Ophthalmology & Optometry/Cataract surgery
QUESTION: I was born with Natural Monovision. I am 73 yrs., and have never worn glasses or contacts. Two yrs. ago, I thought I'd try a contact to enhance my reading eye. My distance eye was 20/20. I found after months of trying different powers, my eyes would not adjust to the corrective lens ( dizziness, blurred vision, etc.) It also affected my distance with bluriness. So, I resorted to a +125 over-the-counter cheaters which worked fine. Now, I have a cataract in the reading eye. When the cataract is removed, they will implant a lense with a power. If I couldn't get a corrective contact to work, won't I be taking a chance of having an implant , with the same results? Causing dizziness, bluriness, etc.? I also use my intermediate range more than my reading range (pianist). So they want to have the implant be of intermediate power. Won't this really confuse my brain? If it did work, I would then have to wear reading glasses for close-up.Will I be taking a big chance if I have cataract surgery? The cataract is not that severe yet. Thank you - I have surgery set up for Jan. 8th, and I am very apprehensive!
ANSWER: Dear Beth,
Thank you for the details.
Once diagnosed with cataract, you need to see how badly this affects your routine plus the examination also determines the type of cataract and accordingly one decides when to undergo the cataract surgery.
unfortunately, there is no other option but to operate if the cataract has to be treated.
The situation may be worse if you neglect a surgery if warranted.
I suggest that you be honest with your fears and concerns with your treating surgeon.
The retina also needs to be examined when one finds that corrective lenses are not improving the lines of vision
Do meet up with the counsellor or treating surgeon and have these doubts cleared.
Sometimes, not doing the cataract surgery out of fear may not be in your best interest.
Hope this helps,
Dr Anand Shroff
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your answer, but I have discussed it with the surgeon and the physician's asistant who took all the measurements. My retina looks good, as well as no sign of any eye disease or bleeding/leaking of vessels. The cataract is still small, and doesn't seem to affect my every day life except for the fact I occasionally wear readers ( +125) for my intermediate vision, and very small print. My main concern is whether putting an inplant in with a intermediate distance is going to confuse my brain as the contact did? Then, what would happen? Neither my Surgeon or Optomitrist will give me a definite answer, as if they are avoiding my concern. Thank you again.
It is going to be difficult for the doctors to answer this, as truly the ability to 'see' comes from the central nervous system and its pathway.
yes, it is sometimes more trying to get adjusted to multifocal lens implants, but you should have no issues with a Monofocal implant and honestly, when you choose to undergo a cataract surgery, it will eventually boil down to a choice between a monofocal or multifocal implant.
An implant will definitely need to be put, as otherwise one needs to use a very high powered glass which has poor visual field.
My suggestion, when it is time to undergo the cataract, opt for a good basic lens implant which has nothing to do with what you have to see with the other eye in the current time, because chances are that you may need cataract in the other eye as well.
Hence plan with this in mind.