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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, eye exam revealed I have pretty significant cataracts in my right eye (reading). A friend is an ophthalmologist and I have a consult tomorrow. Been reading up on regular vs laser surgery and monofocal versus the advanced lenses. I do have astigmatism and my reading eye went from a -4.50 to a reading of -9.25.

Anyone have any suggestions, advice, comment or questions I should ask?

I am told health insurance covers the cost of regular surgery and monofocal but the laser will run maybe $1000 out of pocket and each lens could be up to $2600 more for toric and multifocal.
 

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38 years in the med device industry and part of that time designing stuff for Alcon and now another multifocal company. If you get monodical IOL, one lens will be near, one far. If you engage in outdoor activities, this is can be a real hindrance. Multifocal/toric can obviate the need for glasses at all, depending on where you are now. If it were me, I'd pony up the extra money. In fact I've thought of having it done to avoid lenses generally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I plan to pony up for the IOL lenses so that I can try to avoid contacts, glasses, readers, or if I have to, to get the best vision that I can. I have read some articles online that say the laser surgery is not any more advantageous than the regular surgery, other than that healing might be a little bit quicker. It does not help with any a visual acuity. Out of pocket it would run me 1000 more for the laser or so. At this point I plan on following my doctors advice but even with insurance I’m looking at about $6000 out of pocket
 

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I was given the choice of three surgeries. Medicare would pay for standard lens replacement. I could pony up an extra $2.5K and get both distance vision and astigmatism corrected or I could pay $5K and get both distance and reading corrected but the astigmatism would remain. Doing all three is still a ways off, unfortunately, but my ophthalmologist says that laser research is promising. I opted to get the distance and astigmatism corrected which is great for driving, shotgunning and general wondering around. I still keep other glasses lying all over the place for reading, the computer, driving with my phone on google map and target shooting. However, having worn glasses since the fourth grade, getting my lenses replaced was a wonder. Y'gotta love modern medicine!
 

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When deciding on the surgical approach and the type of lenses to be inserted, money is but one of and perhaps not the most critical of the issues driving your choices. The medical condition of your eyes is the most the most critical. Just a month and a half ago, I had cataract surgery on my left eye. According to my ophthalmologist macular degeneration in my left eye, that is presently being controlled, pretty much limited me to the monofocal lens and that makes the same type of lens in my right eye the most logical choice. While the idea of no longer having to wear glasses is attractive, for some of us, it just is not a reasonable medical option. ;)
 

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Eagle, agreed, my comments were prefaced with depends on where you are now. Good news its that are many promising solutions for AMD very close to market.

As to surgical technique, the advantage of the laser is sometimes better healing, often better precision. Watching eye surgery is fascinating given the precision. In medicine, often (not always), older docs tend to stick with what they learn in residency, younger docs tend to embrace newer technology. Newer doesn't mean better outcomes, but often does. Do use the technique your doctor prefers. When choosing a surgeon, I always check their revision rate for the procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After my consult I am having the laser surgery with pannoptix IOL. Will be like a multi focal toric lens. Some people report ghosting or halo effects and most of that settles out in a year. May need cheaters if everything goes well or even contacts but will allow me to see better than I did in many years, both up close and at a distance. My right eye or reading eye has really gotten worse and the disparity has caused havoc with trying to use glasses and then contacts to correct. Should be much easier now
 

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I had both eyes done several years ago (not at the same time). I misunderstood and thought they were giving me a large American car!
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Hood


The one lens up close and the other far away was not recommended and research if lazar messes up your eyes for future cataract surgery. Both eyes for distance are near 20/20 but needed reading glasses for near.

Since I've always worn glasses, like them and hide behind them, I opted for full glasses with close up on the bottom.
I only paid $200 each eye (insurance!!) And can now see and find my golf ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Glad your surgery went well. yes, my multifocal toric contacts were $560 A YEAR. And the Optometrist said no use in changing the lenses in my glasses - he was at the end of what he thought he could do to benefit me there. My right eye was the one getting worse, the left eye which is my distance eye, well, it actually got better. The progressive lens in that eye was used to help with the right eye, but now, until surgery, I have a regular toric lens for the left eye and I can see road signs further away more clearly. That means readers for books and magazines, menus and I phone until surgery on may 5th. Doing right eye first

I just started back with contacts about 8 years ago. I tried them in college and well, the early 80's, they made my eyes red. So went with glasses. ALways was hitting them on something and bending the frames. Oh, and losing prescription sunglasses while jet-skiing is no fun, and expensive. Now with contacts, I can use the peloton and easily use the sweat towel, and for sunglasses, I have raybans and others and keep a spare pair in the car. The convenience of not worrying about hitting my glasses while say under the hood of my car is very nice.

I go for a consult on April 12th. I have no problem with having to choose which is more clear - up close or say midrange. Id gladly have cheap reader at home, office and in the car for times I need to read something up close. But being able to hold a magazine or news paper at arms length or see a computer screen 3 to 5 feet away, nice. There is a chance it could correct all my vision problems, no cheaters even. It will correct my astigmatism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For anyone that has had cataract surgery: when you get one eye operated on, I understand you won’t need glasses or contacts for that eye. My surgeon tells me that I need to leave my contacts off and just use my glasses until the surgery. I am thinking that once that eye is cleared up they will set a surgery date for the other eye which probably would be within a month. So until that second eye is operated on, and given that I should probably leave the contact for the remaining bad eye off, what do you do with glasses? Do you pop out the lens for the bad eye that was operated on and just wear the glasses that way? Or do you go to an optometrist and have them pop in a clear lens, and if so, who would do it and about how much would I pay?
 

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I'm trying to remember but if I recall correctly, I just popped out the corrected lens in the 'new' eye until the next surgery. Mine were only two weeks apart. I certainly can't see paying someone to pop it out for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm trying to remember but if I recall correctly, I just popped out the corrected lens in the 'new' eye until the next surgery. Mine were only two weeks apart. I certainly can't see paying someone to pop it out for me.
Thank you Sarge. I wouldn’t pay to have the lens removed, only to have a clear, non-prescription lens inserted. If it’s only two weeks apart, I’ll just pop the lens out. I probably would only need them at night to see the TV and then to drive into work. At work I’m gonna be up on a computer most of the time
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yesterday I had surgery on my right eye. Today I went in for a postop consultation and I can read 20/20. The biggest thing that I notice the difference in is that if I close my left eye, the surgical eye sees colors so much brighter. I would compare it to the LED bulb but with the daylight setting. My non-surgical, left, eye has a brownish tint to it which would compare to the soft white lightbulbs setting. Today I am watching ESPN and the scroll on the bottom, if I close my left eye, it’s the first time in over 40 years I would’ve been able to read the scrolling lines at the bottom without the need of glasses or contacts
 

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I had both eyes done. Left eye was 20/20 and the right eye was less. Up close vision still needed glasses, but I've always worn glasses and like hiding behind them so I got glasses with very little on the top and reading on the bottom (Progressive).

Finally I could find my golf ball!

However just recently I noted a slight vision loss in my good (left) eye and went in for a test. They found a cloud behind the cataract lens (which they said was common) and I need to go in for LASIK to correct it.
 

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Surgery on my right eye was completed on 26 April. The Ophthalmologist will be providing me with a prescription for my new glasses on 1 June. At this point the distance vision in my right eye seems perfect, but I'm depending on Walgreen readers for my up close reading needs. I'm looking forward to getting back to a regular pair of eyeglasses. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Second visit on right eye, 20-25 but that could be because of the eye drops I am using post-operatively. Left eye will be this Thursday. First time I have driven without contacts or glasses since I was 16. Even at 20-25 on the right eye (which is my reading eye, left eye is my dominant and distance eye) I can read the scroller on ESPN and magazines at arms length. I may or may not need readers but doc said wait a month, let the eyes settle in. So far no halos or glares.
 
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