cataract surgery

A Happy Patient Is An Informed Patient

watch-informed-consent-001You might ask, “What are possible temporary side effects after cataract surgery?”   To answer this question and to help you prepare when you talk with your surgeon, here are frequent questions and concerns patients ask about after surgery.

BLURRED VISION:  what are common causes of blurred vision after cataract surgery?

  • Dropless cataract surgery is routinely performed at The Harman Eye Clinic, and causes black dots in the vision for at least day or two after surgery.  Patients are instructed to sit upright for at least a few hours when the get home to help the medicine settle to the bottom of the eye, like a snow globe.
  • Dilation lasts for at least a day or two after cataract surgery and commonly causes blurred vision.
  • PCO or posterior capsular opacification occurs 10-20% after routine cataract surgery.  It causes glare at night, but is curable by a simple YAG laser procedure that takes 2 minutes to perform, but an hour and a half for the paperwork!
  • CME or cystoid macular edema occurs about 1% of the time after routine cataract surgery.  It causes difficulty reading and even distance vision.  Risk factors include diabetes, ERM (epiretinal membrane), prior retinal surgery and possibly cigarette smoking.  It often can be cured with topical steroid and anti-inflammatory eye drops.
  • Residual refractive error may cause blur until new spectacles are prescribed.  If a monofocal lens is chosen for best distance vision, then near vision will be blurred (so called presbyopia) until readers are used.
  • Dry Eye syndrome is a life long condition, that may cause fluctuating vision, and may be worse at least temporarily after cataract surgery.  It is often exacerbated by prescription eye drops (especially generic drops such as ketorolac), but we are seeing much less dry eye problems since switching to dropless surgery.
  • ARMD (age related macular degeneration) or ERM may also limit vision due to aging changes in the retina.

DYSPHOTOPSIAS are unwanted visual phenomena occurring after routine cataract surgery.

  • Negative dysphotopsia are likened to “horse blinders” with a shadow or dark crescent on the side and usually subside within days or weeks. They are thought to be more common in square edged lens implants, but have been reported in all types of lens implants, however they are not dangerous.
  • Positive dysphotopsia are less common, and are often described as an arc of light under certain lighting conditions.

REBOUND IRITIS IS INFLAMMATION that occurs usually 2 to 3 weeks after cataract surgery.

  • It is thought to be a result of the dropless medicine wearing off, especially found in darkly pigmented patients.  It happens in less than 10% of patients who have dropless surgery and is treated with topical steroids.  This is the best reason for patients to keep their 3-week postoperative appointment after surgery.

For more information.  download a free copy of our Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook, here.

Or take time to read, A Patient’s Journal – Cataract Surgery

 

 

Second Surgery, Day One – A Journal VI

I had my one day post op after my second surgery. My vision was pretty blurry due to a bit of swelling on the cornea, so I’ve waited to share.

Needle and threadNow when you decide on having a “lifestyle lens,” you really have to think about how you spend your time and what your particular vision needs are. Myself, I work on a computer and interact with patients. Ok, that’s 40 hours of my week. Typically, I’m awake about 122 hours in a week, so that accounts for 1/3 of my time. Driving: an hour a day. Family time includes reading, watching television, board games. Weekends are your typical housekeeping chores. Hobbies? Making quilts! Accurately measuring, cutting, sewing and pressing. Hand sewing the bindings on finished quilts. For me, being able to thread a needle and follow a line of stitching was vital.

Quilting

These Symfony lenses have the ability to let you see for reading, computer and driving. But super fine like I wanted required either cheaters (non-prescription magnifying glasses you find in a drug store) or, choosing a power for the implant that would provide that. Choosing that option may require glasses for driving. That is the choice I made.

Right now, I’m threading needles and hand sewing along that line of stitching!

My advice to those of you considering a Lifestyle lens? Evaluate your life! What are your visual needs? Communicate this to your surgeon. You may be an avid outdoor enthusiast, golfer, pilot or ham operator! Reading may be your passion. There’s as many lifestyles as there are people, each one unique and important.

I still have a couple weeks for my vision to stabilize, but right now I have what I can only describe as “normal” vision. I’m seeing what I want to see. How awesome is that?!?

 

 

One Week & 2nd Eye Surgery – A Journal V

One week later. Scheduled for a one week post op and second surgery. Depending on how your eye heals, your personal preference and the difference between your eyes, surgeries can be scheduled 1-3 weeks or further apart. I was fortunate to be 1 week.

I have noticed a lot of struggle between my new eye and the other one this past week. It felt like the new eye was doing about 90% of the work and the old one was trying to keep up. Those floaters from the medication last week? They were gone 3 days after surgery. What was really cool was turning on my side to read in bed without my glasses getting in the way!

The halos are much smaller around lights, more something I observe but not causing any difficulty, All in all, it’s been a great week between surgeries!

My one week check up was great. Healing well, seeing 20/20 without correction. My biggest hobby is sewing quilt tops, so I’ve asked my surgeon to set my lens power for reading or “near” vision to help me with my hand sewing.

My surgical experience was every bit as good as the first time. I even slept a bit before and during! I still don’t remember a great deal of what went on in the OR… and I can say that because I know what happens since I work there! The medication in my eye this time is more like a cloud over the outside half of my vision. I had a foreign body sensation which I knew was the incision from surgery, and artificial tears took care of that.

I’ll check in again tomorrow and let you know how I am with the dilation gone. I’m still ecstatic with my surgery. I’m very proud to be a part of the Team at The Harman Eye Clinic. It’s a blessing to help others with improving their vision, and I’m one of many staff members who have experienced the benefit of various procedures we can do. iLASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange, Cataract surgery with an assortment of lens options. It’s all good!

Second Surgery, Day One – A Journal VI

Cataract Surgery One Day Post-Op – A Journal IV

Day one after surgery. I was so excited, I didn’t sleep well. Realizing how dim my vision had become without me even realizing it blew me away! Colors are so much more…colorful! I couldn’t wait to go to work and see my quilts on display. Even washing my hands, the water seemed clearer. I got in the car to drive to work and when I turned on the headlights, the windshield looked clearer!

Amazing.

I was told to expect halos around lights for awhile. Yep, have those. But they don’t bother me. The floaters are just on the edge of my vision and not hard to ignore. Decided to see if I could go through the day without my glasses. I read the Bible without glasses (and not a large print version, either!). I worked all day in the office.

Saw my surgeon for the one day checkup. My best corrected vision before surgery was 20/25 with a fair amount of astigmatism. Now I can see 20/20 and a negligible amount of astigmatism. No glasses. I can see to read, work on the computer and drive. It’s like “normal” vision but so much clearer! If it continues to get better in the next few weeks as my vision stabilizes, well I can’t imagine.

I’m excited about life! Did the dim vision cause a bit of depression? Well, today I tried to give a hug to everyone I work with to thank them for the part they play in helping people like me see better. What a gift and a blessing.

Tap here to read A Journal V