Cataract and Cataract Surgery
I had cataract in both of my eyes due to the long term use of prednisone (a steroid medicine). I was not aware of the side effects at that time. The cataract had spread so fast that within a few months, I was unable to see things.After consultation with the doctor, I chose to go ahead and do the surgery on my right eye to improve my vision. It was a very frightening moment for me, but I knew there was nothing to worry about because eye cataract surgery is the most common and reliable surgery.
What are Cataracts: A clear lens inside the eye helps focus light this allows images to be seen sharply. As person ages the lens slowly grows cloudy and turns yellow. This cloudy lens is cataract. A cataract scatters or blocks the light that passes in to the eye. As a result images appear blurry. In early stages glasses may help you see well. But as your lens becomes cloudier, glasses may not be enough. That`s when you and your doctor decide to go for a surgery.
Before Surgery: One week before the surgery I was scheduled to see the ophthalmologist for pre-op procedure. Because they needed to know the medical history and examined both eyes carefully to see which eye needed to be operated first. I had to provide him all the prescription medication or vitamins and supplements, I was taking regularly. He had to do thorough eye exam by using device that measured length and curve of my eye. They also checked pressure in both eyes. We both decided to operate in the right eye first.
Night before Surgery: Not allowed to eat or drink anything after the midnight. This includes tea, coffee, chocolate, chewing gum and mints. But, I was allowed to take all my medications only with small sips of water.
The day of surgery; I was little nervous but more excited because I wanted my vision back. My husband drove me to the hospital, outpatient department. We prepared ourselves to be there at least 3-4 hours. Preparation time took more than 2 hour to prepare me for the surgery. Before the surgery they gave me medicine and anesthesia to relax and keeping away from feeling any pain. I was little drowsy but not sleepy. It took only 15 minutes to do the surgery and was done before I even know it. Doctor uses a microscope hanging over your eyes and tiny instruments to make the incision to remove the old lens. So the special instruments break apart the old lens with ultrasound waves and the removes the pieces. This process is called phacoemulsification. The natural membrane that held our lens is left in place.
Once the old lens was removed doctor slipped the new LOL lens, in through the incision. The LOL was positioned in the capsule of my right eye. As soon as new lens was in place, they closed the incision. The incision was self sealing or no stitch, means it did closed on its own without any stitches but doctor made 2 stitches to be on the safe side.
After the surgery had rested in recovery room for one hour even though I felt fine and ready to be discharged. As soon as I was discharged, doctor gave me a big list, what I should and should not be doing.
Instruction for Home to avoid
No rubbing eyes.
No heavy lifting, above 20 pounds, for me
Avoid alcohol, do not drink alcohol any way due to medications.
No cooking for a week.
No bending head, below waist
Had to wear plastic shield at night over the right eye for one week. This was the most uncomfortable situation.
No outdoor activities like sports, swimming, grilling etc.
No driving for 5 days after the surgery.
How to use eye drops
3 Special eye drops were given to me to prevent any infection, swelling and inflammation.
Doctor had demonstrated to me the safe way to use eye drops
Tilt your head back
Pull your bottom eyelid down with your left hand. Rest your other hand while squeezing one drop in my right eye without touching eye to the bottle tip
Close eye for few seconds.
a. Polymyxin B – Trimethoprim 4 times a day for two weeks.
b. Prednisolone – 4 times a day for 2 weeks. Then three times a day for one week, twice a day for one week and once a day for one week.
c. Ketorolac Tromethamine - 1 drop in right eye 4 times daily
Intraocular lens benefit
- The clear cornea technique offers many benefits that help you to get back to your normal activities quickly.
- I spent only 20 minutes in the operating room, 5 minutes for the surgery and rest were preparation time.
- Surgery was painless with only 2 stitches.
- I started seeing things clear as early as next day when they removed my eye patch.
- Incision had healed faster than I expected.
- I was back on my normal activities within 3 days.
- I can see thread needle, husband and daughters face now.Thank God!
I was told that although vision was clearer immediately after surgery, I will continue see an improvement over the next few weeks. Some patients may go through a post-surgery adjustment period of approximately 6 to 12 weeks. Once your brain learns how to see, it slowly adapts to the implants. In the beginning, I see halos or glare around lights especially at night. The side effect gradually faded away. But I still face these problem even after the 2 months of the surgery but I see that it`s becoming less troublesome now than in the beginning.
The first follow up visit was the next morning of the surgery. Doctor has removed the patch on my right eye. Checked the vision and told me that everything looked good and healing perfectly.
Then next follow up was a week later when he removed the stitches and viola, new vision for me(20/25).
Third follow up was to check if everything okay and healing smoothly, with no infections in the operated eye.
After 2 Months of Right Eye Surgery
My right eye is doing good.
Then I went through again the same procedure in my left eye on 06/25/2012. This has been a week now and my vision is better in my both eyes. I can see things now which I could not see in past few months. I still have to take precaution and keep up the doctor visit for one year.