Anyone dealing with cataract problems and focusing on the GG?

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CPorter

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In the past year I have been developing a bothersome cataract issue that subsequently makes viewing the ground glass somewhat cumbersome. I'll be turning 46 next month (seems a bit young to me to have cataract issues but....). Anyway, I was wandering if any other LF folks are affected by it and how you are dealing with it. I'll be talking to my eye doctor soon and discussing cataract surgery, but it could be a while before I can actually do it. Just wandering.

CP
 

Rick A

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It is thought that cataracts are caused by exposure to uV light, also diabetics are at higher risk of forming them. You should ALWAYS wear sunglasses that block 100% uV-A and uV-B rays, even on cloudy days. It is proven that uV rays penetrate clouds, and we need to stay protected. Now, the diabetic connection can be somewhat controlled by diet. There are other eye problems caused by diabetes as well, leading to blindness. Eating properly, especially foods high in vitamin A(beta-carotene) will help stave off eye diseases. Our prayers go with you, and hope all will go well with the doctor.

Rick
 

Ralph Javins

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Good morning, CP;

Rick's assurances are not invalid. The advances in ophthalmology in recent years have been amazing. The replacement lenses available with cataract surgery are remarkable, although some of them are even more stringent in their requirement for UV-A and UV-B radiation protection, as Rick has mentioned for our natural eyes. Enjoy the talk with your eye doctor. Read the literature he will provide to you. Look at other resources available on the web and other places. In looking at what is available now, you really are in good hands. (I hope the insurance guys do not mind my purloining their phrase.)

When you are done, you may find that you will need glasses still for close-up work and reading. Depends on what lens you get. In any case, those glasses will be much easier to use when looking at a ground glass than when trying to look through the viewport of a 35mm or DSLR.
 

c6h6o3

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In the past year I have been developing a bothersome cataract issue that subsequently makes viewing the ground glass somewhat cumbersome. I'll be turning 46 next month (seems a bit young to me to have cataract issues but....). Anyway, I was wandering if any other LF folks are affected by it and how you are dealing with it. I'll be talking to my eye doctor soon and discussing cataract surgery, but it could be a while before I can actually do it. Just wandering.

CP

Have your lens or lenses (is it only one eye or both?) replaced as soon as you can. My early cataracts got a lot worse very quickly. Even with my glasses off I had a difficult time focusing due to the halo effect around specular highlights. It looked like someone had put Vaseline in my eyes.

I have had lens replacement surgery in both my eyes and subsequent YAG laser posterior capsulotomies to clear the clouded membranes which developed later. The results are nothing short of miraculous. My vision is crystal clear and with my glasses on I can read the 20/15 line at my eye exams.

One other advantage: in selecting the lens for your procedure, your doctor can reduce the amount of correction you'll need with glasses after it's done. I went from -10 and -12 diopters correction in my right and left eyes, respectively, to -5 and -5.5. We could have aimed for 0 correction, but in order to do that I would have had to do both eyes within the same month. I just couldn't pay for that.

No matter when you do it, the results are so amazing that you'll kick yourself for not having it done sooner. I promise.
 

bsdunek

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My situation is similar to c6h6o3. I started having problems focusing my Nikons when I was in my early 50's. I also noted, when shooting, there were two targets. Fortunately, my rifle had two sights!

I have had lens implants in both eyes, and the laser treatment to clear the clouded membranes. As the replacement lenses are plastic, they don't focus. Kind of like a 'fixed focus' camera. I use Varilux glasses which work really well for me. I can see at all distances from about 8 inches to infinity. Additionally, my Wife commented that my photos were sharper too.

As c6h6o3 says, once cataracts start, the progress quite rapidly. The operation is easy, so don't hesitate. (It took me a while to let somebody stick a knife in my eye!) Ask around to find a good doctor and go for it!
 
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Well, I met with my optometrist today for a new prescription and an update on the cataracts, it's the "posterior subscapular" type (with the cataract forming at the back of the lens and off to one side)------since February it has gotten a lot worse. Anyway, it's comforting to hear of the folks that have had it and that they have continued to be able to work with the GG following treatment, which is my main concern. However, he said that some insurance companies won't cover it until my overall vision gets bad enough, currently mine is not, but my trouble with night vision while driving with bright lights makes it seem bad enough to me.
 

Anscojohn

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I don't have cataracts but I do have dyslexia and I'm cross eyed!:D

Jeff

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Groan.

To OP: I had lens replacement on both eyes. Someone used the word miraculous: an understatement. When that bandage came off it was like the scene in the film The Wizard of Oz wher Dorothy opens the window to all that color. Thus far have not needed the post-op laser. And it's been five years or so.
 

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Bette Davis is report to have said "Getting old ain't for sissies". That is so true - - -

Like others, I have had an issue with cataracts. They were first diagnosed about 15 years ago and advanced very slowly, but the right eye got to the point where the ophthalmologist was willing to go ahead with surgery two years ago. My experience was that the impact on vision was gradual and overall - that is, I didn't find that the cataract necessarily impaired my ability to use a loupe on the ground glass. Instead, the most noticeable problem was that I had trouble focusing both eyes on text while reading.

The surgery was a total non-event. In one morning, home by 10:30am, bandage off the next morning. The result was 20:20 distance vision and the need for mild correction for reading.

I'm still waiting for the left eye to 'mature' to the point where surgery is feasible.

Unfortunately, there is more to the story. Early last month, I awoke one morning to find that I couldn't see with my right eye. I was traveling at the time, and when I finally was able to get home and get to my doctor, the problem was diagnosed as a detached retina. That surgery was four weeks ago yesterday - and it's a much bigger deal than cataract replacement surgery. The process involves injecting a gas into the eye to form a bubble, and then remaining horizontal and face down for days to weeks while the pneumatic pressure from that bubble forces the retina against the back of the eye. When the retina starts to reattach, the doctor uses a laser to 'spot weld' it in place and repair any tears in the retina. Until the gas is absorbed, the presence of the bubble causes severely distorted vision. Subsequently, a corrective lens is required to compensate for a distortion in the shape of the eye caused by the surgery.

Retina detachment is one of the risks of cataract replacement. The warning signs are the sudden presence of 'floaters', and the sensation of flashing lights. If you encounter either sign, get to your doctor immediately before the problem gets any worse.
 

bsdunek

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You have my sympathy, Monophoto. Yes, that is much worse than cataract surgery. Not as positive thing, either. I wish you the best.
Another bad thing is macular degeneration. My Father-in-Law has that in both eyes. There's really nothing that can be done, just slow it down some. He used to do a lot of photography, and now can't even read the paper. Bette Davis was right.
 

c6h6o3

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Retina detachment is one of the risks of cataract replacement. The warning signs are the sudden presence of 'floaters', and the sensation of flashing lights. If you encounter either sign, get to your doctor immediately before the problem gets any worse.

Retinal detachment can also be caused by aging, as the eyeball shrinks and begins to pull on the membranes attaching the retina. Personally, I find the cataract surgery risk/reward ratio so low that I'm more than willing to accept the risk. I hope your retina is repaired as good as new. Sounds like an awful experience.

Another sign of possible retinal detachment is a large dark area appearing on the periphery of one's vision, like a curtain coming down. I've been told to watch for this as well. The floaters are not a concern unless there's a huge storm of them. I have two; one is a small black spot (it looks like Ansel Adams' Black Sun) and the other looks like a paramecium. The doctor is not worried about them as long as I don't suddenly start seeing a lot more of them.

But if you see these things you must get to the opthalmologist that day.
 

gedra

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I am a retired Ophthalmologist and would to comment on your situation. Posterior subcapsular cataracts are the most common type in your age group. These tend to grow quickly, cause a lot of glare and hamper overall vision much more than the Snellen vision number (20/20, 20/50, etc.) would indicate. These cataracts grow much more quickly than the garden variety nuclear cataract commonly seen in older individuals. If you are having trouble with daily activities, my advice is to see a first rate Ophthalmologist for a surgical consultation. You will probably need the surgery sooner rather than later, and the Ophthalmologist can justify the procedure to the insurance carrier based on your own personal visual disability and not solely on Snellen acuity.
Good Luck.
 

vet173

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Groan.

To OP: I had lens replacement on both eyes. Someone used the word miraculous: an understatement. When that bandage came off it was like the scene in the film The Wizard of Oz wher Dorothy opens the window to all that color.
That was my experience. The thing I notice now is surgery eye is like a schneider lens and the other looks warmer like a rodenstock. Has this been anyone else's experience.
 
OP
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I am a retired Ophthalmologist and would to comment on your situation. Posterior subcapsular cataracts are the most common type in your age group. These tend to grow quickly, cause a lot of glare and hamper overall vision much more than the Snellen vision number (20/20, 20/50, etc.) would indicate. These cataracts grow much more quickly than the garden variety nuclear cataract commonly seen in older individuals. If you are having trouble with daily activities, my advice is to see a first rate Ophthalmologist for a surgical consultation. You will probably need the surgery sooner rather than later, and the Ophthalmologist can justify the procedure to the insurance carrier based on your own personal visual disability and not solely on Snellen acuity.
Good Luck.

Interesting..............I was first told in February 09 that I had the cataracts in both eyes (by my optometrist), but they were not causing any problems. It's been in the last 2 or 3 months that that the glare from sunlight, florescent lights, headlights, etc...have really started to bother me. Went back to him yesterday and he spoke to me in more detail ..........I guess it's time to schedule a visit with an opthalmologist. At any rate, any serious thought to surgery would be after the first of the year so my deductible can be applied early in the year.

Thanks for the info.
 

Bruce A Cahn

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I had the surgery on both eyes a few years ago. Nothing to it if you have insurance. Before that I had trouble seeing distances, but not the ground glass. I was nearsighted. Right before the surgery the surgeon asked if I wanted normal lenses so I would not have to wear glasses. I said no, keep me nearsighted, so I could focus on the GG without loupe. It turned out he collected photographs, and was the doctor who fixed Jamed Van Der Zee's cataract blindness.
 

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Well.. speaking as someone who started with eye surgery back in the dark ages of 1975, and most recently had lens replacement 5 years ago ( a total of 5 surgeries) there is a great deal that can be done with diet as well as ophthalmology. The advances are impressive and the "down time" is minimal compared to 1975. Be sure and find the best you can find... too many "factory" laser operations out there these days... start with med centers at UK or nearby where you are at. I am privileged to be near Stanford, where I was re-referred to one of the leading MD's in the field, David Chang, who did amazing work on my lens replacement. Now at 52, I have opposing eyesight that can cause me problems at times, but I have become accustomed to the challenges of limited vision for the past 30+ years.... I still have floaters here and there, and I now need to use reading glasses in the field, especially in low light, but I am able to continue to work behind the GG just fine. Pick the right MD and be sure and follow their instructions and you'll be fine. Best...

Marc
 

RJS

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My wife just had catarat surgery. Ilo would advise you check around and find the best ophtalomogist - don; settle for just one opinion. It is quite ommon, but like everything, can be done poorly. If done by a really good ohthalomogist it usually works well. Don't skimp on costs, although that is not necessarily the best index. Unless you're from nother planet you've only got two eyes. They are precious. Good luck!
 

Mike1234

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My eyes are getting weak too though not from cataracts. I'm going to try a set of those jewelers' binocular magnifiers with interchangable lenses.

My father had his natural lenses replaced more than 20 years ago and his resulting vision was two steps better than 20/20 with a much thinner pair of eyeglasses because they also mostly corrected his far-sightedness. He was tickled pink.
 

sanking

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I had cataract surgery on both eyes, two weeks apart, about two months ago. The operation was a piece of cake in that it was painless and took only about 15-20 minutes per eye, and there were no complications at all. I was warned that I might feel some irritation but there was none, and within a few days my vision was better than 20/20 in both eyes. My medium and far vision is better than it has been since I was eight years old.

However, there has been some adjustment because the lens is a fixed focal length lens and I have to wear glasses for reading. This is kind of opposite to what my situation was before since I was near sighted and had great close vision but poor far vision.

Regarding retinal detachment, I had a retinal tear in the right eye three years ago, which required laser surgery. The eye surgeon who treated me for the cataracts assured me that with the modern methods of cataract surgery there would be very little, if any, additional risk of retinal tears or detachment.

My cataracts were not all that far advanced and the surgery was to some extent elective at this time since I could have gone another few years without it, but I figured that there was no point in waiting, and overall I find the improvement in vision, with the caveat about close seeing, a definite improvement over the previous situation.

As for focusing on the ground glass, you just have to wear a pair of reading glasses, or get a pair of progressive bifocals with no correction for the top and correction to see close on the bottom.

Sandy King
 
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c6h6o3

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I am a retired Ophthalmologist and would to comment on your situation. Posterior subcapsular cataracts are the most common type in your age group. These tend to grow quickly, cause a lot of glare and hamper overall vision much more than the Snellen vision number (20/20, 20/50, etc.) would indicate. These cataracts grow much more quickly than the garden variety nuclear cataract commonly seen in older individuals.

In your professional experience does having had early posterior subcapsular cataracts affect the odds one way or the other of acquiring nuclear cataracts at a later stage in life? Mine first started showing up at around age 51.
 

benjiboy

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That was my experience. The thing I notice now is surgery eye is like a schneider lens and the other looks warmer like a rodenstock. Has this been anyone else's experience.
Yes John It's been mine I had the cataract operation on my left eye about six years ago and the colour vision is slightly different in both eyes.
 

fschifano

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Groan.

To OP: I had lens replacement on both eyes. Someone used the word miraculous: an understatement. When that bandage came off it was like the scene in the film The Wizard of Oz wher Dorothy opens the window to all that color. Thus far have not needed the post-op laser. And it's been five years or so.

That is exactly the description I heard from two friends who've had cataract surgery. The result, as described by each of these men, is nothing short of miraculous.
 

David Beal

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RE different vision in different eyes.

When I had my first eye operated, the world as seen through the unoperated eye looked as yellow as a #11 filter. The ophthamologist told me that you can see this effect if you look at paintings of the masters. From youth to old age, the canvasses take on stronger yellow casts.

I, too had (bilateral) retinal detachment. One eye required laser tacking, but the other one necessitated a more radical procedure called a scleral buckle. I, too had the gas bubble in the eye and had to keep my head bent for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, everything turned out OK.

Apparently if you are over the age of 55, nearsighted, and have undergone cataract surgery, you are at pretty high risk for retinal detachment.

Good luck with the surgery. My vision (before retinal detachment) was 20/15 in both eyes. I now have 20/15 in the left eye and 20/40 in the right eye, so I need one pair of glasses to drive and one pair to read. Bettie Davis was right!
 

mprosenberg

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I have had extensive treatment for diabetic retinopathy 20 yrs ago, and lost the vision in my left eye due to subsequent retinal detachment when the vitreous retracted. In my other eye the retinopathy has stabilized but my vision is now 20/35 corrected. I have a cataract developing in that eye, and it has to get really bad to outweigh the risk of surgery.

Having said that, what I found to be of great help is to put a #8 wratten filter in my loupe to cut down on glare and stray light when focusing. At night (and with fl. light) I wear glasses that the local shop tinted to a #8 filter, and during the day glasses tinted to a 16 orange. The latter really helps cut down on the glare off of buildings, sidewalks, etc.

Mike
www.mprosenberg.com
 
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