MY CATARACT SURGERY JOURNEY was a successful journey with my vision restored to a very satisfactory level. Many of my Facebook/Twitter friends watched from the sidelines and cheered me on. I thought some of you might want to read about it. Many of you may be too young to even think about cataracts at this time but take it from me that interim time will pass faster than you realize. So travel with me so that when that time comes, you might know more than I did upon diagnosis.
Cataract is a painless condition where the normally clear aspirin-sized lens of the eye starts to become cloudy. The result is much like smearing grease over the lens of a camera which impairs normal vision. Causes of cataracts include cortisone medication, trauma, diabetes, and aging. In fact, cataracts will affect most people if they live long enough. Diagnosis can be made when a doctor examines the eyes with a viewing instrument. Symptoms of early cataracts may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgically removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens is the only effective treatment. Removal is only necessary when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. You and your eye- care professional can discuss the surgery and once you understand the benefits and risks, you can make an informed decision about whether cataract surgery is right for you. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery will not cause long-term damage to your eye or make the surgery more difficult.Reviewed by Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS on September 17, 2009
Image Source: Dr. Umberto Benelli, MD, PhD/EyeAtlas
Text: MedicineNet – Cataracts
I heard the word cataract a couple of years ago while I was having my regular eye check up. I wasn’t alarmed because the optometrist stated it was very small and it would probably be 10 years before I would have to do anything about it. That sounds good, right? It would prove to be a false sense of procrastination. Fast forward 2 years to January 2018 and I told my husband I had to make my eye appointment now. He accompanied me because I had started experiencing moments of total blurriness especially when I was in a retail store and panicked when everything in front of me blurred and I blurted to my husband Greg that I couldn’t see. He didn’t understand at first until he saw the look in my face that I actually could not see anything but blurry light.
I went through the normal procedures thinking I needed new prescription for my glasses but that was not the case. After the initial tests, and I got in the patient chair to do the run through the eye charts, I realized I could not see the large letters with the exception of those huge letters at the top. My gut reaction was how did my eye sight diminish so fast. I have Type 2 Diabetes and then my heart seemed to drop to my stomach. I had heard all of the horror stories about blindness associated with diabetes. I could tell my blood pressure was going up and my heart started beating faster.
After the “failed” exam, the optometrist came in and his first words were “I don’t know how you are functioning.” I didn’t argue as my defenses had come down with the exam. At that time, I heard that soon to be dreaded words cataracts in both eyes and the right one was massive. He is a wonderful optometrist and walked me through the extra tests and confirmed I needed a referral to the ophthalmologist. Greg sat in during the discussion and some extra tests before we shockingly walked out referral appointment in hand.
The next step was another exam with the dreaded dilation of my eyes which is another story for another day. It was confirmed surgery was required to remove the cataracts with one surgery one week and another the following week. Schedules and what to expect, cost, recovery time were professionally discussed and instructions not to stress my eyes prior to the surgery were “stressed”.
I took a picture of my eyes before and I saw something that struck me as weird at the time. My eyes have always been a gray blue but when you look at the photo, you have to notice the change in the color which has to be due to the cataract opaqueness.
The photo on the left is prior to the surgery and is what I referred to the change of color but the one on the right is after the right eye had been operated on and not only can you tell the dilated pupil in that eye, look at the difference in color and clearness of the right over the left eye. It makes sense to me now but I thought maybe someone else can learn how a color change in your eyes might signal a cataract existence along with blurred vision.
Tomorrow I will move farther in my journey encompassing the surgery. I don’t want the blog to be so long that the interest my fail. What I leave you with this morning is I am doing fine from the surgery and recovery. It helped that I had been with my Mother when she had her surgery but with time and technological advancement, I found it very intriguing what is being done in this field. For those who are curious, I have attached the link to a video on the surgery. It may not be the same as I had performed, but it gives you the idea of the surgery.
Until We See Each Other Again……Arline Miller
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location and/or credited. Photos are not exclusive property of Sipping Cups and if known, sourced and/or credited.