e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

Eye Surgery

Three days ago I had a cataract removed from my left eye.  Years ago, my left eye was the stronger of the two (but not by much...I was myopic from childhood, severely enough that I was put in contact lenses at age 15 to stop the progression.)   Several of my friends had had cataract surgery and told me what to expect, but every eye is a little different and mine chose an alternative route back to sight.  I have been wearing bifocals for years.

It's getting there, but it's not "there" yet, in terms of stability enough to get a new prescription for glasses.   Some people go from severely impaired vision to not needing glasses, but I knew going in I would not be one of them.  I have astigmatism as well as myopia and presbyopia (the presbyopia has moderated the myopia a little bit, but has stolen my ability to put my nose on a page and read teeny-tiny print...that went before the distance vision changed at all.)   Although it is possible to get a lens insert that corrects astigmatism...or a lens insert that give you both near and far vision...there's not a lens that gives both astigmatism correction AND bifocal vision, which meant even if I paid a lot more for the astigmatism correction, I'd still need glasses.  But then--except for the ~15 years I wore contact lenses, I've worn glasses for most of my life.  No biggie.

So what I have now is a left eye with better uncorrected distance vision than the right eye...but so much astigmatism that it would not be safe to use in driving...the bending of edges can be enough to make things pop in and out of visibility as I move.  With my glasses on, the left eye's astigmatism is corrected, but the world looks as if someone smeared the lens with petroleum jelly.  Oddly, the distance vision is better through the bottom, "near" part of the bifocals than through the top.   Meanwhile, the right eye has blurry vision for anything with glasses off, but decent (not perfect) vision with glasses on.

The most annoying thing when I first got the left eye unbandaged was a distinct pink haze over everything.  Close it, and colors appeared normal.  Open it and there was the pink.  White things looked pink.  Red things looked very dark to black.  That has, thankfully, faded, becoming more what was described to me by others...colors looking "cooler" but more vivid.   One possibility is that everything IS pink-hazed...but more likely, when I think about it, my cataract was greenish, and having become used to that filter, when it was removed I saw the complementary color until my brain got over it.  OH--you mean you aren't needing compensation for that filter anymore?  OK.

An interesting thing is how easily my brain switches eye dominance with clarity of vision: whichever eye sees more clearly takes over and input from the other one fades.  I'm typing wearing glasses, using my right eye.  If I shut my left eye, everything on the monitor is blurry, but I don't notice any blur while typing.  If I turn to look out the window, it seems that I have, indeed, normal distance vision with the right eye and there's no blur from the left eye.  But if I push up my glasses, the left eye instantly "takes over" and gives me a full-field view with that eye, becuase--though not perfect--it's much stronger distance vision than the uncorrected right eye.   It's fairly seamless.  I've discovered that I can read (as I often do) with my glasses off by holding a book close...but glance up and the left eye's better distance seeing takes over and lets me see the folds of the window curtain, clothes hanging in the closet, etc.  Then glance back at the book and the near-sighted right eye locks in on the print.   If I had opted for the astigmatism-correction lens implant, I would have useful vision both very near and far without glasses (monocular in both, however, and missing  in the 1 foot to maybe 4 foot range.  )

Supposedly over the next two weeks, about, the left eye's visual acuity will settle down to what it's going to be, and I can get a new prescription, so that I can see out of both sides of my glasses, with only astigmatism correction (or very little myopic correction) in the left eye, plus the bifocal correction for closer sight, and the usual in my right eye.   The right eye also has a cataract, but it isn't nearly as bad as the one removed, and I won't be having that surgery until it gets worse.
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