th of August, 2013. This time I was not a nervous wreck, but cool as a cucumber, since I’d already been through it with my right eye. On the day after, as with the right eye, I had my post-op checkup. Just as with my right eye, my left had built up pressure. This is not uncommon, but the doctor released the pressure by just touching the eye lightly with a needle…then the water buildup ran down my cheek, just as it did with the right eye. (NO, it didn’t hurt, didn’t even feel it!) Today, I am wearing reading glasses (+175) to work and read, but do not need glasses for distance any more. I can read street signs, and all the things I could not, even with my glasses, before the surgery. It’s amazing how much brighter the world looks too. The colors are so much more vivid than they were prior to the surgery. I’m happy with the results and relieved that I no longer have to have glasses on my face continually.

UPDATE NOTES, February 26, 2019:  I have severe astigmatism in both eyes, so I will always need glasses for reading and close work, however my distance vision is excellent. If you have cataract surgery and do NOT have severe astigmatism, you will probably not need glasses at all.

I’ve been back to Dr. Taylor twice for painless routine laser zapping of scar tissue that sometimes forms in the eye after cataract surgery. The right eye was first as it was first in the original surgery, then the left. Now both are clear and my vision is close to 20/20 for distance, and with my glasses for reading and computer work. Dr. Taylor is an excellent doctor, and had me back for a routine exam, and all is well. I think that’s the mark of a physician who cares about his patients.