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Cataract surgery

Started by RobertHowe, 04/02/2022 01:04PM
Posted 04/02/2022 01:04PM Opening Post
After increasing difficulty for 5 years, my dominant-eye cataract is ready to go.  I will appreciate advice from AMarters about the sort of replacement lens to seek and anything else I should know. 

I have found a couple of threads on CloudyNights and an amazing pdf by Jerry Oltion on the problems his wife faced from an unsympathetic surgeon.  I have ordered a book on Astronomy for Older Eyes. 

My long-time opthalmologist, himself an observer, retired two years ago, so I intend to seek three opinions, then go with the Doc who is most sympathetic to an observer.

Your thoughts will be appreciated. 

Robert Howe
Wilbraham MA


TeleVue 85 f/7 // Astro-Physics Traveler 105 f/6 // Astro-Physics 130 f/8.35 // Tak Mewlon 210 //
Coronado 60 DS
"Scopes, Brains and Wisdom--but no Beauty"
Posted 04/04/2022 11:47PM #1
Hello Robert:

That's an excellent question. I had both myopia and astigmatism issues and wore bifocal lenses in my glasses. As a "cataract surgery survivor," (2012) who is also an astronomy enthusiast, cataract surgery was a big deal for me. Fortunately, I had a surgeon who was very familiar with this issue. Some of these may not be applicable to your condition. You have a range of options with IOLs. Straight plastic replacement with no myopic or astigmatism correction, or IOLs with correction for one or both of those conditions, or, a sort of bifocal option, or a "soft" lens option they had just come out with at the time, that would eliminate the need for bifocals, since the eye itself would be able to focus this lens near and far. The surgeon told me that the "bi-focal" and "soft lens" options would affect my ability to focus star images across a wide field. He recommended that I stick with the hard plastic lenses, with or without the correction built in.  That's what I ended up doing.  Post surgery, I was able to ditch my glasses entirely. The clarity and pinpoint star images were breathtaking in their magnificent contrast. It was like being reborn! This cataract stuff sneaks up on you over the years and you just don't realize how bad things have gotten.

That was 10 years ago. The third year in, my astigmatism began to return. I had to go back to wearing glasses to correct it. But I still don't need correction for myopia - just the astigmatism, so the lenses in my glasses are very thin.

Today, you probably have options that weren't available 10 years ago.  But here are a few ideas to discuss with you doc.  Good luck!

- Chuck