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(14,146 posts)
Sat Oct 15, 2022, 11:34 PM Oct 2022

Welp..I'm officially old...

Yesterday’s eye exam was not so good..can’t get a prescription for contacts ..my cataracts are too bad.. SnL sucks..could not understand a word the special guest sang .. my mailbox is overflowing w/ Medicare offers..everyone calling me “m’am “ .. my naps are what I look forward to n technology has left me damn near completely in the dust. Well..closer than that, actually. Every time I ask my niece, I see her eyes roll. Aggg... but, to tell the truth.. I’m happy 😊


(12,325 posts)
1. You won't need contacts any more when you get
Sat Oct 15, 2022, 11:38 PM
Oct 2022

the cataract surgery. They put the lenses *inside* your eye!


(27,883 posts)
7. You can still need glasses or contacts after surgery.
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 12:40 AM
Oct 2022

Most insurance will only pay for a monofocal lens. The multifocal and toici lenses can run $3,000 per eye and that's all out of pocket.

I had my cataracts done in July and thanks to a mild astigmatism I still need glasses for distance though I'm just at the line for needing them to drive (and I need them for reading). I've worn glasses since I was 10 so it's no big deal and they do hide the aging around my eyes.

The surgery is so easy and the improvement in vision so amazing I can only tell the OP to schedule it ASAP.


(19,838 posts)
8. I got the cataract done in my right eye 12 months ago and it was
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 01:35 AM
Oct 2022

fantastic. The benefit was it reduced my astigmatism to mild shortsightedness. The temporary problem is that my brain couldn't compute the right eye with the glasses I had to wear in the right, so it appeared like double vision. However I use a contact lense in the left eye, and this blends perfectly with my right eye. It's been life changing. My plan is to get the left eye done so that I won't need the contact lense.

Ps I got a toric lense in my right eye. Here in Ireland, it was 400 euro (about the same in USD). My health insurance paid the 4k for the procedure.


(2,988 posts)
11. For my wife, we opted for the optional lenses.
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 03:50 AM
Oct 2022

She is still working, and the improvement in her vision (no more glasses) was worth the extra expense. In our case is was about 2k per eye.


(12,325 posts)
12. I just took what Medicare paid for
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 07:41 AM
Oct 2022

and supplement it with mild progressives for close up and mid-distance. My distance vision is great.


(5,067 posts)
2. Getting old does suck. AARP starts chasing years before, so by the time you qualify...
Sat Oct 15, 2022, 11:39 PM
Oct 2022

You're too tired from running away to fight about it anymore.

BUT Hubby had cataract surgery and they put a lens in for some odd reason and his standard vision improved.

So he used to have to put on his glasses just to walk to bathroom and now he's accidentally driven with his reading glasses on and didn't realize it right away. He can see well enough to drive on streets he's been on frequently but can't read the street signs.

It's quite an improvement for him. Went from 1/2 thick lenses to 1/4 inch.

So maybe that might become a perk for you as well.

Glad you are happy though. That IS what matters.


(5,128 posts)
3. Right there with you. But it gets better, I think, maybe.
Sat Oct 15, 2022, 11:45 PM
Oct 2022

Just "embrace the insanity". Yeah, that should work.

I officially crossed over 9/30. The big 65!!
And yes, it's been a bitch all summer.

Hang in there.....


Had cataracts fixed last summer. The bomb!! I could see again. I'd thought it was just my glasses......lol.

Heart repair on 8/31 this year. Left side had quit, operating only at 37%. That's the side that pumps out oxygen.... to your organs, brain being one. No wonder I was not thinking clearly and fatigued all day. All better now. They (my docs, amazing team at UTSW) fixed it!!
There is so much more......

So yes. Hang in there.

Not even going to get near tech issues, not tonight.
That's a book or really long post......


(14,146 posts)
4. For sure..I'm not complaining..
Sat Oct 15, 2022, 11:53 PM
Oct 2022

I’m 75 now n have escaped my not so smart days from the 60’s on and am thankful about that.. I’ve been warned about my cataracts but I just put it off. I may be getting older but in my mind, I’m not! You know, I’m invincible..I can do anything but reality has been telling me for a while now n I’ve ignored it. Time to face up on this n other issues. Life’s been good so far but.. catching up.


(23,109 posts)
9. Everyone says, "Go for it" for cataract surgery.
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 01:38 AM
Oct 2022

Not many surgeries are as successful as cataract surgery.


(14,520 posts)
10. I'm scheduled to have cataract surgery in January.
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 01:59 AM
Oct 2022

My ophthalmologist said my eyes aren't "that" bad yet, and I shouldn't expect very dramatic results, except for reducing glare. I decided that's good enough for me, and I dont see any sense in sitting around waiting for my vision to get worse and worse.

I almost had the surgery done in 2020, but then Covid hit and all elective surgeries were put on hold for months. By the time it would have been possible to reschedule, I had decided I didn't like the ophthalmologist I was seeing that much after all, and it took me a while to settle on someone else. I'm glad I'm finally getting it done.


(4,039 posts)
13. My mother put off her cataracts.
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 10:41 AM
Oct 2022

One side got hard and difficult to remove so that side had to be done again. Yep, three cataract surgeries.


(15,574 posts)
15. If you've been told you need the surgery do so promptly
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 10:58 AM
Oct 2022

I have a friend who needed the surgery, however, he is in constant fear about the medical profession. He waited to long and he doesn’t think he can get the surgery because the cataract is hardening making it difficult for surgery. He’s in his early 80s.

I have been told I’m a candidate sometime down the road. Not sure why there’s a delay in getting it done now. I just hope the doctors will know when the right time is before my eyes suffer permanent damage.

Good luck!


(34,741 posts)
14. cataracts parts 1 and 2
Sun Oct 16, 2022, 10:48 AM
Oct 2022

cataracts parts 1 and 2

I watched Patty's right eye cataract surgery on 17 Dec. 2013
(I had both of mine done earlier that year.) They had a small viewing room slightly above the operating room and a window to look in. Couldn't see a thing; too many people around the table. Instead, they had it on a flat screen tv. A giant eyeball with some clamps holding the eyelids open. It had to be the same view the doctor was seeing.
They cut two tiny slits at the bottom and left side of the eye. The LPN said about point two millimeters (maybe it was two mm). Then they put a metal probe in there (sometimes two) with a rounded tip.
Then they smooshed around the organic lens and broke it up into pieces. It had covered the whole eye. They inserted a small (everything is small) hollow tip in there and vacuumed out the pieces of lens until the eye was clear of debris.
Then they inserted a flat, wide probe that had the new synthetic lens. It looked like a vacuum cleaner wand that's wide and thin.
The synthetic lens was folded over like a tortilla shell folded into the center from both left and right.
As soon as it was pushed out of the wand, it started to unfold into a circle.
The doctor used the rounded tip probe to guide it into place and help it unfold.
It does not cover the entire eye like the organic lens did.
He said the pressure of the eye holds it in place.
When I had mine done, the doctor said he put one in that had a focal point of about an arm's reach.
It doesn't take long at all. Some say eight to fifteen minutes.
My first one didn't take long but the second one seemed to drag and I was impatient/anxious for it to be over with. Don't know what made me feel that way.
They numb your eye with some drops and liquids.
One of them burns. You're not too keen on that one.
My anesthesiologist said that they gave me about two beers worth of anesthetic but I couldn't even notice it.
The patient cannot see diddly.
You cannot feel what they are doing and all you see are some bright lights looking down at you.
The place Patty went to did about 33 or 35 cataract surgeries that day. Big bucks for the partners that day.
Plus she had a laser procedure to help fix/lessen astigmatism. That did not take very long either.
She said it gave a little burn feeling in the eye.
It also gave a $1,400 burn feeling in the wallet.
The 'even better' laser procedure would have cost $3,900.
The laser was optional so Medicare does not cover it, of course.
She can tell that her vision is better and the astigmatism is better for the right eye.
Might or might not have the left eye done in six months or so.
We get touchy and protective about someone fiddling with our eyes.
Just plain FANTASTIC, AWESOME, INCREDIBLE that they can do such things and it's now routine.


patty's second cataract surgery

done on thursday may 08.

came out fine, maybe even better than the first.

she noticed a tremendous improvement the next day.

i watched this one also.
the doctor had to work a little harder on this one.
the cataract was a bit more developed and tougher to break up than the first.

i learned a new tidbit of knowledge about the operation.
the doctor is barefoot.
he sits on a special stool which does not look so special,,, after all, a stool is just something to sit on, right?

the stool has foot pedals. At least two pedals for water and suction and probably a third pedal to push the new, synthetic lens out of the wand into the eye.

he has to use his hands/fingers to control/position the various probes into and around the eye under the outer layer.
if he had to use his thumb or other fingers to control water and suction, the action of the finger movement would also cause the probe to wander.
NOT a place you want a lot of uncontrolled movement!

she says it still came out great and is now only wearing glasses for up-close reading.
she was seeing 20/20 out of the left eye the day after surgery.

this time, she did not have the laser surgery for the astigmatism.
that would have been out of pocket, just like last time.

when she declined the extra laser surgery, the heavy guns sales pressure kicked in.
not quite called foolish but leaning towards it and 'you really should have it done'.

will get an eye exam in about a month for a real prescription but doesn't look like it will be very strong.

coming out great so far!
(added later) ---- it seems that the second eye was a little bit tougher because she did not
have the laser treatment done.


Cataract surgery several years later.

Sometimes the artificial lens will develop a haze over it after several years.
It does not happen to everyone.
You can see but not focus.
My right eye had that happen about 5 years afterwards.
The left eye seemed fine. Key word; seemed.
The optometrist could see the haze and after a while it got bad enough that she recommended laser treatment.
The laser treatment is done by a doctor specially trained in the laser.
They dilate your eyes and really, really examine them.
They put a lens about ¾ of an inch deep on your eyeball with some sticky goop.
They hold your head very still and you look into the laser machine.
You see four quadrants of red.
Then she zaps your eye a multitude of times and she keeps zapping until she feels it is done.
She is looking at your eyeball all the while.
Sometimes you feel the zap and sometimes not.
It feels a little bit like a static electric shock when you grab the doorknob.
Not painful but noticeable.
My right eye took 39 zaps. I did not feel any of them.
The left eye took 50 zaps and I felt most of them.
Driving home each time, the eyesight was worthless in that eye.
You might see some floaters for a while.

The left eye seemed fine. Or so I thought.
The optometrist and the laser doctor both were amazed that I was claiming how well the left eye worked. It was not fine. It was just much less bad. It focused pretty well but was deteriorating at a slower rate.
It took about 8 to 10 hours for the right eye to work ok and I could easily tell the improvement.
The right eye was so much better that I could then tell that the left was not up to snuff.

Two weeks later, she did the left eye.
There is no set number of zaps.
It is her judgement call as she is doing it.
They thought the left eye would take less hits because it was not as bad as the right.
Actually it took more hits than the right and it did not take as long afterwards to clear up the vision. Next day – left eye good but not as good as the right yet.

Patty’s first eye hazed over in fewer years than mine. It took 55 hits with the laser.
Her other eye is not so bad so it might be six months or more before they do laser on it.

Supposedly it does not happen again.

It is so gradual that it gets pretty bad before you really notice it.

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