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The Eyes Have It: A question for my readers [UPDATED AND BUMPED]

UPDATE: I AM JUST BLOWN AWAY WITH GRATITUDE from the responses to this post… (Looking at you faithful readers with an assist from Driscoll over at Instapundit with a comment stream equally informative.) It calms and educates and enlightens me all at the same time. This has become more than a post and a comment stream. This has become a resource.

For several years now my aging eyes have more and more reported the following to my aging brain:

  • Glare or light sensitivity
  • Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Needing brighter light to read
  • Poor night vision with halos and starbursts
  • Fading or yellowing of color

All of which adds up to one word: cataracts.

I didn’t believe that they had gotten quite as bad as they had until the sensible woman in my life informed me that I had double-vision.

“No I don’t,” I replied smugly.

“Is it nighttime there?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Go outside and cover one eye.”


“How many moons do you see?”


It’s hard for me to accept milestones like that and even harder to overcome my life-long aversion to any surgery which has the word “elective” in front of it. Especially when “surgery” is followed by “on your eyes.”  Still, my cataracts have made driving at night a bit too interesting since, while my night vision recovers, my brain is asking my eyes, “Okay, where’s the road? Where’s the road?” And I recently got one of those lighted magnifying glasses for the instructions on microwave boxes. (Who the hell thinks printing  tiny yellow type on an orange background is a bright idea?)

Nevertheless, bearing in mind how long members of my family tend to live, I think I probably need to start swapping out some of the original parts while I am still standing and compos mentis.

As a result, I’m going to have a meeting regarding cataract surgery and lens replacement at the local Chico Eye Center.

What I would most like to know is if any of my readers have has these procedures done, what they had done, how they fared after the recovery, and what they might do differently if they had it to do over again.

Bear in mind that you do not need to enter your real name or real email address to comment on AD so your privacy would be secure.

Thank you,


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mary March 7, 2021, 2:58 PM

    Overall, I would rate cataract removal as 90 on a scale of 100. The only drawback I have is a result of having been nearsighted all my life. I was able to see anything if I could get it close enough! That will be a thing of the past after cataract surgery. You may need bifocals, so may not be able to get rid of glasses entirely, but the removal of the cataracts is worth it. The recovery time is very short, but follow your doctors order to protect your eyes. For the first eye, I was completely out, but I was aware, without any pain, for the second eye. It is a quick operation. You will need someone to drive you. Do it, sooner the better. My opinion, and yes, I, too, was terrified of any surgery on my eyes.

  • anon March 7, 2021, 3:01 PM

    When he was about your age, my father had, judging from the graphic in your post, the identical operation. Both eyes at different times. He went from a glasses wearing old looking guy back to the steely eyed guy I knew in my youth. He was very happy with the surgery. He did, however, revert to wearing glasses about 10-12 years later. He lived to 95 and I never heard him say anything but good about the procedures he had.

  • grace clark March 7, 2021, 3:02 PM

    I had it done years ago on both eyes, one after the other. It was a great decision……….no complications, quick recovery and you can SEE!!

  • jefferson101 March 7, 2021, 3:04 PM

    I’m in the same boat you are with the whole cataract thing.
    I quit driving at night a year or so ago because “issues”, mostly with depth perception. My ophthalmologist says they are not ready to take out yet. So I wait, endure, and can’t see much of anything every now and then.
    So it goes…

  • HappyAcres March 7, 2021, 3:04 PM

    First, thank for alerting me that my recent eye issues are probably cataracts.

    I ferried a neighbor for the procedure last year. She had her vision corrected at the same time (one eye near, one eye far) and she has no complaints at all, though I notice she’s started using reading glasses again.

    Your eyes sparkle in the light afterwards, for some reason.

    I wouldn’t get operated upon just to ditch glasses, but if I need cataract treatment I’ll do precisely what she did.

    Let us know how it goes.

  • Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat March 7, 2021, 3:19 PM

    My brother just had this done. Nothing to it. You go home in a couple of hours and wear an eye patch for a week. All he needed for pain was Tylenol, and that only on the first day. His vision in that eye is better than the original, and he’s looking forward to getting the other eye done when its cataract is “ripe” for removal. Go for it, don’t be afraid, and let us know how it goes.

  • Brian Brandt March 7, 2021, 3:21 PM

    jefferson101 is correct. A cataract has to ‘ripen’ before it is operable. Before I retired I worked as an administrator at the Scheie Eye Institute at Univ of Pennsylvania. Cataract replacement surgery with an interocular lens (IOL) was – and is – one of the highest in patient satisfaction and lowest in negative outcomes.

  • Warren March 7, 2021, 3:37 PM

    It’s been 4 years or so ago now when I noticed how poor my night vision was. Like bad enough that I didn’t feel capable (visually) of operating a motor vehicle at night. Scary.

    Had always had good vision near and far. No glasses/contacts.

    Pursued the matter with the appropriate medical authorities to find that the problem was cataracts.
    Eye doc’ said that the problem was correctable through voluntary surgery. Gah!

    Did all the preparatory tests prior and got scheduled for the procedure.

    At first the choice was, “would you prefer to have unassisted vision for ‘near or far’ ?”
    E.g., wear glasses to read or to view distant objects.

    Then the option morphed into, essentially, one eye sees near and the other eye sees far. No glasses.
    The brain, it seems, sorts out the particulars. Wow! Normal vision restored!

    I was conscious for the procedure on both eyes. There was a senior doc’ with experience and a junior doc’ doing the lens replacement. A RN was administering oxygen. Didn’t feel a thing and could hear and speak.

    Worked out great! Instant improvement noticed while I was in brief recovery. Same day in-and-out.
    To the issue of one eye sees near and one eye sees far, no problem at all for me. Day vision/night vision restored.

    No regrets. UC Davis Medical Center here in Sacramento did a great job.

    Best regards.

  • Jeff March 7, 2021, 3:45 PM

    Totally worth it. Mine had gotten so bad, I was amazed at the difference. Do it!

  • MikeyB March 7, 2021, 3:51 PM

    I had one eye done 10 years ago. Fantastic results. Waiting for the other eye to get worse (its already started) so I can have really great, clear vision. Don’t hesitate, the sooner you have the surgery, the sooner you’ll be happy.

  • hooodathunkit March 7, 2021, 4:00 PM

    From others who’ve had it done: you will see the world differently.
    Shapes you’ve overlooked, details you’ve forgotten, and colors you’ve not seen before.*
    Like the ticking clock, your brain will adjust and get used to your new vision.
    Other things will deteriorate, but the lenses will remain clear the rest of your life.

    * You probably have seen it all before, but the ocular input is so overwhelming that most people can’t remember what things looked like when their eyes were at their best.

  • Mac M March 7, 2021, 4:01 PM

    I had one eye done without having committed to do the other which wasn’t as bad. 2 days later i called my doctor and scheduled the other eye. The colors that I had been missing were vivid once again. I was awake for both eyes and had no problems. One complication that I developed a year later was the inner tissue behind the new lenses began to cloud. This happens to some of us…it did with my mother but a quick shot with a laser and the tissue was cut away, painlessly and quickly and I have had no further problems. I do wear OTC “readers” but distant vision is uncorrected and clear.

  • MIKE GUENTHER March 7, 2021, 4:10 PM

    I had both my eyes done last year, right before all the covid-19 wildness. I used to have very nearsightedness. But I’d take my glasses off to read.

    They did the first surgery on my left eye and my vision went from about 20/250 to 20/30. Two weeks later, they did my right eye and it came out 20/20. My left eye also tested 20/20 after the two week waiting period. Now I wear an inexpensive pair of drugstore reading glasses for reading books or my phone.

    The main thing is make sure to do the drops as instructed. Get the drops that are premixed with the three different antibiotics.

  • jwm March 7, 2021, 4:10 PM

    I’ve had both eyes done. The improvement is instantaneous, and quite dramatic. The procedure is quick, completely painless, and I was awake for the first one. The doctor showed a video with an animation of the procedure. It involves a tool that is a cross between a pair of tweezers and an X-acto knife.
    The anesthetic doesn’t put you out. I remember lying there thinking I don’t feel any buzz from this stuff. Next thing I knew they were numbing the eyeball. Then washing the eyeball out with iodine. How cool is this, it doesn’t hurt. Oh, look. There’s that tool. Wow, it’s just like the video. Next thing I knew I was wondering when they were going to do it. But it was over.
    The next time didn’t go as easily. Same anesthetic, but although the brain was on vacation the body knew what was about to go down. My eyeball went nuts, and wouldn’t stay still in the surgeon’s light. They were just about to cancel, and re-schedule me for a general anesthetic, but the anesthesiologist just goosed the dose a little. I went out for long enough for them to get it done.
    I was offered a lens that adjusts for near and far just like the original equipment, but I was paying out of pocket, and I couldn’t afford the deluxe model. No matter. The ones I have work just fine. All in all I can’t recommend it highly enough. Go for it.


  • Hale Adams March 7, 2021, 4:12 PM

    I have nothing to say on the subject, Gerard, except to cheer you on. Go for it!

    Oh, and thank goodness the “fried egg” glasses are obsolete.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • Rust March 7, 2021, 4:14 PM

    I was such a scaredy cat that I canceled my first appt to have the first eye done. “These are my eyes, for God’s sake, what if something goes wrong!” A good friend who’d had both eyes done put on her soothing voice and walked me through what the experience was like for her. I rescheduled.

    Pre-surgery, over about an hour time, I received a series of drops in the target eye to deaden it. An IV was in place in which to administer the “very” mild sedation (and I have no doubt they must have put something in there for amnesia, as I remember very little of the actual procedure although I was awake and communicating the entire time.) The whole thing was a cake walk for me, and I’m one of the most surgery averse persons I know.

    I was given a protective perforated eye cup that was taped on and told not to remove it until I saw the ophthalmologist the following Monday morning (the procedure was on Thursday). When the cup was removed I could see! At that point I was raring to go to get the next eye done but they told me I needed to wait about a month to make sure the first eye healed satisfactorily.

    Prior to surgery I had to make the decision as to what distance I wanted my vision corrected. Did I want it set to 20/20 for the computer/reading or for distance? Whichever I chose I would need corrective eyeglasses for the other. Since I spend so much of my time on my laptop that was my choice, and after a lifetime of wearing coke-bottle-lens and very expensive 1.74 thin lenses (I was legally blind before the cataract surgery), I am now able to buy regular glasses with thin lenses for distance/driving with only a slight correction, corrected to slightly higher than 20/20.

    I cannot recommend this procedure strongly enough. It changed my life! …although every morning I still wake up and reach for my glasses on the bedside table, after nearly a year. After a lifetime of doing so, it’s a hard habit to break.

  • Roger March 7, 2021, 4:23 PM

    I had my cataract surgery three years ago down the road in Lacey at the Clarus Eye Center.  I opted for the Symfony lenses.  I am quite happy with the choice I made.  You will notice a fair bit of concentric ring glare at night,  but you get used to it pretty quickly. 

    Some lenses will improve distant vision and others provide better near vision.   The Symfony multifocal lenses give me pretty good distance and medium vision so that I only need to occasinally use low power glass for really small print.

  • Greg March 7, 2021, 4:31 PM

    Lens implant. 6 minute surgery. I can count the hairs on a fly’s ass now. Be sure to get the extra diagnostic if offered, it’s well worth it to get dialed in 100%.

  • tc March 7, 2021, 4:39 PM

    Everyone I know that has had cataract surgery in the past ten years has been quite pleased with the results; my SIL went from damned near blind to 20/15. She was 60 when she had that done. I’ll have it when necessary; I have a small cataract (and have since they noticed it 40 years ago) but it’s not given me trouble.

  • Ga Gator March 7, 2021, 4:53 PM

    Great question, Gerard. I’m in the same boat with you, but with glaucoma as well. I’ve been putting off the surgery but now think it’s time. Thanks all, for the ‘enlightenment’.

  • Dave Halliday March 7, 2021, 5:12 PM

    Go for it – had mine done 10 years ago and totally happy with it. I opted for the fixed focus and optimized for distance vision. I use cheap 2X readers for any close work. I did not choose the varifocal lenses as I do a lot of photography and precise focus is important to me. I needed glasses for distance, I gave those to the Lion’s Club and now just need cheap readers.
    What really surprised me was how yellow my vision had become – when the first eye was done, it was night and day.
    Also, your vision will be wonky for the first day or two and it will take a week or two more for everything to settle down – now it is better than new.
    Go for it – you will be very happy.

  • Red March 7, 2021, 5:30 PM

    Cataract surgery was the best thing that I had done. I had both eyes done one month apart. One thing you will notice is everything appears blue and clear afterwards.
    I had the new lenses done for 20/20 distance plus there was a blue light correction added for glare/night driving.
    It is nice being able to see again and not legally blind. I do have bifocal glasses for driving and so I can see the dashboard. Also have computer glasses for the monitor/keyboard. There is an after effect to the surgery. It is called Posterior capsule opacification https://eyewiki.aao.org/Posterior_capsule_ opacification
    This normally shows up about a year after. A person will have diminished low light vision. A few seconds with a Yag Laser clears the problem up. Never have to have it done again. Good luck and have fun.

  • brinster March 7, 2021, 5:42 PM

    Had both eyes done at different times. It got really bad driving at night. The glare was so bad from oncoming traffic that I didn’t know if I was on the road or not. The real clincher was when I rounded a curve, and nearly ran over a gentleman. Didn’t know he was there until he got onto the sidewalk. I was “awake” for both surgeries. It was weird getting your lens out. Once it’s taken out, all you can see is light until the artificial lens is implanted. Got the standard eyepatch and was instructed not to bend over until the patch was removed. All in all, a piece of cake. Be not afraid Gerard.

  • Kevin in PA March 7, 2021, 5:43 PM

    Well, Gerard, I’m about a dozen years your junior and during my last eye exam was informed that I have a slight cataract developing. Not serious now, but will need to be watched.
    I had noted a decline in vision in recent years, though I have worn glasses for many years, my vision seems to be getting worse faster. I have also gotten to the point of not wishing to drive at night because my eyes don’t seem to adjust and the glare is quite intense.
    In any event, I wish you the best in dealing with all of it and I must say that I’m sort of glad you raised the question, because I learned a heck of a lot from the comments.

  • brinster March 7, 2021, 5:46 PM

    Kliban cartoons? Loved his cats.

  • gwbnyc March 7, 2021, 5:48 PM

    both lenses replaced, new eyes.

    some varying, mostly every day, crystal clear vision with unlimited depth of field.

    vision I never had prior.

    I can use iron sights again.

  • Snowgoose March 7, 2021, 5:55 PM

    I had both eyes done about 3 yrs ago. The docs said I could have them corrected for good close vision or good distance vision or one eye corrected for each. No guarantees for how successful this might be. Previous to this I have for many years needed corrective lenses – contacts or glasses. As a hunter and a gun guy there was never any question. Now my distance vision is better than 20/20. Where oncoming headlights used to look like the stars in Van Gogh’s Starry Night, now they are very bright pin points of light. And the stars… my God. I am exceedingly happy with the results. I need reading glasses for any kind of close work but that’s okay, it’s what I expected. Modern medicine is a marvel. Oh, and second best thing was rotator cuff surgery. Just do what the therapist tell you to do….

  • Leonard B Haynes March 7, 2021, 6:04 PM

    Same situation as you. Starry lights at night. Colors fading. Road sign letters with fuzzy edges. Had laser cataract surgery at Austin Eye (Texas) in 2015. 20/20 in both eyes because I got the upgraded lenses rather than the standard lenses. Costs a bundle more (about $4,000 per eye) than what Medicare will pay for the standard lenses but you do not need reading glasses and the results are extraordinary. Pay the money and get the best. It is your eyesight and it is worth it.

  • Alexandria March 7, 2021, 6:08 PM

    Hubby was an optometrist. Only thing I can say is he was horrified at doctors giving people one eye close vision and one eye far. He said (no offense to previous posters) it made you stupid (he was not one to mince words). Also, you lose your depth perception. Just a FYI.

  • Zaphod March 7, 2021, 6:35 PM

    Have not had it done myself, but one of my late parents had intra-ocular lens replacements prompted by cataracts during the 2010s. Procedure was relatively quick, painless, and the patient who had worn corrective lenses for daily activity since teens was able to mostly function without spectacles afterwards – only reading glasses were necessary. Heard zero complaints — and this from an individual not noted for not complaining. So both thumbs up.

  • Doug March 7, 2021, 6:44 PM

    Wow! What an unbelievably helpful comment thread!

  • H (science denier) March 7, 2021, 7:00 PM

    Had the interocular (Torit brand) done in 2011, so ten years down the road, to say that I’m still very pleased would be a tremendous understatement. For me, it was, quite literally, a gift from God, because I’d had to wear glasses from age 6 to nearly 60, and no more. I went in with 20/480 and walked out with 20/15 in both eyes. Right eye first, left eye three weeks afterwards. First thing was to buy a pair of cheap sunglasses; quite a thrill because I’d never before had a pair of sunglasses that did not cost several hundred bucks.

    The one hiccup occurred during the three week wait for the left eye to be done. Because I could see a-way the heck over yonder after the first eye was done, it did not occur to me to remember, nor was I warned, that halos from oncoming car headlights would be still be seen in the left eye. So instead of removing the right lens from a pair of glasses for driving at night, I’d just ditched them altogether when I went out of town for a week. It wasn’t much of a problem, I would just close the left eye when meeting cars at night and I didn’t have to drive much at night to begin with. But, something to be aware of if you have to go out at night before the second eye is done.

    The interocular lenses provide no ability to focus on near objects, so went down to Wal-Mart and bought a cheap pair of “cheater” reading glasses. No big deal because bifocals had been required to read anyway. But I learned to stash extra pairs in all the cars, the work shop, range box, etc., to make sure I had an extra pair around if necessary. A couple times, they’ve come in handy.

    Oh, and one more thing, you can buy safety glasses with “cheater” inserts for reading and whatnot, and they’re not that expensive, especially when it comes to your one and only pair of eyeballs. Presumably Amazon can hook you up but I know for sure Grainger has them because that’s usually where I get mine.

  • ghostsniper March 7, 2021, 7:06 PM

    I have eye problems but not this kind, though after reading all these positive comments I wish I did. Not really, but you get the eyedea.

  • Charley Hua Chu March 7, 2021, 7:22 PM

    Sorta like turning on the windshield wipers after following an 18 wheeler too closely in snow mush.
    Jeez I can see now.

  • Harpoon March 7, 2021, 7:37 PM

    You know when you’re watching an older TV show, and one scene was shot on film, and the next scene is digital video? How much crisper the digital scene is, how the colors are more vivid? That’s what it was like.

  • Jane Whitson March 7, 2021, 7:43 PM

    Gerard, sounds like a cataract surgery might help. I had one in my right eye 18 months ago and was told I might never need surgery in the left one.

    However, the very best thing I’ve done for my vision has been correcting blue light strain, blurriness and eye fatigue emitted by my phone and computer by getting glasses that block and neutralize blue rays. It helps my vision immensely. I had no idea!

  • PA Cat March 7, 2021, 7:57 PM

    Gerard, don’t hesitate to have it done. According to the folks at Johns Hopkins, cataract surgery is the single most commonly performed surgical procedure worldwide. I admit I was nervous when I found out I had cataracts, because one of my uncles had cataracts removed in the early 1980s, and he had had a slow and painful recovery– but I found out that today’s techniques (there are three in common use; my doc prefers phacoemulsification) are much faster and more accurate, and a lot easier on the patient.
    Frankly, the prelims take much longer than the actual surgery. In my case, I had to go back to the ophthalmologist after the initial diagnosis so that he could take measurements of the various structures inside the eye and make the calculations needed to select the right size of the new lens. Next stop was a hospital-required preoperative appointment with my primary care doc. When she said that cataract removal is “a piece of cake” because she had had it done herself, I quit worrying.
    My eyes were done separately at Yale’s outpatient eye clinic– but only one week apart. It took much longer to go through the clinic’s sign-in, questions about allergies, and preop medications (three separate doses of eye drops to paralyze the eyeball, plus a mild sedative) than the actual surgery– my ophthalmologist took only 7 minutes per eye to do the job. I had to hang around about half an hour afterward until the sedative wore off and have a friend drive me home, but the staff could not have been friendlier. I was given tea and a fresh tasty blueberry muffin along with the opportunity to watch baseball on the TV rather than CNN. It was only a Mets game (this is Gerard’s cue to laugh), but just to see the field and the players clearly again . . . was wonderful.
    Other readers have mentioned the antibiotic/anti-inflammatory eye drops you will need to use after surgery– they are critical to recovery and should be administered just as your doc tells you. My ophthalmologist gave me a come-to-Jesus lecture about what can happen if you think the drops aren’t needed and don’t use them.
    I opted for 20/20 distance vision with 2X reading glasses for working at the computer. No complaints and no post-op complications. And as others have mentioned, I too was surprised by the brightness of colors and overall clarity of vision after the surgery. Go for it– you won’t regret it– and you’ll make fewer typos for Miss Olive to correct.

  • Auntie Analogue March 7, 2021, 7:57 PM

    My dear Mr. Van der Leun, you seem to have sparked a supernova of encouraging comments.

    At threescore and ten I still get by with pretty mild VA-issue bifuckles, but it’s good to learn from the joyful comments that if the future will have my eyes go the same way as yours and as the commenters’, I’ll know to fear not.

  • RigelDog March 7, 2021, 7:59 PM

    OMG Gerard, you’ve got to get this done pronto! And no whining—you have been able to avoid getting the surgery for longer than most people. Unfortunately I had to have the surgery a few years ago at a relatively young age. It went very well, and I had an top-notch ophthalmologist. The first eye’s surgery, I had a little pain during the procedure—but the doc actually listened to me and for the second eye’s surgery a few weeks later, he used more numbing agent for my eye and slightly different equipment. No pain at all that time. You won’t realize how dim and yellow everything has become until you get the cataract removed and everything is crystalline again.

    Finally, you will probably have the opportunity to cure any visual deficiency that you have needed glasses or contacts for. I was very near-sighted all my life before surgery. I could have gone for 20-20 vision with cataract surgery, but elected monovision because I read a LOT. Now, with one eye about 20-20, and the other about 20-4o, I can read without glasses. Instead, I only need glasses with a weak prescription in order to see crisply at a distance, such as driving or watching TV.

    Good luck!

  • Engineer Bob March 7, 2021, 8:41 PM

    Like everyone else is saying, go for it !

    I went from 20/200 (worst eye) to 20/20. I was able to drive at night again. “White” colors lost a lot of yellow, and became really white again. All this with very little pain.

    You would have many choices. Some will be covered by insurance; some will cost out of pocket. I paid extra for astigmatism correction to get better vision. I didn’t pay for any of the changeable focal length options, because I think Murphy lives in any complex moving mechanism. I set the target focussing distance to roughly 4..8′, because I spend so much time in front of computer screens. (I can actually read my laptop comfortably at 18″.)

    I do not have to use readers, unless the font is tiny or the color choices of the designer are really terrible. I use dollar store readers then. For driving, I’m legal as is, but usually use distance glasses for perfected vision.

  • Jon March 7, 2021, 8:42 PM

    My wife had it done a few years back – absolutely no problems. Gazing deeply into her eyes was a bit disconcerting for a while. Looked like something out of an old sci-fi movie. When the doc told me I was on the same path, I stubbornly said, “No I’m not!” Started taking bilberry (Now brand if it matters). A year later my vision had improved to the point I needed new weaker glasses. The doc examined my eyes and just said, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” Aside from *bright* yellow urine there doesn’t seem to be any down side.

  • julie March 7, 2021, 9:37 PM

    My mom had hers done a couple years ago, with results as miraculous as everyone above has said. Which is good to know, because I may have the start of a cataract in one eye already. Nice to know that some day, mine can probably be fixed along with the need for glasses, with little likelihood of problems.

  • WiscoDave March 8, 2021, 1:43 AM

    I’ve had only one functioning eye since 1984 or so. A few years ago I detached the retina in my good eye. It was pretty bad before I had it attended to. Realized it was something I couldn’t sleep off. Had some pretty extensive surgery done on Good Friday of that year. Things turned out OK. I was lucky to have some of the best in the nation work on me. After surgery like this it is very common to develop cataracts. So, more surgery. There was more concern with mine because of the previous surgery and it’s the only one I have. Things go bad, unlikely as that is, I’m blind.
    Went through it at the same place (Eye Institute at Froedert in WI) and all went well. I chose distance over near and I haven’t seen this well since the 4th grade. It has truly been amazing. The only trouble is that since I’ve worn glasses (4th grade) I could always bring things close to see what I was working on. No more. That has been frustrating. I have “cheater” glasses all over the place, including the tool box on the tractor.
    No issues. Well worth it for me.

  • Gnawbone Jack March 8, 2021, 2:33 AM

    I have had issues in both of my windows to the soul and survived. Have faith and the surgery.

  • buddhaha March 8, 2021, 3:13 AM

    I have nothing new to add; all of my circumstances have been covered by previous posters, but I will add this as one more vote for “what are you waiting for?”

  • Richard March 8, 2021, 3:49 AM

    Had it done three years ago. It was great. No pain or discomfort. I had astigmatism and farsightedness. Lens corrected astigmatism and I only need reading glasses. Biggest change was sitting on my porch the next day and realizing “oh, that’s BLUE” . For years I had been seeing through a yellow filter. Do it!

  • ghostsniper March 8, 2021, 4:28 AM

    For you folks that paid cash, what is the price range for this procedure?

  • redclay7 March 8, 2021, 4:52 AM

    Mr. VDL – Coming from someone who has been severely nearsighted and almost legally blind for most of my life, cataract surgery, even mine seven years ago can best be described by myself thus: It’s a gift. To be able to see well after 55 years is a revelation. Many folks probably expect perfect vision as a result, but even if your eyes only get to 20/30 or 20-40 it’s still a gift. And this was from surgery with a new lens seven years ago. The procedures and offerings have probably gotten even less burdensome. Depending on your particular eyes and situation you will probably have to choose a set of interocular lenses that will meet most of your needs, not all of them, as no lens can change shape and adjust like the real thing. If you are nearsighted you may opt as I did for good middle and distant vision and have glasses to correct any near vision issues. Getting new lenses to replace the cloudy, yellowing ones is like a photographer’s choice of depth of field – what areas do you want to be able to see most clearly? Near and medium distance or middle and far distance, for example. Also, be aware that that yellowing of the lens in your eye will also shift your color balance perception. As a photographer I had issues with others saying my photos were off color, but when I had the surgery, I could see true whites again. Also, be aware that at night headlights and streetlights will become blinding, esp. the newer LED headlights on the roads. Again, as a photographer you will now have a new lens that transmits more light to your eye. You will need sunglasses outside most of the time when sunny. I could say more, but your adventure is about to begin. Good luck and make choices that are best for you. Redclay7 3/8/21

  • Paula March 8, 2021, 4:55 AM

    I’m going for this procedure next Monday – starting with my left eye. Medicare would have paid for a basic lens (near or far only), but I’ve opted for a Multifocal IOL. The price is $1875 per eye, plus $200 for an extra measurement they will take at time of surgery (since I previously has Lasik).

  • Annie March 8, 2021, 5:53 AM

    Have both eyes done promptly, by the team that does whole range eye surgeries and medicine, and do exactly what they tell you to do in recovery. Do it soon – before MedicineAsWeKnewIt is gone for good. Right now you have the chance that your surgeon will know medicine, not just racial or sex politics. That won’t last long.
    Ophthalmology has been doing cataract surgery for a long time. They know a lot about eyes. Techniques and devices have improved like magic. It will be fine.

  • Randys Rules March 8, 2021, 5:53 AM

    I finally had both eyes “done” about a year ago. Total fear of having anything in my eyes – no contacts, eye drops were almost impossible – melted (my wife had one done before my first one with absolutely zero probems…). The experience was peaceful and painless. I had one eye done for reading distance and the other for “multi-focus” (seems more “long range” than “multi-“…).

    The most difficult part was deciding which lenses to select.
    I don’t wear glasses (except sunglasses) now, only carry them because my current driver’s license still requires “corrective lenses”, a term that doesn’t recognized implanted “corrective lenses”.
    Just.Do. It!

    All the best.

  • Annie Rose March 8, 2021, 6:01 AM

    Just do it. My elderly dad, who had always had very poor vision, finally had this done. He had put it off for years. He too had been terrified of surgery, especially on his eyes. His vision was so improved that he no longer needed to wear glasses, even to drive! It was amazing. Over time he did eventually need mild readers when his eyes were fatigued, but could still drive with no glasses. The procedure was quick and so was his recovery. My mom refused to get the surgery and became increasingly visually impaired. She could no longer drive (but thought she could), had to rely on my dad to do more and more things for her, stopped enjoying things that she used to love, and then started falling—all because of her poor vision. Being less active, her health declined more and more. Get the surgery and live life! Do not go quietly and blindly into that good night.

  • Ray March 8, 2021, 6:06 AM

    Go for it. I had stopped driving at night because it was to dangerous, I cousdn’t see. After surgery I was fine night driving.

  • TonyR March 8, 2021, 6:53 AM

    I had my lenses replaced, one at a time, a few years ago.
    It was easy, painless and my vision improved instantly.
    I went from coke bottle glasses to reading glasses. Everything is brighter.

  • tired dog March 8, 2021, 6:54 AM

    Done in 2016, both eyes.
    Now, several years on, there is some blur caused by a ‘film’ or perhaps ’tissue growth’ over parts of the lenses which the doc says can be fixed by way of a ‘laser treatment’.
    Odd, I didn’t remember that entering pre-decision discussion.
    Will see how that goes.
    Initially the results are excellent but ask about extended term issues.

  • Terry March 8, 2021, 6:57 AM

    Super thread here. I am the same age as Gerard and have similar vision “issues”. I have been very reluctant to get any surgery performed on any of my, parts and especially eyes.

    I do close precision machine work and am really having issues with seeing what I need to see, accurately and clearly.

    Also, it would be great to be able to use iron sights again. A wink to gwbnyc.

    Now I need to find someone to do the procedure.

  • John The River March 8, 2021, 7:01 AM

    No direct experience, yet. But I lived through the whole procedure when my mother had the cataract operation performed on one eye. Unfortunately the operation didn’t go well and after several weeks of return visits due to the continuing headaches and pain it was finally discovered that the eye had become infected due to the procedure. In the end she lost 85% of her vision in that eye.
    Somehow the examinations at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston, didn’t catch the infection in the course of two separate exams, which went untreated too long.
    So all I can say is don’t be afraid to go back if you are experiencing any problems in the aftermath and demand a full and careful examination. And get references on the doctor performing the operation.
    Good Luck.

  • BillH March 8, 2021, 8:00 AM

    Cataract urgery is a piece of cake, or as close to a piece of cake as any surgery can be. Had it 30 years ago, restoring my eyes to 20-20. Things 20′ away are clear as a bell, closer or farther away blurs with increasing or decreasing distance (the replacement lenses were rigid in those days, don’t know about now). My wife also had cataract surgery 30 years ago, and had them set one lens to 20-20 and the other to some reading focus. She says that’s the way to go. I wouldn’t know.

  • Gordon Scott March 8, 2021, 8:02 AM

    57 comments, and total unanimity. One doesn’t see that very often.

  • leelu March 8, 2021, 8:09 AM

    Do. It.
    I had it done about 4 years ago. Relaxing anesthesia (“Like a couple of martinis”) so awake for the whole thing. Zero pain. Got a clear plastic eyepatch to wear for a week when going to bed, so as not to puit pressure on the eye.
    Came back about a month later to do the other one.
    Best way to describe the change (besides better focus) was colors. Old lens colors looked like they were under a 60 watt incandescent bulb. New lens looked like they were under a massive LCD array.
    Did I say “Do it”??
    Do it.

  • Gordon Scott March 8, 2021, 8:21 AM

    Ghostsniper, I found a clinic in Orange County CA that only accepts cash. The cost is $3149 per eye, and that includes routine followup, but not the special antibiotic drops. They will sell you those for cost.

    The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is also a cash-only joint, but they do offer financing. Their care often includes accomodations and meds, which are not covered by the OC clinic. The SCO price is $4,000 per eye.

  • gwbnyc March 8, 2021, 8:22 AM


    I got the distance lenses, horsed around with perscription glasses to read. the perscription would change, so I went to ten dollar (three-pac!!) dimestore reading glasses. perched on the end of my nose they render me professorial.

    chix dig it.

  • Ray March 8, 2021, 9:15 AM

    John the River,
    That is surprising. I got four medicines to put in my eyes, pressure reducers, steroids, antibiotics. They had to give me a schelule of what medicine to put in my eye at what time. This went on for a month.

  • EX-Californian Pete March 8, 2021, 10:57 AM

    Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with great vision with the exception of “floaters,” and occasionally having to wear 1.0 or 2.0 power reading glasses when doing closeup work on firearms, like doing stock checkering (under 20 LPI) or fine-detail relief carving.
    (Despite being burdened the Welsh/Druid “green eyed curse”)

    Gerard, I wish you the best of fortune getting your eye problems corrected, and a fast healing period.

  • John Fisher March 8, 2021, 11:32 AM

    I second DO IT SOON!. Just had my second eye done 3 weeks ago. Mostly painless and no complications. My doctor recommended against correcting my astigmatism so I will have glasses for distance and reading when things settle completely in a couple more weeks.

  • James ONeil March 8, 2021, 11:53 AM

    Cataract surgery? T’ain’t no thang. I kinda enjoyed it, awake and watching it from the inside.

    I was awake when I had a couple of stents installed as well, and that was interesting, watching them push a catheter from my crouch to my heart.

    Awake and reasonably alert during surgery; I have to admit one’s ears are carefully attuned, listening to assure no one in the operating theater mumbles or whispers, “Oh sh_ _!”, -but hey…

    I kinda like your two moons, Gerard, you have read Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, haven’t you? 🙂

    One thing I’d recommend (that I didn’t do) is consider letting them build one eye for near and the other for far vision. Even today I’m not sure I’d go that route, but worth exploring.

    My new lenses installed nine years ago. My opinion, the benefits well outweigh the risks.

  • Rick Moser March 8, 2021, 12:25 PM


    I had cataract surgery a couple years ago. Two things..

    I opted for the multi-focal option. Theoretically allows far distance and reading w/o glasses. They work OK; I still use Walmart readers to read comfortably. The far vision is 20/20. The problem I have with the multi-focal implants is that there is significant halo-ing, or starburst, issues with nighttime lights (including street lights, headlights and stars). It is a little disconcerting and I am adapting, but if I did it over again, I would opt for the single far vision corrective lenses (including correcting for astigmatism as required) and bite the bullet on having to wear reading glasses.

    The second consideration is that, if you are anything like me, something around you is always fixing to blow up, blowing up, or just got done blowing up. Glasses do provide a fair amount of regular everyday eye protection. I had some glasses made as progressive bi-focals with no far distance correction.

  • Rust March 8, 2021, 12:56 PM

    “…something around you is always fixing to blow up, blowing up, or just got done blowing up.”

    So true. Your post made me chuckle as I remembered a baking pan full of russet potatoes that inexplicably exploded right in my face when I removed them from the oven. Scalding hot mounds of potato mash that left burns on my skin and completely coated my glasses. They saved my eyes.

  • Daryl March 8, 2021, 1:02 PM

    Was like looking at the world thru a fresnal lens, and when the bandage came off I was really taken back at how bright and clear the real world was. I was pretty near sighted and really miss the instant electron microscope I had by looking over the top of my glasses.
    Be aware of the secondary cataract (forget the official word for it) where scar tissue grows over the lens. This happened to both eyes, first eye about six years later and second eye 12 years after surgery. It was just a quick pit stop at the eye doctor for a quick laser zap and all was clear again.

  • Paul S March 8, 2021, 2:05 PM

    What a timely thread! I am having the surgery this month and I have to choose between the standard lens and the Toric lens which also corrects for astigmatism. Any advice one way or the other? Standard lens = less money, glasses required to correct for astigmatism and reading. Toric = more money, glasses not required for distance, readers required. Either way, I will continue to wear glasses when outside for protection.

  • Terry March 8, 2021, 2:22 PM

    I chose a lens, I believe made by Alcon (https://multifocal.myalcon.com/contact-lenses/multifocal/#alcon-multifocals), that gives me vision at all distances. It works. Sometimes I need more light for close up. But there is nothing like getting rid of contacts and glasses completely. (Kept a few readers. Tiny thin gray type on a computer screen can be problematic.) You have to pay more out of pocket, because insurance won’t cover these. But in my mind if you’re going to go for it then go for it. I donated a huge box of glasses and threw out dozens of contact lens cases. BTW, you save money on all that. My surgeon says people are more frightened of eye surgery than they are of Joe Biden. Trust me, it’s nothing. It takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the up close but they do. See: https://healthresearchfunding.org/14-pros-and-cons-of-the-cataract-surgery-multifocal-lens/

  • Andrew R March 8, 2021, 2:23 PM

    I had cataract surgery in August of 2019, at 59 y.o.I was the youngest patient at the clinic (everyone else gave their birth years in the ’40’s when asked). I was scared of having it done. Surgery? My eyes?!? I’m a photographer, artist, I love movies and reading… Surgery on my eyes?!? Then I failed the vision test when renewing my drivers license. Oops.
    So, I got both eyes done a week apart. They said the anesthesia would put you in “twilight”. Yup, pretty out of it. Don’t remember much. And it went very quickly. I had to wear those wrap-around sunglasses outside to keep any dust out of my eyes, and had antibiotic and steroid eye drops for a few weeks. But I’m back to 20/20 vision for the first time since I was 8 y.o. I’m wearing cheap reading glasses for anything closer than a couple feet (and it’s a little odd still, not seeing the food I eat very sharply – never thought of that before.).
    So no worries Gerard. Go and have it done. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

  • John Haenn March 8, 2021, 4:00 PM

    Gerard, I’m 67 and had worn contacts for roughly 40 years. Vision about 20/400. Basically blind without the contacts. The last few years I had trouble keeping a script that worked for me. Finally the optometrist said he couldn’t do anything else and that if I got the cataracts taken care of the vision problem would be solved. I did one eye at a time. Operation time: 7 minutes. Was awake but drowsy. Wore patch only 3 nights for sleeping. The dilation wore off after the first nights sleep and the vision in the first eye was perfect with a range of colors I hadn’t seen in years! The second eye went the same way. I still need readers but my vision went from 20/400 to 20/15! The colors went from sepia to HD! It’s going to be remarkable for you. I have enjoyed your writing for years. Thank you.

  • John A. Fleming March 8, 2021, 4:06 PM

    Had it done on one eye. I noticed it because I couldn’t use peep or even plain iron sights anymore. They said it’s going to happen on the other eye, but for now it’s OK, and I said don’t fix what isn’t broken. I tell folks the procedure is putting an aftermarket part into an OEM assembly that was never designed for periodic maintenance. The aftermarket part comes with functional limitations that the original never had. I chose the lens that corrected my astigmatism, but since the lens is single focus, I have disparity between my two eyes (I am nearsighted). The perfect focus of my new lens is about 18 inches instead of infinity, while the other original lens is about 6 inches. If I corrected to 20-20 in the one eye the disparity would be too great and my mind would have trouble merging the two images. So I will always wear glasses for seeing far, even after I get the other lens replaced. But at least that astigmatism in the one eye is gone. My vision is much much better than it has been for 10 years before.

    I also had to get a capsulotomy about 3 years afterwards, but I could have done it after one year, it was obvious by then. Apparently it’s a fairly common occurrence. The residual OEM lens cells within the lens capsule start regrowing and coating/clouding the back of the capsule. The eye doc uses a laser to knock them away by cutting a hole in the capsule and voila! instant clarity restored. And apparently they only have to do that one time.

    All in all, an extremely satisfying outcome.

  • DeAnn March 8, 2021, 4:13 PM

    I haven’t had surgery on the one that I’m aware of. My Dr. advised me to wait until both eyes need it for now.
    The lightning was such on one recent middle of night excursive that I did “see” where the hole in my scope of vision is. Pretty cool. Prayers for clarity and peace of mind as you make your choices.

  • JCatara March 8, 2021, 5:28 PM

    Cataract surgery is the best thing you can do. My surgery lasted 20 minutes. Numbing eyedrops take about 2 hours. After the surgery all I had to do was wear sun glasses and walked out. I would definately reccomend the proceedure.

  • H (science denier) March 8, 2021, 6:08 PM

    Paul S, I took the option and paid the extra for the Toric implants to correct my astigmatism, which in addition to my nearsightedness, was also pretty bad. I would do it again. I was told insurance would not pay to fix the astigmatism, because that was considered a “cosmetic” issue. Well maybe so, although Mrs. says it didn’t to anything to improve my looks…..

    About the “sac” that can form, I was told it might or might not happen and easily fixed by laser if it did. But, ten years down the road, nothing has formed yet.

  • Jeff Brokaw March 8, 2021, 9:40 PM

    Had both eyes done in last few years, it’s really no big deal. I had cataracts that were developing and would have required this surgery down the road, but that timeline was accelerated by retinal detachments in both eyes, and the surgery to fix *that* introduces / worsens cataracts.

    The recovery is 1 day, and pain-free. It’s quite the modern miracle, really.

    Because I hate wearing reading glasses I requested my doctors use lenses that focus at 18-24 inches to make reading and computer work easier, meaning that I rely on glasses for distance. This has worked pretty well and I basically only *need* glasses for night driving or when I have to read street signs, etc. i spend a hell of a lot more time reading and looking at screens of various types than I do looking at far-off objects, so this made more sense to me than the other way around.

  • azlibertarian March 9, 2021, 5:53 AM

    This has been refreshing for me to read….Mrs. azlib is scheduled for her first cataract surgery later this month.

  • tallow pot March 9, 2021, 6:43 AM

    My wife had a laser procedure for a detached retina. I know it’s not the same thing, but the result was worth all the fear she had. They inject an air bubble into the eye, and she had instructions to sleep face down until it dissipated, to keep the repair in place until it healed. Back to normal and not blinded in less than a week. My turn is coming.

  • Juliette March 9, 2021, 8:42 AM

    I’m 53 and just had cataract surgery, so I’m jealous of all you who got to wait until later in life. I went with the basic lens because I was very nervous that using a toric lens could shift just a little bit and create problems seeing clearly. I know there is no way during the next (hopefully) 30+ years that I wouldn’t be getting accidentally smacked in the face/eyes by the many young kids in my life. Found a board certified surgeon and did two prep-op visits, then two easy-peasy surgeries with follow-up visits. I did *NOT* watch any videos about what would happen. I just didn’t need that in my brain. Nervous as a long tailed cat, but it was smooth sailing the whole way. Will still need glasses but I’ve worn them since I was 7 years old, so it would feel very weird to be without them. Good luck!

  • Mark Falcoff March 9, 2021, 8:56 AM

    I had this very procedure done a couple of years ago by one of the best opthamologists in Washington DC. As a result my vision is now almost as good as it was when I was 18! (I am 79). It may be that my result was exceptional; my doctor said I was his prize patient.

  • JOHN HARGREAVES March 9, 2021, 9:01 AM

    I had cataract surgery at Kaiser Santa Clara about 2 years ago. I had the surgery because I could not read the road signs using my right eye. I never had any problem with the operation nor afterwards and now my eyesight is great.

  • Dan March 9, 2021, 9:01 AM

    Tri-focal lens implants. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Took longer than I expected for my pupils to contract; they put that dilating stuff in your eyes with a fire hose! No pain, couple days rest and good to go. You’ll see real colors again!!

  • Leroi March 9, 2021, 9:03 AM

    First. Make sure you don’t have something else going on, like glaucoma. If you do, you must get the glaucoma under control before doing the cataract surgery.

    Second. If you have retina problems, macular degeneration, seriously consider getting a single vision IOL rather than the bifocal/multifocal types. Single vision IOL will allow your retina specialist to get a much better view of what is going on at the back of the eye.

    RE IOLs. There are types/brands/styles some doctors will not use. Sometimes it is because of the patient, sometimes it is because of the style of the IOL, sometimes it is because of the material the IOL is mad out of. There are some types of lens plastics that develop defects over time.

    Be aware, the success of the cataract surgery depends not just on the experience and technique of your cataract surgeon, but the physical characteristics of your eye’s lens capsule. During the surgery, the lens capsule is opened and the clouded natural lens is removed. The lens capsule can tear. It can be a real mess. Even if it isn’t, it can cause the IOL to be placed in a not normal place, which can cause other problems. You want an experience cataract surgeon so that if the capsule tears you don’t end up having his or her coping with that causing pressure spikes that damage the back end of the eye, the optic nerve.

    Also. Standard procedure is to use steroid drops to control reduce swelling. Be aware that some people react badly to optical steroid drops and have pressure spikes because of them. The spikes can be within the standard post surgery waiting period or can increase over several days afterwards. By spike I mean, normal eye pressures up to say 20, steroid reaction pressures 35+ and increasing.

    Maybe you can guess why I know these things.

  • John Fisher March 9, 2021, 9:04 AM

    Paul S – If your astigmatism has been stable for a long time, the Toric lenses are the way to go. If it has been changing, as mine has, the recommendation should be against it.

  • Manges, Jr. Martin C. March 9, 2021, 9:05 AM

    Started wearing glasses in grade 7. When I looked at the night sky for the first time with my new glasses I was amazed by how many stars I saw. After cataract surgery and follow up lasic technique to eliminate residual astigmatism my vision is the best of my life.

  • mattman March 9, 2021, 9:06 AM

    My number has not come up yet, but will. But I’ve known many who have done it.
    1. It will be great, like a fog (that you didn’t even know was there) has lifted.
    2. There is a tradeoff between correcting for distance and for close-up. If you go for the sharpest distance you can achieve, you will need reading glasses for more things. If not then not, but you give up distance sharpness, which personally would make me very sad. (It may be there’s a monovision solution, where your dominant eye is distance, and your other eye is undercorrected so you can read.)
    3. These tradeoffs entail decisions to be made, and I would not utilize a doc who did not want to involve me in those decisions.

  • Bill March 9, 2021, 9:09 AM

    I had both eyes done about three years ago…laser…Toriq (sp?) lense implant. Medicare didn’t pay for laser up charge of about $1,500 per eye. Wide awake, absolutely painless. I had a choice as to what vision correction I wanted. I elected to read without glasses and use glasses for distant vision. I’ve worn glasses continuously for 60 years and, no doubt will be wearing them when in my casket. So I continue to wear them but only need for distance. Bottom half are clear glass. Done about three weeks apart. I would have no hesitation in doing it again.

  • BigBobFromTaterKnob March 9, 2021, 9:10 AM

    I’m 74 yr old male in reasonably good health. I had both eyes done (right in Feb 2018, left in Mar 2019) and am glad that I did. Was not experiencing double vision but things were hazy (even with eyeglasses) & sort of dim. That changed after the surgery. My vision is much clearer and the world is much brighter, now.

    A side note: I had epiretinal membrane (macular pucker) surgery in 2016 in the right eye. The condition was found during routine visit to my ophthalmologist. She said get it fixed or risk total loss of vision in that eye. So, I did. There is a discernible “wavy” appearance in any vertical structure’s edge that I look at. But I was told prior to the surgery that might be a result, it would never improve, & cataract surgery would have no effect on it, either. So, I live with it, I deal with it, and life goes on with gratitude for each day that God gives me.


  • Eichendorff March 9, 2021, 9:11 AM

    I had cataract surgery nearly three years ago. The procedures were done on both eyes, two weeks apart. Each procedure lasted about ten minutes. Anaesthetic was not general; I was still awake, although not as alert as normal. The improvement in my vision was HUGE. It changed my life for the better. I highly recommend it.

  • JohnnyDollar March 9, 2021, 9:14 AM

    I had mine out five or six years ago, and followup for “secondary” cataracts a year later. It worked very well, only need glasses for reading. Apparently, after the cataracts are removed sometimes the “envelope” that holds the lenses in the eyes clouds up, and the solution for the secondary cataracts is for the doctor to “zap” them with a laser. Totally pain free, both times.

    My wife just had hers out last year. While I was given a choice between having good near or far distance vision, apparently her eyes were so nearsighted that to have good far vision (to be able to drive without glasses but need them to read) that she would have had to have the “extra-cost” toric lenses used. Since she is a frugal soul, she chose the regular option, but still needs to have glasses to drive.

  • Tom Jewell March 9, 2021, 9:15 AM

    As of today, I am in between – one eye last week, the next one later this week.
    Biggest headache is my doctor has a whole calendar of eye drops 2-3 kinds, 3-4 times a day.
    Distance Vision is terrific. Will probably need reading glasses.
    I was awake but pain free for the first one. I was nervous, not now.
    There are choices for the lenses. favoring distance, favoring close up, or mixed (monovision), as well as progressive lenses that give both near and far sight. However the progressives are usually not covered by insurance. Also some reports of “banding” in peoples night vision.

  • Tim March 9, 2021, 9:16 AM

    I had both sides done. The worst side about 10 years ago, the less bad one a couple of years later. As essentially everyone else has said, it was well worth it. Night time driving went from adventure to routine.
    Only one new observation, that’s anesthesia. Now it has been a while but for the first surgery I got IV versed and maybe a smidge of fentanyl. I remember nothing. For the second one it was a little paper cup of oral versed. It tastes vaguely like cheap brandy. After about half an hour you no longer care, even though you can see your eye being worked on. At the post op visit I asked the opthalmologist, who is a friend and former colleague, “When you were working I can remember using the word phacoemulsification in a complete sentence. Did I actually say that?” He said “Yes. Yes you did”.
    Good luck and a final bit of advice. First opportunity tell your wife; “Oh dear, I’d forgotten how beautiful you really are”. Good luck with that part too.

  • Mike March 9, 2021, 9:16 AM

    I had clear lens exchange (CLE) done followed by PRK (I’m not a lasix candidate 2nd to cornea thickness) in 2014. CLE is the same process, I just didn’t have cataracts, my eyes were just awful). I have mono vision (L eye for reading R distance). Learning to read with my L eye was tough, as I’d never really used it, but it was worth it.

    I recovered quickly – days? – then had to wait 6 months I think for the final adjustment with PRK. I’m 20/25 so pretty good. Can drive & do pretty much anything I want. When I do precision work I use +2 readers & I can read with my R eye if I want.

    It was cheaper than buying new glasses every couple years.

    I’d do it again in a heartbeat

  • Russ March 9, 2021, 9:18 AM

    Easiest and most anticlimactic procedure I have ever had. But the results were immediate and wonderful. Both eyes done two weeks apart. Dramatic difference in those two weeks looking through an eye with the new lense, and an eye with the lense from birth. The “new” eye showed everything that was white as a BRIGHT white, while the old lense showed as a yellowish white.

    I got the multi-focal lenses and no more glasses for me for far or near or far vision. But the doctor can determine if they are right for you , and your wallet too.

    So, and this happens to many, be on the lookout for a thing called “secondary cataracts”. Mine popped up about 4 years after my cataract surgeries. Not really a cataract, but is the clouding of a rear membrane where the new lens is placed. Not a big deal, as there is a painless and pretty quick treatment for it that would be performed by the same doctor doing you cataract surgery.

  • George P. March 9, 2021, 9:18 AM

    I had lens replacement surgery done for cataracts and vision correction with both eyes almost a decade ago. At my local VA. It took almost 2 hours, but there was no in-patient requirements. Just don’t shake your head around a lot.

    I was wide awake during both procedures, each eye had to be done separately about 2 weeks apart. Seeing the colors change as the doctor removed the occluded lens was something remarkable.

    I was extremely near-sighted with astigmatism. I was close to being legally blind without corrective lenses worn at all times. To read I could remove my glasses and hold the book about 2 inches from my nose.

    After the surgeries I could read without glasses and the material held at a decent distance like a table or my lap. Holding it as close as I did before makes reading impossible.

    The lens replacement couldn’t correct for the astigmatism, but it made tasks such as driving doable without glasses or contacts. I can read most traffic signs clearly now without glasses. I still wear glasses while driving so I can catch the small details on street name signs at intersections.

    I now have vision 20/20 in one eye, 20/25 in the other. The VA doctor had never seen such a spot-on correction ever.

    The worst part of the surgeries was the laser treatment weeks later to zap the lenses to complete the procedures. The smell was horrible, the sting of the laser was not pleasant. It was a simple “poke” type discomfort.

    Overall if you are recommended to have cataract surgery by lens replacement don’t hesitate, period. Get it over as soon as possible.

    All told, the worst part was having only one lens replaced for a couple of weeks, things looked weird.

  • Richard March 9, 2021, 9:18 AM

    Surgery was 2x 15 minutes. No anesthesia. Able to drive the next day. Vision went from 20/800 to 20/40. I can drive but need glasses to read. Night vision is much better.

  • Brewmeistr March 9, 2021, 9:18 AM

    Do it. Just do it.
    Your symptoms mirror mine exactly. Glaring and fuzzy night driving. There was a meteor shower. I went outside, got my eyes acclimated and laid on my back to watch. General fuzziness.
    My optometrist is my cousin. He was succinct: You have cataracts ( my instant panic was remembering blue-clouded eyed Aunt Suzie at Christmas. Sitting in the corner saying ‘Come here so I can feel your face’) He said it’s a 15 minute procedure and they can do a bifocal lens to solve the reading glasses problem.
    They use fentanyl during the procedure. I was awake. And once I said, “Hey I’m awake here.” Doc said, “No problem, we’re almost done.” Fentanyl is otherworldly. Couldn’t move if I tried.

    In the post op room the doc came in and pulled the patch off and said to look at the ceiling. It was like instant HD TV. I forgot what my young eyes used to see. The only hard part was waiting 3 weeks for the other eye.
    You will not regret doing this.

  • Just A Nobody March 9, 2021, 9:20 AM

    I couldn’t believe how yellow and dim my vision had been after the operation. It was completely worth it.

  • Mark March 9, 2021, 9:21 AM

    I had cataract surgery in one eye in 2014, which went great. My eyesight wasn’t awful, but it couldn’t be corrected so this was the correction. However…

    A year later I noticed occasionally seeing things like telephone poles in the distance appear “zig zag” occasionally. I asked the same ophthalmologist about it and said that was due to floaters. “An easy operation to repair it”. Great, did it, was fine, then during a check-up not long afterwards he diagnosed a detached retina, same eye, and surgery was imperative. Had it a couple of days later, had a very painful few days (I’ll spare you the details of my visits to his office) and I’ve been blind ever since. Never got a satisfactory explanation from him or 4 other ophthalmologists about what caused my blindness, except there isn’t enough pressure in the eyeball. Let’s just say I deeply regret the floater surgery. Floaters were a very minor issue.

  • Mark March 9, 2021, 9:22 AM

    Worked great for me. The new lens is better than the original one. Brighter, more contrast, sharper, and the vision in that eye is “bluer”.

    Many people opt to correct for nearsightedness and go for 20/20. I recommend against if you are at all fussy about your vision. As near as I can tell, it’s tricky getting an exact focus at 20/20 and I have read of people that ended up a little nearsighted or a little farsighted. That will require glasses for both near and far vision. This would drive me crazy.

    I went with keeping my nearsightedness. I read without glasses and use regular glasses or contacts for distance like I always did.

    As for the horror of the surgery, it was really no big deal. They put me in “conscious sedation” which meant that I felt like I’d had around 6 beers or so. Awake, kind of. The surgery never hurt even one little bit. I asked a question or two during. And when I was done they put a patch on me I had to keep on overnight. No other problems. No pain pills. No discomfort ever.

    If it’s just a matter of pain and discomfort, I’d describe a cataract surgery as much more pleasant than a teeth cleaning if that helps.

  • David March 9, 2021, 9:22 AM

    My father had a bad outcome due to a mistake by the surgeon. Please ensure that your surgeon asks or that you tell him or her all, and I mean ALL, medications and vitamins that you are taking. Medications can affect the consistency of the membranes and fluids in the eye, which can lead to complications during the surgery. If the surgeon had asked about the medication, he would have adjusted the procedure during surgery and avoided the complications.

  • Mike March 9, 2021, 9:23 AM

    I had cataracts removed and IOLs implanted in 2014 and 2015. It restored my ability to drive at night. And for the first time in my life I don’t need to wear glasses from when I wake up until I sleep. It’s fantastic to be able to see at swimming pools, the beach, etc.
    Complications: I also have glaucoma (i.e., elevated eye pressure). After the surgery on my first eye, my intraocular pressure shot up to dangerously high levels. This is a known side-effect, but the doctors couldn’t bring it down with meds. I ended up having emergency glaucoma surgery (a trabeculectomy) two weeks later. Consequently, when I did eventually have cataract surgery on the second eye, the surgeon also did a trabeculectomy on that eye at the same time to avoid this complication. Despite that, I’ve never regretted it. I can function normally again. Being able to drive at night again–that alone is worth what I went through.

  • andy March 9, 2021, 9:23 AM

    My wife had it and she was very pleased. You need to be careful in the after care (cleaning the eyes with the surgery). However, after everything was healed, her sight was much better (she had had astigmatism before) and she only needs reading glasses. One of our staff at wirk had the surgery, and it worked with one eye, but the other did not work (I think that she cannot see out of that eye now, or it is very cloudy). I suggest that you get the surgery, remembering that you need to take care of the eye with the surgery (normally it is done one eye at a time) carefully while it heals.

  • Ron R. March 9, 2021, 9:28 AM

    Had both eyes done in Dec 2017, one week apart. I went for the lenses that allowed me to read my computer monitor (20″ distance) without the need of readers and still have distance vision. I paid extra for that ability. Both lenses are still working great. The only drawback to this surgery and implanted lenses is the halo around lights at night. In the beginning it was really bad but overtime it has gotten better. Some lights look like starbursts and others look like target rings around the light. The Moon is no longer has sharp edges but also has a starburst around it as well. Basically daytime is great. As it gets darker I sometimes need to use readers but only 1.0 power which you can buy on line at Amazon. Never seen any at local stores. All in all it was a good investment and I would still do it again as the benefits out way the alternatives. Good luck.

  • SPM March 9, 2021, 9:30 AM

    Had mine done about 6.5 years ago at a relatively young age (although my Mom was also relatively young so likely hereditary). Since I was legally blind without correction, my IOLs were designed to correct my nearsightedness and my astigmatism but I need to live with my presbyopia. But still I was and still am thrilled. I can now do everything that doesn’t require close-up vision — exercise, watch TV, drive, shop (so long as the price tags aren’t too small) without glasses or contacts. I still need the glasses for reading. But the colors — the glorious colors!

    For the operation itself — I was aware and felt pressure and slight pain on the first one. I mentioned it to the doctor and he said “why didn’t you say something?”. I did on the next one and they upped the drug a bit and I was still somewhat aware but no pain. FYI — I see others say they were unaware — I remember my doc saying he needed me aware to check things — maybe that was related to the astigmatism correction.

    Overall I’d recommend it.

  • Mike March 9, 2021, 9:31 AM

    I had both done. About a month apart. That long as my schedule and the doc’s schedule took that long to synch.

    I had the first one done about a month after CABG surgery. The cataract surgery kinda kicked my ass (mostly anesthesia, I believe) and after Friday morning surgery I laid low for the weekend.

    The second surgery, again on a Friday morning was super easy. I was at happy hour that afternoon.

    I could write a couple of humorous stories about the improvement of my vision and my recovered ability to distinguish between various white paint tones, but that would be boring to most.

    The cataract surgery was among the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I get the simple lens and use readers.

    Good luck.

  • Tom March 9, 2021, 9:36 AM

    By all means do it. I had cataract surgery last summer, and I have NEVER seen better. It’s quick, painless, and the results are unbelievable.

    Of course, I had an excellent surgeon and facility–Dr. Scott Jabin at Charlotte (NC) Eye, Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates. But it went exceptionally well. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Mary March 9, 2021, 9:37 AM

    I had cataract surgery on both eyes, two years ago. My job (and hobbies) require looking through microscopes, scopes and binoculars, and I could see the cataracts, which was irritating and annoying, at least half of my visual field was obscured. Driving at night, or in bad weather (I live in Idaho) was increasingly dangerous, so I scheduled the surgery. I had great results, and am very happy. I opted for the best distance vision possible, so now I have to wear reading glasses for any close work, but it is way better than not being able to drive.

    I had no complications and easy recovery. My ophthalmologist prefers to do one eye at a time, so my surgeries were two weeks apart.

  • RebeccaH March 9, 2021, 9:38 AM

    I had Lasik surgery to correct my nearsightedness years ago, and it was great. I still needed readers to see detail up close, but it was worth it. Eventually, though, I developed cataracts (not because of the Lasik, but because of genetics and age) and had to have both eyes done. What astounded me was how much brighter colors were after the surgery. The worst thing to happen is that I had a lovely black shiner around my right eye for about two weeks, but that’s normal. They told me that the implants might get cloudy as I aged, but these years later, that hasn’t happened. I admit it’s a scary process (I was awake for the whole thing), and I experienced what real blindness is for about 10 seconds when they cut the lens, but I didn’t feel a thing, and my sight was perfectly normal right after (although I had to wear eye shields at night for a couple of weeks). The worthwhile difference is being able to see versus not being able to see.

  • Xknight March 9, 2021, 9:38 AM

    I had double cataract surgery 6 mos ago. A month between each eye. My doc solved the reading problem by putting a -1.75 lens in my left eye. I can read all but small print and my distant vision is 20/20 as my eyes have adjusted to each other’s strengths. I did however opt for glasses since I have worn them since JFK was Pres. My optometrist tweeked the prescription to account for the different lens implants and reading. I have progressive lenses with anti glare and UV lenses to make night driving even better. For the first time in 2 years I can see all the stars in Orion and no halos around the moon. And I can finally see how good the picture is on my 4K TV.

  • JLW III March 9, 2021, 9:41 AM

    My experience in the spring of 2019 was similar to the others reporting here. I opted for the focusing toroidal lenses which were about $3200 extra per eye. I use $6 throw away 1.75 power glasses off the shelf for close in reading and have a set of led lighted 3.0 power ones for close work. I can drive and use my big computer screen without glasses. Best vision since puberty.
    The weirdest thing was watching the laser as it wiped out my old lens. It was like watching someone cleaning off a whiteboard as my vision disappeared from one side to the other.

  • Allen Covert March 9, 2021, 9:42 AM

    I had lens replacement surgery on both eyes three weeks ago. I was seeing perfectly within days. I have zero complaints so far. The procedure was easy and painless. Post op care is simple. Do it.

  • David Miles March 9, 2021, 9:45 AM

    I was very near-sighted, -6.75 and -7.25. Developed a cataract in my left eye over 25 years ago while in my 30s. The doctor’s decision was to put in the new lens at -2.5, which is fantastic for reading, but as much of a correction as they could allow. Fast forward 20 years and a cataract developed in the right eye. That was replaced with a lens at -0.9 for similar reasons. Bottom line is both surgeries were a breeze and as I spend the majority of my time working on computers and reading, I basically am glasses free unless I want to drive or watch TV or movies. If I had replaced both lenses at 20/20 visions I’d need reading glasses constantly so for me it appears to be the right decision. Regardless, the surgery has progressed so much that you should have little to fear. The results are nearly immediate and the recovery period, at least for me, is/was short. Best of luck!

  • Brett Bellmore March 9, 2021, 9:51 AM

    I had atypical cataracts in 2010, a side effect of chemotherapy; Went from 20-20 corrected, (450 uncorrected!) to legally blind in a matter of a few months.

    Being able to see clearly without coke bottle glasses for the first time in my life was a real blast, though I did miss having in effect microscopic vision if I held things close up. (I could just barely read microfilm without aid, prior to the surgery.) I do need reading glasses in low light, though. I also have bad floaters and the jaggies, from fractured vitreous humor, but that wasn’t from the surgery, was also a side effect of the chemo, which I’ve been told to just live with as the surgery to deal with either is unreasonably risky for your vision.

    Surgery was conscious, but with remarkable tranquilizers; Thanks to being so near sighted I could see the scalpel clearly all the way in, but didn’t really care.

    The best advice I can give is that it is totally worth it to shell out for the premium lenses. I was tapped out after the chemo, and had to go with the bargain basement lenses insurance would fully cover, and have significant problems with glare at night, and really only see clearly in high light levels. Comparing notes with a friend who got the good lenses, you get a much superior result with top of the line lenses.

    Also, I understand you can follow up after recovery with Lasik to fine tune things, and end up better than 20-20, but it may require coordinating in choosing the lenses. Discuss it with your ophthalmologist.

  • PostMod March 9, 2021, 9:52 AM

    I had cataract surgery on both eyes when my state opened up for surgical procedures. Recommendation from the surgeon was multifocal. Medicare doesn’t cover these so I paid out-of-pocket. Multifocal lenses require a laser for breaking up the cataract in a precise manner. Went in for the procedure on one eye and about 2 hours later went home. I spent more time in pre- and post-op than the actual procedures (laser & surgery. Scheduled for second eye about 3 weeks later (somewhat long time due to surgery scheduling backups). I had no problem or pain during or after surgery. Had to do drops for about 10 days after each eye.
    BTW, my surgeon used the Johnson & Johnson Tecnis Symfony in one eye and the Tecnis Toric II (to correct a slight astigmatism). Both are multifocal-type lenses.
    I have no problems reading. I can read blogs with no problem on my phone. No problems with distance. However, I do get halos around headlights (HID & LED are the worst) but it’s more of annoying than anything else.

  • Doug Leins March 9, 2021, 9:52 AM

    I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Had the procedure about 5 years ago with minimal pain or problems. Went for the far vision and wear glasses to read and work at the computer, but can finally wear nice sunglasses for outdoor sports and driving.

  • Mike M. March 9, 2021, 9:57 AM

    I had cataract surgery done on both eyes. Right now, there are three types of IOL on the market. Monovision is set up for one focal distance – usually for distance, as it gives you the most utility. There’s a multifocal lens, which is set up for two distances – it gives two images on the retina, and you hope the brain will sort them out. This costs more, and while it will give you OK vision it won’t give the sharpest vision. Then there is an accomodative lens, which adjusts. The IOL currently on the market doesn’t give much accomodation, about one diopter. But there are more advanced accomodative IOLs in the pipeline.

    My advice? Get the monovision IOL…until they get the next-generation accomodative IOLs on the market. Once they can deliver 3+ diopters of accomodation, go accomodative. Both eyes for the same distance. Pay the extra to get LASIK fine-tuning. If you are a shooter, be prepared to spend money to buy a proper set of prescription shooting glasses.

  • Deserttrek March 9, 2021, 9:58 AM

    Do it!
    Got mine done and had the multi focal lens put in. Took care of the astigmatism and no glasses after almost a lifetime wearing them. Had my sunglasses remade and see great.
    Only drawback is need more light to read.

  • Mike Weatherford March 9, 2021, 9:59 AM

    I had cataract surgery on both eyes in 1997, when I was 51. I was awake for both surgeries, and each took less than 10 minutes. The surgery didn’t correct my vision 100%, but I only need glasses for reading now. I, too, was having trouble seeing at night, and I still do. Before, it was because my vision was blurry: now it’s because the glare of oncoming headlights is magnified and my night vision is ruined. Considering that I was almost blind in my left eye, and now see with 20/35 vision in that eye, I definitely approve of the surgery.

  • Gene Bryant March 9, 2021, 10:01 AM

    Do it, and do it now —

    I had my left eye done in January (was 20X400, now 20X20) and my right eye done in February — by a young woman surgeon who was a classmate of my daughter (Oh God I’m Old!) —

    I’ve been wearing glasses since I was three — almost 67 years — I now only need “cheaters” to use my laptop and I’m driving around town with cheap off the shelf sunglasses — it’s a miracle! Inquire into TORIC lenses — each procedure took like a half hour or so — done by a laser with a light show I haven’t seen since the 60’s!!

    Go for it — it will change your life —

    Gene Bryant

  • William Ferris March 9, 2021, 10:01 AM

    Best thing I ever had done. I hadn’t realized how dark everything was getting, I already knew that I couldn’t see as far. After surgery everything was much brighter, no need to install that additional lighting I was considering. And now I have 20/20 distance vision which is fantastic, haven’t’ seen this clearly since I was a teenager. I was near-sighted all my life so that was a bit of an annoyance but as I wore glasses all my life anyway wearing ‘reading glasses’ a small price to pay.

  • Nemo March 9, 2021, 10:04 AM

    I was strongly nearsighted with some astigmatism before cataracts developed. I had my cataracts removed and IOLs implanted 18 months ago, and I could not be happier with the results! Two positive results were immediately apparent: Improved night vision due to greatly reduced glare (before the operation, I couldn’t drive at night because glare from the headlights of oncoming cars blinded me), and greatly improved color vision (before the operation, colors had slowly, imperceptibly become muted due to the clouding of my lenses).
    Also, I went the monovision route, with one eye tuned to distal vision and the other to close up. For me, it’s worked out well, but it may not be for you. I read without needing glasses, which was the case before surgery; but I can now see the clock on my night-table without needing glasses. In the daytime, I can drive without glasses, though I prefer to wear distance glasses at night or under low-light conditions. I also use glasses for intermediate distances, such as working on the computer or reading music on my stand.
    There are newer IOLs that claim to correct astigmatism, but I preferred to go with the tried-and-true IOLs, and I’m glad I did.
    To summarize: I see better without glasses now, than I did with glasses before the surgery. Your experience will largely depend on the skill of your surgeon, but if your experience is anything like mine, you will be delighted with the results.

  • David Miller March 9, 2021, 10:06 AM

    I remember driving my Mother home after having the bandages removed. All she could do was joyously exclaim over and over again how bright and colorful everything was !! She was thrilled. If she were alive today I know that she would encourage you to have the surgery right away.

  • Steven Wright March 9, 2021, 10:08 AM

    Hey Gerard, I had both eyes done. If I had it to do over, one eye far vision, one eye close is the only change I would make. Reading glasses suck. I am 47 had them done in my late thirties. Early onset cataracts.

  • Velociman March 9, 2021, 10:09 AM

    No idea on the efficacy, but I believe I’m headed that way. Good luck and Godspeed!

  • Fred huggins March 9, 2021, 10:10 AM

    Just make sure your surgeon has done hundreds or thousands of them

  • John G Condon March 9, 2021, 10:11 AM

    My Stepdad had cataract surgery and it did not go well due to his Parkinsons.

    The first note of him having Parkinsons was back in 2000 and at the time we thought is was benign tremors. As the years rolled on, the tremor in his arm got worse at a very slow rate.

    Soon after he had cataract surgery, the effects of Parkinsons rapidly took over his body and he was in the end stages of it within 4 or 5 years.

    May 10th 2019.

  • Michael Hankamer March 9, 2021, 10:11 AM

    Do it! My wife and I have both had cataract surgery; mine about 10 years ago, my wife last month. She was frightened (despite my assurances); I was not. Both of us can see without glasses (well, except for readers). I was stunned by the clarity and color following the first procedure; demanded the second eye be done as soon as possible. My wife didn’t notice the increased colors (perhaps because it’s winter here and there are no colors to see) but she now has 20/20 vision and can drive safely at night (thank God!).

    If you’re astigmatic, investigate the toric lens. I have one in one eye to partially correct for a cornea defect and it was worth every penny (they’re usually extra cost unless you have good insurance).

    Do it. I can assure you will regret not having the procedure done years ago.


  • Joanne Jacobs March 9, 2021, 10:13 AM

    After cataract surgery on my worst eye, I could see a huge difference. With the uncorrected (but not as bad) eye, everything was yellowed. With the corrected eye, things were “whiter and brighter,” as the detergent ads used to say. I got the second eye done. Ever since, I’ve urged people to get cataract surgery done as soon as possible. I was told the cataracts rarely return.

    I have monovision with one distance eye and one medium-near eye. After the surgery, I had perfect vision. Since then, I’ve become near sighted again, so I wear glasses for driving and looking at TV, but don’t need reading glasses. (This happened to me after Lasik too. My eyes want to be near sighted.)

  • Bob Strauss March 9, 2021, 10:17 AM

    I had lens replacement surgery for cataracts done 3 years ago at age 75. Easy operation and apparently the eye is easy to do and heals well. Right after the operation, I saw brown in that eye. Lasted an hour or so. Then MUCH better vision and brighter colors. You need to put in eyedrops for a few weeks. Antibactterial for 1 week and others for 3 or 4 I think.
    Eventually I’ll have the other eye done but it’s now my ‘worse’ eye! I definitely recommend it.

  • james wilson March 9, 2021, 10:20 AM

    Lenses three years ago, all good. Unifocal set to middle range, and yet I can read fine without glasses. I know a single person who complains about the surgury, she is bedeviled by floaters. I had a few but just a few and they left after a couple months.

  • Rick March 9, 2021, 10:25 AM

    What Mary said. There are times I miss my nearsightedness, but not the glasses.

  • Jon March 9, 2021, 10:30 AM

    I’d rate my experience as 95% – my left eye is now 20/20 and my right is 20/25. I was about 20/60 before the surgery and didn’t realize how bad I had become until I went to the optometrist for better glasses and was told that because of my cataracts she couldn’t correct my vision any better. The left eye was done first – a simple procedure with no pain that was done in about 15 minutes. Doing a left-right eye comparison was striking – I couldn’t believe how bad my vision had become and I realized that I had actually become a danger while driving. I use reading glasses for extensive reading but can still read my phone and computer screen without correction. It’s nice to use non-prescription sunglasses again too. Very glad that I did it.

  • JT March 9, 2021, 10:32 AM

    Got the surgery about 7 years ago, first the left eye then the right eye about 6 weeks later. No pain. It’s weird when they deaden your eyeball, like your eyelids disappear. They marked the deadened eye with a magic marker, also a new experience. My head was secured to the table with some kind of bandage so I wouldn’t move it if I fell asleep (I didn’t). The tool used to vibrate and pulverize the lens before removal was interesting, as was the nothing-but-light view when the lens was removed. When the new lens is inserted and unrolls suddenly you can see again. In recovery I moved my head around until I could see through one of the little holes in the eye shield. There was an exit sign about 40 feet away and it was perfectly clear. If it hadn’t been for the calm-down meds they’d given me before surgery I’d have leaped off the gurney and started dancing. It was bothersome in the intervening weeks to have one eye clear and the other not, although I did get a kick out of covering one eye and then the other to see how much brighter the world was and how much color I’d forgotten existed. You will be amazed. It’s nothing short of a miracle. I also had a clouding issue that was remedied with a laser. That felt like the laser was bouncing off the back of my skull. Strangely fascinating, and immediately cleared. My only complaint is the temperature they had the OR at. Very cold to keep the equipment happy. I had a blanket but sheez it was freezing.

  • Jeff Kempe March 9, 2021, 10:40 AM

    The best two things that happened in 2020 – maybe the only two good things? – was having cataract surgery on both my eyes.

    I’d been struggling with small print for a couple years, both on the computer screen and in print. I had to enlarge the fonts on the former, and use a magnifier on the latter. Sometimes even that didn’t work.

    I’d been told several years prior I’d eventually need cataract surgery. “When?” “You’ll know.”

    And I did. The ophthalmologist gave me two choices: Correct for distance or correct for close and reading. I chose the former. The surgeries themselves were painless, Dr. Nisha and staff terrific. Unlike some I was alert the whole time. The only thing I hated was having to wear the eye cup.

    But as a photographer: Dear Father God, what a difference! A whole world I’d forgotten existed opened back up. Instead of spending $800-$1000 every couple of years for new prescriptions and frames, I’ve spent $20 for two pair of 1.75 readers for the computer and one 2.5 reader for books.

    If you’re hesitating…just do it.

  • Obee March 9, 2021, 10:45 AM

    I would not pay for the lenses that are touted as “letting you see like an eagle”. My replacement fails and is not correctable by readers as the surgeon recommended as a remedy. The only remedy he recommended.

  • Kathleen Lockhart March 9, 2021, 10:46 AM

    Get the cataract surgery, lens replacement (I had Crystalens and they worked out very well for me) and then get Lasik. I had vision problems my whole life, but not now. I’m a 68 year old woman.

  • Tennis Dr J March 9, 2021, 10:49 AM

    In 2019, I had the lens in both eyes replaced with multi-focal lens. I was surprised by how yellow and cloudy my vision had become when I looked through these new lens. Within three weeks of my last surgery, I was back playing tennis and riding my bike.
    I was myopic with slight astigmatism all my life, but I could see exceptionally well up-close without glasses. Now I can see at all distances without glasses, but I do need cheaters to read very small print clearly.
    A fellow biker followed my advice to have the procedure done and he is very pleased with the results.
    Outside of marrying my wife when I was 24, lens replacement is the best decision I made in my life.

  • Michael Christian March 9, 2021, 10:54 AM

    In the hands of most opthos, this a routine procedure, although there are some high volume surgeons with very high complication rates and very aggressive med mal attorneys. Additionally, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and opthos make their big bucks off this procedure, so you need to be sure you need the procedure.
    First, get a second opinion. Make it clear that that surgeon will not be doing the case. You’d be amazed at how frequently you don’t need a procedure, when there’s no financial incentive.
    Second, check your states licensure board for complaints against the surgeon. In most cases the bad ones will settle but require an NDA from the patient and family, but in many states, any settlement requires a report to the licensure board.
    Third, ask your primary care doc about the surgeon. If they’re in the same group, sad to say, you can’t trust what you’re primary says, because many times the primary gets a percentage from referrals he makes within the group. So ask for a second opinion from a surgeon outside the group.
    All this seems silly, but you only have two eyes, and if you’re anything like me, reading is one of the few great treasures in our age group, along with driving. Two anecdotes: 1) here in my state we had an aggressive lasik surgeon who was, to say the least, incompetent. But he was an aggressive litigator and sued anyone who mentioned his name or practice. So if a patient asked about him, all they got back was stony silence. The cases never went anywhere but they took time and expense.
    2) we had an aggressive group of opthos who were paying kickbacks to local optometrists for cataract referrals. They did a bucket load of unnecessary cases. Usually without the patient ever asking their primary care doc for an opinion. And of course, the elderly are the frequent victims in these situations.

  • Gregory Koster March 9, 2021, 10:59 AM

    Mr. vdL: Your surgeon will insist on doing one eye at a time, about three weeks apart. As has been said, get someone to drive you home. You may notice more ‘floaters’, whether dots or hair strand like filaments in your vision for about a month after the surgery, but it wasn’t too bad (except for when they spelled out, “Gregory, this is your doc speaking: be sure to vote for Biden.” Great comedians, those docs.) As has also been said, your near vision is what will change. I can drive without glasses, but fine print demands glasses. Pushing my eyes closer to fine print just makes it blurrier. Recovery took about three weeks in both cases. Stayed home for four days after both surgeries, then was able to navigate by myself. One longer term effect: if you move your head violently, the new lens may flex and cause a flash of light to be perceived. You likely won’t notice it in the daytime, but if you roll over in bed at night, you might be startled. My doc told me not to worry about this because if you experience a force strong enough to distort the new lens, e.g. a car crash at sixty miles an hour without a safety belt, a distorted lens will be well down the list of your physical problems.

    I’m sure you are worried; I know I was. But having come through to the other side, I am glad I did it. In my case the anticipation was far worse than the surgery. I hope you have the same experience.

    Good luck to you!

  • RetiredE9 March 9, 2021, 11:04 AM

    Had first eye done Oct 2019. Waiting for the last one now.every day I wake up and look at the ceiling with good eye and then with the bad one. The most amazing thing is how yellow every thing is until I open the new eye! How BRIGHT the world is!!!!
    Do it!

  • Inge March 9, 2021, 11:08 AM

    I had both eyes done for cataracts a year ago, one month apart. I also got the lenses that correct astigmatism. I went from very near-sighted to 20/20 but needing reading glasses. I could have chosen lenses so one eye could read but prefer the depth perception with equal vison in both eyes. Glasses restrict your visual field and I don’t mind that for close work. No issues with recovery. The worst part of the surgery was just staring at the bright light. I’m very happy with the results.

  • Bruce R Bowman March 9, 2021, 11:13 AM

    Short for tldr: I’d do it again in a NY minute.

    Post surgery I have 20/15 vision in my right eye and 20/40 in my left. That is intentional. My right eye implant was optimized for distance and my left for computer distance. As a result, I only need glasses (drugstore readers) for the finest of close work or extended reading. My doctor fitted me with with contacts that mimicked this setup before the surgery so that I could try it out. Pro tip: I paid extra for custom implants that totally correct for my terrible astigmatism. Insurance did not cover that part but it is totally worth the extra $800/eye.

  • Gary Rosen March 9, 2021, 11:22 AM

    You’ve already had a number of overwhelmingly positive reports on the surgery and I concur with those. I have had more experience with eye surgery than most since I had retinal surgery when I was younger. Cataract surgery is much easier, now in and out in a couple hours, almost always with a big improvement not only in clearer vision but can often correct or at least diminish nearsightedness. I had worn coke-bottle lenses or contacts since I was 6 and now rarely need glasses at all except for driving. One person suggested not doing them at the same time and that seems like a sensible precaution; mine happened to be ten years apart because they developed differently in the two eyes.

  • David St Lawrence March 9, 2021, 11:22 AM

    Gerard, I had both eyes done in my late seventies when I had all of the difficulties you list. I had gone from bifocals to trifocals to contact lenses in an effort to overcome my vision difficulties.

    My vision improved immediately and I requested that the correction be done so I would be far-sighted if possible, with items in focus from 3 ft out. I was able to use a computer without glasses and drive without glasses. The only time I need glasses is to read the fine print on labels.

    Cataract surgery was the best surgery I have ever had. I hope you have the same good fortune as I did.


  • Mark Lundborg March 9, 2021, 11:25 AM

    Had both eyes done at age 55, 5 years ago. Changed my life! Pay the extra for multi-focal lenses in both eyes. Do it and don’t ask any more questions!
    Slight decrease in reading and small letters. Otherwise no problems. You can wear regular sunglasses!
    Mark Lundborg
    Veteran Saber World Champion at age 59

  • Christopher R Pastel March 9, 2021, 11:25 AM

    Basically, you can opt for being nearsighted or farsighted. Either way you will need glasses to compensate.
    I opted for the Crystal Lens technology, which is supposed an accommodative lens technology, in that the lens would deform along with your eye to give you proper vision whether you were looking at something close up or something in the distance. Big mistake. I am now nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other, and neither one is 20-20.
    My wife opted for farsightedness, so she now needs reading glasses, but her far vision is excellent.
    Don’t mess with any new technology, but go for the tried and true lenses.

  • R Rutherford March 9, 2021, 11:28 AM

    I had both eyes treated about thirty years ago. I was very nearsighted to begin with; the replacement lenses were set to focus at about 30 inches, so I got varilux lenses in my new glasses to give me good distance vision. The result was excellent. But there are caveats. Secondary cataracts may occur (the natural lens envelope becomes cloudy); this is easily fixed with a couple of laser zaps. More seriously, if your retinas are thin they may rip in later years. This requires a tedious and frightening bubble therapy to push the torn part back to its normal place, taking several days to work with your head kept facing downward, followed by more laser zaps to nail the retina back in place. (To be fair, this problem may occur even without lens replacement.) Good luck!

  • July Linett March 9, 2021, 11:36 AM

    I had lazy eye as a kid and three surgeries by the time I was 9. So surgery on the eye wasn’t new to me. That being said, you only have two eyes! However, about four years ago (60 yrs old) my vision started changing. Every couple of months I was back to squinting and getting new glasses. My astigmatism was changing as my lens changed. Also, it was becoming hard to drive at night with all the glare. And reading and doing the computer (which are my job) were painful.

    Got the Cataracts both out and got the same, standard lenses in both eyes. The Dr wanted to do far vision in one and near in the other. But given my history of struggling to see out of both eyes at the same time, I couldn’t face different lenses in them. I also did not get astigmatism correcting lenses. Instead, he made a few adjusting cuts. I was awake for both surgeries. It was so fast I didn’t realize it was over.

    They did my weakest eye first. WHOA! I could read street signs! Then, two weeks later, the second one. Below are things I noticed and some that took getting used to:

    1. While I can now drive without glasses legally, because of remaining astigmatism I still need glasses for detail stuff.
    2. The world no longer has a golden glow and is bluer. Unknown to me, my color vision had gradually shifted. To see colors normally again was a big surprise. I kinda miss the golden glow.
    3. The most bothersome thing for me was seeing the edges of the lenses. In certain lights it would flash and glare. Seeing the circles was annoying and they moved with the lights when driving or walking. But that eventually faded, except now in really bright flourescents at certain angles.
    4. My weak eye still sees better than the “good” one. Don’t know why.
    5. The weirdest was that I had to relearn shooting with my shotgun. It’s funny, but the first time we went to the clay range after the cataract surgery (and also a knee replacement), I had no idea anymore how to stand, lean, or hold the shotgun. Crazy! But it didn’t take long to get back on track.

    I hope this helps.

  • Dick Curran March 9, 2021, 12:00 PM

    I had both eyes done late last year, about 3 weeks apart. I chose lenses with astigmatism correction, and optimized for reading. I have always been nearsighted with bifocal or progressive glasses that had little or no correction for close up.

    The results were spectacular! After the first eye it was entertaining to look at the sky with one eye and then the other to see the color difference. I could immediately read and use the computer.

    I can say, with some confidence, that the surgery involved a time machine that took part of me back 30 years.

    For reasons I cannot explain, I have a stock of old eyeglasses. After my second surgery, and before I got a new pair, I tried all of the old ones and found one pair, approximately 30 years old, that gave me remarkable distance vision. I know the approximate age because I have not had eyeglasses with a split down the middle, top half for distance, bottom for reading, for at least that long. When I was tested for the new prescription, they also tested the 30-year-old ones for me and the prescription for distance was within rounding error of the new one.

    So, my eyes are now 30 years younger. QED

  • Jahaziel Maqqebet March 9, 2021, 12:03 PM

    Radial Kerotomy –
    My eyeballs were not perfectly spherical (astygmatism) so I requested Radial Kerotomy from my eye surgeon. He did this on each eye for $25.
    I got what they call monovision – the lens of one eye for distance and the other for close work, with a focal point of 18”.

    After the first eye I tossed all my glasses.

  • Tim P March 9, 2021, 12:04 PM

    I’m 66 and had my right eye done. I’ll soon be doing my left eye. Haven’t read all of the previous comments so pardon me if there is repetition. I advocate having it done. Prior to the surgery, I was nearsighted in both eyes.
    With the right eye, I was not aware of how the cataracts had rendered the light dingy and yellowish. I really notice the difference for the better. Also driving at night is better. I would advise thinking about where you spend most of your time, visually though. You can opt for being able to see at distance and needing readers up close, or being able to see clearly up close and needing slight correction at distance. I opted for clear distance vision. A mistake for me.
    As a working engineer, I spend much of my time in front of a computer screen or reading books and manuals. I also read a lot in general. When in the field, I often have to read nameplates on motors or other equipment. I now must have readers and where before without them I could get by, I am now dependent on reading glasses.
    I know someone who did the opposite (opted for sharp up close vision and glasses for distance) and they were happy with the outcome. Regarding multi-focal lenses, I was told that you give up some sharpness at both extremes and my doctor did not recommend them. I do not know anyone who has gotten them, so have no experience to relate on that issue. Presently with one eye done, I have one nearsighted eye and the corrected eye is farsighted. Fortunately, this is a temporary condition and I do not recommend it under any circumstances.
    Think hard about where you want your sharp unaided vision. Ask yourself where you visually spend most of your time.
    That said, best of luck and may whatever choice you make be the right one.

  • Man in the Middle March 9, 2021, 12:06 PM

    If you HAVE to have any surgery, cataract surgery is likely the best. Took under five minutes per eye, without even needing to be put to sleep.
    The key for a good result is to have the surgery done by someone who does them in large numbers every week with years of experience. I was one of about a dozen on my days, lined up in a row, with the doctor working his way down the row. No pain at all, then or later, and after being very nearsighted for over fifty years, suddenly I can pass my drivers exam without glasses, though I still need them for reading. I have varifocal glasses that have only a slight correction for astigmatism at the top and a +2.5 correction for reading at the bottom. They are also ballistic protection for shop work, and turn into strong sunglasses in direct sunlight.

    My wife also had both eyes done, with the same great result. Definitely recommended!

  • Drew Kelley March 9, 2021, 12:17 PM

    Had both eyes done in the Fall of ’19 at “New Eyes” in Las Vegas by Dr. Helga Pizio.
    Went from wearing tri-focals for extreme Myopia (circa 20:400) to somewhere between 20:25 and 20:30. Passed the DMV eye-test and for the first time in my life, I’m not required to wear corrective lenses – first licensed at age of 15-1/2 and I was already on bifocals. There are two irritants:
    1) my right eye is slightly weaker than the left, and I’m “right eye dominant” and a shooter;
    2) Have to wear reading glasses now.
    All in all, I wish I had not waited so long.

  • Curtis McGirt March 9, 2021, 12:25 PM


    I had this surgery done on each eye, two weeks apart, in 2011. Not only can I see clearer, my astigmatism is better. The drops you are given are a pain to self administer but doable. I had no complications and no problems with the implants since.

    You will not regret having it done. Good Luck!

  • Ralph Kinney Bennett March 9, 2021, 12:44 PM

    Ah-h-h-h. Oka-a-a-y. It took a while reading through these comments but now I get it. Girard, you are a tool of the CRT, the Cataract Removal Trust. This is probably the best advertising scheme they have ever tried. Amazing. Seriously, I had them removed, a week apart, in December 2019, at a facility near my home in Pennsylvania. I had one “difficult” eye. It was a breeze. I chose a more expensive option, which meant no eye-patch and no eye drops. No pain whatsoever for me. A week later I flew down to Florida and the next day I was stunned at the intensity of the colors and the fact that, as I drove along I could see every blade of grass on the lawns. I thanked God for the genius he has imparted to his creation, which results in steady advances in scientific knowledge with a real payoff for mankind.

  • Blackwing1 March 9, 2021, 1:01 PM

    The drugs that I needed to take to stave off blindness from acute uveitis have the known side-effect of causing premature cataracts. It was a simple choice, to either go blind immediately (and permanently) from the uveitis inflammation of the retinas, or to go blind later, and slowly (most importantly, curably) from the cataracts. I chose the latter.

    Nine years later I had both eyes done sequentially (with about a 6 month pause between them). You will be amazed at the improvement in your vision. I had not realized that it was not the world turning a dingy, yellow-brown, but rather the lenses in my eyes coloring it that way. When I had my dominant (right) eye done first I was basically in an assembly line at the eye hospital with a dozen others that my surgeon would be working on. They sent me home with a patch over my operated eye, telling me to take it off at noon. The hours passed like centuries or maybe even millennia. When the atomic clock on my weather station showed noon, I went outside and took off the patch.

    After blinking against the sunshine (I should have worn sunglasses) I could open my right eye. The first thing that hit me was the blue of the sky…I had not seen genuine blue for several years, apparently, and the blue was so blue it took my breath away. I looked at the back lawn…so many colors of green I couldn’t imagine them all, yet there they were in front of me. I could see insects again (I thought that other than the mosquito bites they’d all gone extinct), birds in the sky, the clarity of vision was astonishing. I sat in my chair and cried tears of joy and happiness at being able to SEE again.

    When the doctor called to follow up I told him that I would normally have called this a miracle…restoring sight to the blind; but that this would be an insult to every person who has made it their life’s work to bring it about. The doctors, the nurses, the technician, the researchers, the laboratory workers, everybody who made this possible deserves the finest of recognition.

    The second (left) eye was not such a revelation, and in fact scared the daylights out of me since I could not see well at all initially. When the doctor called for the follow-up he explained that the first eye had been something of an anomaly in how fast I could see; it took several days for the second one to achieve good vision. In both eyes I had some interesting “starring” phenomenon due to the tissues in the eyes adjusting and healing; looking directly as street lights was fascinating for several weeks afterwords.

    I opted for distance-vision lenses in both eyes. My arms are now not long enough to read with; I have “cheaters” on a cord around my neck whenever I’m awake. But I no longer need glasses with which to drive, and my distance vision is sharper than it’s ever been before in my life. Do NOT get the “bifocal” implant lenses since everyone I’ve talked to who had them put in has had them removed and distance lenses put in as replacements.

    Follow their protocols for eyedrops (antibiotics and anti-inflammatories) before and after surgery and you should have no problems.

    Best of luck, and here’s wishing you a continued lifetime with great vision.

  • David Shaw March 9, 2021, 1:30 PM

    I had cataracts removed from both eyes last year, during the Wuhan pandemic. I also had two cornea transplants.

    My recommendation – stay hydrated and stay on your back looking straight up. Low mobility. I listened to hours of Podcast and had the good fortune that my first surgery was during the impeachment and Brexit. So I had much to amuse myself with during the down time.

    Don’t try to read or work. And wear the protective patch if they give you one. I had a tendency to roll over with my eye in my pillow which exerted unwanted pressure.

    You may also want to ask your MD for eye drop samples. The prescription ones are expensive.

    I now see better that ever, at any age. Not perfect but very close.

    Prayers your way, my brother, prayers your way.

  • Cynthia March 9, 2021, 1:35 PM

    If you are extremely nearsighted there is a risk of retinal detachment. This happened to my husband and he has had permanent impairment (somewhat impaired vision in that eye) following emergency surgery. We know another acquaintance who had the same experience. My husband was advised of the risk beforehand. That said, I had both eyes done in May with no complications and it is wonderful not to need glasses except in certain circumstances, i.e., long bouts of reading. I had one eye undercorrected, so I can read almost anything. Retinal detachment is a risk factor for some!

  • Th March 9, 2021, 1:41 PM

    I had my eyes “corrected” through lasik back in 1998. It was a quick, clean procedure that I recovered from within 24 hours. Because of my astigmatism, I did make one mistake, which I regret, was to have the “mono” vision choice popular at the time. This involves making your dominant eye oriented for distance, and your other eye oriented for close viewing. This was not a problem for nearly 20 years, but now I see a difference in vision that irritates me. I do not believe they recommend this type of procedure any more. My father had cataract surgery in his late 70’s, with no problems, and a quick recovery. My sister had more significant surgery for macular degeneration involved replacing lenses, and it was a total success.

  • Ellen March 9, 2021, 1:52 PM

    I had cataract surgery something over twenty years ago, and it was a marvel — a marvel with problems to live through. The good part? almost no pain, and suddenly the world was twice as bright, and twice as colorful. I could drive without glasses, which was good. I am sensitive to light, and need to wear sunglasses in the sun. Now they don’t have to be prescription, or suited to wear over another pair of glasses.

    Problem 1) I had extreme nearsightedness. Surgeons prefer to do things one eye at a time, Just In Case, and I had to deal with one eye that was 20/20, and the other that was 20/600. The lens for the un-operated eye was heavy, and tilted my glasses something fierce. It was only a few weeks, but they were not fun.

    Problem 2) The first operation was smooth as could be. They put me on a gurney, shot me up with painkiller and tranquilizer, ran me into the operating room, did it, and rolled me out. I didn’t care, I was conscious but floating on a cloud. The second operation was the same EXCEPT somebody hadn’t gotten with the program. When they were wheeling me into the operating room, I said I had NOT HAD the painkiller or tranquilizer like I had the first time. This was fixed, and everything went just as the first did.

    I still wear glasses, though I only need them for reading. They’re eye protection as well. A pair of glasses saved my right eye during a machine shop incident. I can take a hint.

  • Don Wagner March 9, 2021, 2:19 PM

    I had the procedure done 10 years ago when I was 60 . I had acute astigmatism and nearsightedness, and wore glasses since I was 6. The operation is uncomfortable, but painless. I now wear glasses only to read. You will be delighted and amazed at what you can see that youve been missing.

  • Don March 9, 2021, 2:40 PM

    My Mom just had her left eye operated on yesterday by Dr Stabel in Chico. The surgery was performed at the Skyway Surgical Center. The staff were excellent and the procedure only took 15 minutes. We were able leave within a half hour of the surgery. Today’s check-up showed some swelling in cornea that the doc said was not unusual. Mom has no pain and was hardly aware the procedure had taken place until it was all over. Vision still blurry but it should get gradually better over the next few weeks.

  • me here March 9, 2021, 2:55 PM

    I have had both eyes done. I had symfony lenses put in and now I read without needing reading glasses and have 20/20 vision. Awesome stuff.

  • Anne March 9, 2021, 4:06 PM

    I have had close family members have the surgery with great results. One surgeon I can recommend in Southern California is Dr. John Marshburn, for either consult or surgery.

  • Jordan March 9, 2021, 4:33 PM


    I’m coming over from Instapundit. Great comments here with a lot of helpful information. If you have any specific questions after your visit feel free to reach out to me by email. I’m an optometrist in a group that provides cataract surgery and do pre-operative and post-operative management and counseling for a few hundred patients a year.

    The only comment that I read that might be worrisome was related to medications you should make sure to notify your surgeon about – this applies particularly to Flomax or generic equivalent and is applicable even if you’re not presently on the medication but have taken it in the past.

  • Gregory Anderson March 9, 2021, 4:54 PM

    Best surgery I ever had! I am very sensitive about my eyes (I couldn’t wear contacts because I couldn’t get them into my eyes). But when I started having problem seeing at night, with headlights blinding me, I decided to see my eye doctor, who specializes in cataracts, and he stongly suggested that I get the surgery. And when they told me I had to awake during it, I started to freak out, but they told me they would give me something to calm me down. And they were right! I was calm, it was a 5 minute surgery, I had 1 eye done on a Tuesday and the other on a Thursday, and within 2 days, I was driving without having to wear glasses, because it corrected my nearsightness and my astigmatism. My vision is now 20/15 and hasn’t change in the 3 years since I had it done.
    Do it, you will see a hell of alot better.

  • 30yearProf March 9, 2021, 5:29 PM

    Do it, do it, do it.

    No glasses anymore for distance but I’ll still wear them to break up my vast white space from neck in front to neck in back.
    Add set of 3 for $15.95 reading glasses (+2.0) from Target.

  • Deborah Gott Keenum March 9, 2021, 5:31 PM

    I was a retina specialist for 25 years. Meaning I saw and treated all of the “complications” of cataract surgery. The most common being cystoid macular edema (fluid in central retina) 1% risk all the way to infection or dropped lens or retinal detachment (very rare unless you are the one in which case statistics don’t matter). Based on your symptoms and “risk/benefit analysis” it is time for you to have your cataracts removed. I had mine removed 3 years ago and probably waited 2 years too long. I had no problems and it was a great experience. The drugs take the edge off and what is actually 25 minutes seems like five. But I always said to
    my patients “all procedures have risk”.

  • Oy Gevalt March 9, 2021, 5:43 PM

    I’ve been myopic since I was 5. Over the past few years my vision slowly got worse because of the cataracts. Last month I had the left eye done. Last week, the right eye. The procedure was the same and not at all how I thought it would be. No food after midnight. Only took lisinoprile and metoprolol. Took a drop of prednisolone and ilevro when I woke up, plus a dilating solution before I left the house. Got to the site. They inserted an IV. Put a cloth over the ear by my eye (to catch the saline and numbing drops). Got some more dilation drops and some numbing drops. Took me into the surgery room where I was staring up at a fancy microscope. The anesthesiologist gave me an IV med to relax me a little (but NOT to put me to sleep – he said sleeping during the thing was not a good idea). More drops. Doctor told me not to move my eye – which surprisingly I didn’t feel like doing. Said to let him know if I needed to cough. As I stared up at a light I could see some movement but could neither see nor feel the instruments he was using on the edge of the cornea. Had no idea when he actually removed the cloudy lens, although I think I could tell when he added the IOL. It was all over in 12 minutes. They wheeled me out, asked me how I felt, took off the shoe covers, the blanket, the BP and heart monitor. And my daughter drove me home.

    The rest of the day it kind of felt like there was something in my eye, but it wasn’t bad enough to make me want to rub it (which you DO NOT want to do). Used artificial tears once. The surgery was Thursday. That night I had to wear a plastic cover over the eye, and I was not to lie on my right side (or left the month before). After the first night the cover wasn’t needed. By Saturday or Sunday I no longer noticed anything in my eye. The vision in the right eye kind of varies during the day as the eye heals but it’s becoming more stable. Every day I have prednisolone drops 3x a day and ilevero once a day. From Thursday until Tuesday I’m not supposed to get my head wet in a shower.
    So, a week has gone by. My eyes feel fine. Since I’m myopic I’ll probably still need glasses to really see distance clearly, but I can see well enough to drive – I will admit that headlights and such are a bit blurry at night – doctor thinks that may be because of macular degneration in the left eye. And I will need reading glasses to see close up. I can what I’m typing now from a yard away, but I have made the text larger.

    All in all, It was faster than I thought. Not painful (except for the IV because I’m a hard stick). It’s interesting not wearing glasses after decades with them (and a couple of years of contacts).

    Finally, my ophthalmologist doesn’t recommend laser cataract surgery. He says that only a very small group of people would benefit from it. It still requires penetrating the cornea to remove the old lens and to insert the new one. So, 10-15 minutes in surgery. I spent more time getting ready for it and getting settled after it than my time with the doctor.

  • Patty March 9, 2021, 5:44 PM

    I had iol cataract surgery 2 months ago. Its been hell. Both iol lenses rotated . Can see distance although that has gone from 20/20 to 20/40. Cannot read near. Have reading glasses but does not completely help get double vision and very tired eyes. ( my husband has to read numbers to me so i can write checks). In another month will have lasik surgery to supposedly correct it. So cataract surgery is not always simple

  • Chuck B March 9, 2021, 6:52 PM

    I’m on the (non-cataract) surgical sales side of the business and one thing I would recommend investigating/considering is what they call a premium or multifocal IOL (intraocular lens). This will allow you to see multiple distances and eliminate the need for glasses. Will usually cost additional out of pocket, but worth looking into.

  • RL Homer March 9, 2021, 7:32 PM

    I have cataracts in both eyes and am a somewhat complex bag of tricks. I am farsighted +1.75 right, +2.5o left, nasty astigmatism in both eyes, right is is -3.50, left is -5.25 and I need a +2.50 add for near and mid range reading and computer. I also have prism is both eyes, vertical and horizontal. I have progressive lenses(Zeiss) with AR, Transitions. I also wear and will only wear Poloroid progressives(Younger Drivewear), double gradient mirror(Silver) with backside AR. Mine are not yet to the point I need the cataract surgery. Night driving is my toughest thing. My optometrist is concerned and sent me for another opinion. That Ophthalmologist said they can done but it will rather tricky and he concurred, wait it out. Great thread and wealth of info here, even for me. I was a Dr’s Optician for 15 years and still folow the trade and have friends in it.

  • Bob March 9, 2021, 7:45 PM

    Short take: RxSight light adjustable lens is the best lens available now. Hands down. No contest. Done deal. Accept no substitutes.
    Long take: Email me.

  • ray ward March 9, 2021, 10:42 PM

    I had cataract surgery in both eyes a couple of years ago. Had the lenses removed and replaced with artificial lenses. Had one done by manual surgery and the other done by automated laser surgery. Had a complication that scar tissue started to grow back over the replacement lenses. That required a one-time corrective surgery on both eyes. Have 20/20 vision in both eyes (was 20/600 and 20/800 before) with correct color vision. Hadn’t realized how yellow my vision had become. I had the lenses set for distance vision, and use reading glasses (+2.0) for up close. I wish I had had the surgery much earlier.

  • redclay7 March 10, 2021, 3:54 AM

    One quick other comment to my comments a couple days earlier – there will be a period between getting the first eye done and the second one some days/week/weeks when you are in two worlds.
    Open the good eye and you are in the new world and then close and open the old eye and you see the old world. It is a revelation, albeit unsettling using something to block the eye you aren’t using until they are both on the same page….best, redclay7

  • Patrick T. McGuire March 10, 2021, 4:17 AM

    I am 69 and have worn glasses since I was 8 with vision rated at 20/200. I had this procedure done in both eyes nearly a year ago. I was VERY apprehensive about seeing a knife descend on my eye to cut it open but when the time came I didn’t see a thing and it was over before I knew it. The doctor approached from the top of the head so I didn’t see anything. The whole process took about 15 minutes.
    I wore an eye patch for one day, had no pain or discomfort at all, and for the first time in my life I could SEE. I ended up seeing better than when I had glasses! Now I sit daily on my front porch before dawn to witness the colors unfold in the trees surrounding me as the sun comes up.
    I wish I had done this years ago.

  • Happy Cataract Patient March 10, 2021, 4:28 AM

    Get laser surgery if at all possible. It’s quicker and has fewer side effects than a scalpel operation. If you have astigmatism, a Toric lens will correct it. Medical insurance probably won’t cover these, unfortunately, but they’re worth it. I went from horrid vision–I think my bad eye was 20/400–to 20/20.

    My regular opthalmologist and eye surgeon both recommended staying away from variable lens. It’s a compromise that’s not ideal for either near or distant vision. Having near in one eye and distant in the other works for some people; others regret it.

    Good luck!

  • Joe Louderback March 10, 2021, 6:47 AM

    I had cataracts removed two years ago (at age 80). While it was not a pleasant experience, it was well worthwhile. Prior to the surgery the doctor said I was seeing through a blue-green filter. I was amazed after the first surgery to see colors as they actually were, the difference was profound. Now I wear glasses only to read, and I could read most everything without them, but I’m a bit more comfortable wearing them.

    Go ahead and have the surgery. You’ll be pleased.

  • Meredith Erickson March 10, 2021, 12:01 PM

    I have had very near sighted eyes and worn contacts since 9th grade. I also have presbyopia (needing reading glasses) which the contacts could only partially correct since they only go to a -2.5. I had cataract surgery in June 2020 and had a lens replacement of the newest lens called a Symphony lens. It adjusts for near sighted, mid range and for the close up. I now do not need any type of glasses and have 20/20 vision which I don’t remember ever having. I also do not need reading glasses. It was the best thing I ever did. The procedure was painless, quick and there were no drops or any kind of post op treatment other than using some saline drops if you had any scratchiness or blurring vision in the first couple of days. I could see quite well leaving the doctors office. This lens implant is expensive but worth every penny! If you have questions, feel free to reach out.

  • Eric March 11, 2021, 3:05 PM

    I had terrible problems with floaters and had vitrectomies (remove vitreous humour and replace with silicone) in 2016. I had an outstanding surgeon and the procedure worked great, but then I got cataracts as I was told would happen. I had cataract surgery in late 2016 and that was also highly successful. I now have 20/20 vision after being near-sighted my whole life up to then. I also had multifocal implants. I highly recommend those if you can afford them because you can even see things clearly as close as 2 feet away.

    It’s very important that you have excellent surgeons for these procedures as both my mother and mother-in-law had bad experiences with cataract surgery due to mistakes that their surgeons made.

  • Tony March 12, 2021, 4:24 AM

    PP (Pre-pandemic January 2020) I was sitting in a chair surrounded by 8 other pre-op patients, more staff, and weighed down by a terror previously unknown. Of the three lens choices I had been given, somehow signals got crossed and I was scheduled for one type which did not seem right. My wife was was called in to the pre-op room, the eye surgeon appeared in full-on scrubs (in between poking out other’s natural eyes) and a lively discussion ensued. Measurements were taken, the doctor told me to focus (not literally, but on the discussion) and all disappeared back to their places.

    When I awoke, and the best part was that I saw or felt nothing of the surgical event, I left the surgery center (located in a run of the mill shopping center) patched on one eye, but pain free. My reason for living had been given a chart with an eye drop schedule that seemed complex, but in fact just required diligent perseverance. Two weeks later eye #2 was scheduled to be invaded. At the post surgery session for eye #1, I asked to advance the date of the second surgery because it was so painless and the results were dramatic! No more glasses required for my right eye. Those glasses had been added to my face in 7th grade after my first trip to Yankee stadium.

    The second eye was just as successful, the drops were just as numerous. When the country and surgery centers shut down a mere 4 weeks later I thanked my lucky stars (St Pat.’s day cliche) that I had not waited. One eye done and one not done would have been a nightmare.

    I am now wearing cheap readers and 10-12 pairs are scattered about my house, car and office. But I have great non-prescription sun glasses, with unlimited choices available (“Nice purple mirrors Dad.”) Skiing without scratchy contact lenses has been great, but I still cannot track the golf ball. I think because I had been unable to see the ball in glasses, I never trained myself to follow the flight. My sons remain good sports on this score, however.

    I am thankful that my waning year on this earth will be replete with visions of bluebirds which are a lusty blue, cardinals vibrant red, and numerous stars at night to delight me and the grandkids. Go for it.