Cataracts

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aggregory
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Real Name: Antone Gregory

Cataracts

Post by aggregory »

This past week I learned that my fuzzy right-eye vision is due to a new cataract. I intend to have the surgery in the next couple of months, but I'd like to learn from others with this experience. Specifically, I need to decide if I should have my new lens provide distance vision, or near vision. Is anyone willing to share some experience with this and how it has effected both day to day activities, and our astronomical hobby.

Antone
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SEmert
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Re: Cataracts

Post by SEmert »

Hi Antone, I haven't had to go through it yet myself, but I suggest you do read up on cataract surgery - not only whether the lens is set for distance vision versus near vision, but also some potential effects of the surgery. There is a potential concern with the sac that holds the lens. There was an article in the past about the possibility of it getting a fold in it that caused a diffraction spike.

Actually, I never heard of a choice in regards to lens types; I've only heard of distance vision lenses and using reading glasses for near.

Hopefully some who have actually gone through cataract surgery can provide some insight.
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Wayne
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Re: Cataracts

Post by Wayne »

I believe it was Michael Kauper who presented his research and experience with cataract options at a MAS meeting several years ago. Sky and Telescope had an article (http://www.jerryoltion.com/Cataracts_an ... nomers.htm) that may be helpful.
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Sureshks
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Re: Cataracts

Post by Sureshks »

Hi Antone,

I'm sorry to read about your pending procedure. Recently, I was researching solar calcium light filters. The K and H-line filters operate around 393 and 396nm, respectively, which is very close to the human lower limit of 390nm.

As a result, these filters are typically not very good for visual use. However, apparently people that have had cataract surgery can often see a little below 390nm, into the UV part of the spectrum. As a result, they can see more detail visually with these K and H-line calcium filters than people who haven't had the procedure.

Here's a little bit about it on the Lunt website (last paragraph):

https://telescopes.net/store/ls6cakmdd2 ... ction.html

I hope this helps!

Suresh
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aggregory
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Re: Cataracts

Post by aggregory »

Thanks Guys for your messages.

Wayne and Steve, you both mentioned the diffraction spike problem backed up with Wayne's article link. I just read that article and will talk with my eye surgeon about that potential problem.

Suresh, your comment about UV sensitivity may be supported in that the woman in the article and my mother mentioned that everything looked bluer after the surgery.

Again, thanks
Antone
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Deane Clark
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Re: Cataracts

Post by Deane Clark »

I’ve had the surgery in both eyes (at different times). I didn’t have any problems. My only problem was I waited too long to get it done. I went through a few pair of glasses in the year before due to rapidly changing astigmatism. It was depressing.

I was very near-sighted my whole life. Consequently I was used to being able to see close up without correction. In fact, I practically had micro-vision; something I miss today when I want to see fine detail, or get an eyelash out of my eye. I think because of this, I didn’t like the idea of always needing glasses for close-up. I had always needed them for distance anyway, so it was less of a change for me to get a lens that focuses at about reading distance. I haven’t had any regrets, and no negatives with respect to astronomy. I can even read the alarm clock from bed without needing to find glasses. :)

Apparently, they now make implant lenses that can change the distance they focus at, but I was told I wasn’t a good candidate for those.

By the way, everything looks bluer after surgery mostly because you’ve been looking through a cataract that scatters the blue light, just like a sunset.

Within a few years after your initial surgery you will almost certainly get what’s called a secondary cataract. It’s the lens capsule getting cloudy, as opposed to the lens itself. This is treated in, like, 2 minutes using a laser. They just cut a little hole in it and it opens up a clear space. This is one area where there is a possibility of having an effect on astronomy. I’ve noticed a couple times using a scope/eyepiece combination with a large exit pupil that I can see the edge of this hole. I can’t say it’s impacted my life much, but I have wondered if they could have made the hole a little bigger.
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Dick Jacobson
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Re: Cataracts

Post by Dick Jacobson »

I had cataract surgery in both eyes several years ago. The results were very good, though not perfect. In my right eye, I see horizontal streaks when looking at a bright light at night, like a streetlight or the full Moon. I suppose the cornea never healed properly. There are no streaks in my left eye.

There are implants that are supposed to reduce the need for reading glasses. My understanding is that they focus some of the light for far vision, and some for near vision. I decided against these so I'd have the best possible far vision and use reading glasses when necessary. I'm happy with this choice.

I had considerable astigmatism in my right eye and chose to get an implant that corrects astigmatism (at extra cost). Some mild astigmatism has returned after the surgery, but not enough that it interferes with stargazing.
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aggregory
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Re: Cataracts

Post by aggregory »

Dean and Dick,

Thank you for responding about your experiences and I'm relieved to learn that astronomy is still satisfying.

Dean, I've always been nearsighted too, but not to the "microvision" scale. My doctor is not advising the mult-focal length lenses for two reasons. One is they can be frustrating to use, and second, insurance doesn't cover them. I apprecicate your comment about the secondary cataract and the exit pupil. I'll keep that in mind when the time comes.

Dick, that streak you see may be due to a wrinkle in the membrane over the lens. You might take a look at the article that Wayne mentioned in his post. He included a link and it is interesting reading. I intend to discuss that very issue with my doctor.

Overall, I'm leaning toward distance vision with the understanding that I will need reading glasses when my other eye develops a cataract. For the present, I don't need glasses to read since my left eye is still its normal nearsightedness, and my right eye is little use for anything.

Thanks again,
Antone
aggregory
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Re: Cataracts

Post by aggregory »

Here is an update. I had my cataract surgery the beginning of January and all went well. Yesterday I conducted a color vision test on myself. Here at Century College we have a hydrogen gas discharge tube (Crook's tube) and some simple handheld spectrophotometers that we use to view the four Balmer lines. For years, I have only been able to see three of them at longer wavelengths. The hydrogen-delta line at 410 nm has always been invisible to me. It was just too blue. Yesterday I could clearly see this line through my new lens in my right eye. It was still invisible in my left eye.

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Sureshks
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Re: Cataracts

Post by Sureshks »

Hi Antone,

That's very interesting. I recently picked up this Baader Calcium-K filter that operates at 395nm:

https://agenaastro.com/baader-calcium-c ... -1-25.html

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, most observers cannot see much of anything visually thru this filter as the human limit is around 390nm. Therefore, it's primarily a photographic tool that brings out additional detail in sunspots and phages.

However, observers that have had the cataract surgery have reported being able to see some of the solar surface detail visually in calcium light.

It would be interesting to test this out... if you're willing to try.

Suresh
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aggregory
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Re: Cataracts

Post by aggregory »

Sure, we can try viewing with your calcium filter. Sometime when the weather is a little nicer.
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Frank Kenney
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Re: Cataracts

Post by Frank Kenney »

The story of the blind astronomer of Nova Scotia
https://youtu.be/82seHPdYAo8
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kibatme
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Re: Cataracts

Post by kibatme »

aggregory wrote: Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:43 pm This past week I learned that my fuzzy right-eye vision is due to a new cataract. I intend to have the surgery in the next couple of months, but I'd like to learn from others with this experience. Specifically, I need to decide if I should have my new lens provide distance vision, or near vision. Is anyone willing to share some experience with this and how it has effected both day to day activities, and our astronomical hobby.

Antone
This thread has been quiet for a number of years. Bumping it up since I learned this morning that cataract surgery is in my immediate future.

Looking for any newer / more recent experience with the procedure, newer technologies, etc.
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DavidHusom
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Re: Cataracts

Post by DavidHusom »

Hi Mike I had both eyes done about 18 months ago. I was near sighted in one eye and far in the other. Although I got by for years not needing glasses (other than to pass an eye test at the DMV) As I aged my eyes got more extreme and developed astigmatism. I had light smears with bright lights, stop signs, the moon and even most stars. I got Toric lenses to correct the astigmatism and smears. Note that Medicare and most insurance will not cover the additional cost but it was well worth it. My far vision is now fantastic. I can not believe how sharp stars are now. After the surgery (one eye at a time) I was blown away by the fact that snow has ice crystals that glisten in the sun. I had never seen that before! One of my eyes does have a slight smear on really bight lights — the moon and Venus right now but not the ISS — but nothing like before. Be aware that they often do not quite get the first eye perfect. But they are able to correct issues like that with the second. The only down side is my near vision really sucks. So I still do wear progressives but could get by with just readers. In fact with telescope and binocular viewing I wear a pair of readers around my neck to see the Celestron controller (SC 6SE) and use my naked eye at the eyepiece. Also it is not unusual to get a bit of a tuneup one or two years after the lens has settled in. I have not done that yet but expect I will. I would say do it.
aggregory
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Re: Cataracts

Post by aggregory »

I started this thead five years ago prior to my first cataract surgey. I had my right eye corrected from near sighted to far sighted. The correction was not perfect but still very good. I can easily get by without glasses if I choose. My initial recovery was somewhat slower than expected meaning that I needed a week before I could see anything other than a blury mess with my right eye. But it did clear and everything is fine. The new lens also improved my ability to see blue. I tested this with a gas discharge tube and a spectroscope. My new plastic eye could see all four hydrogen Balmer lines while my still natural left eye could only see three.

Yesterday I had my left eye done. I chose to keep that one nearsighted so that I could still read without glasses. Everyone still debates the advantages and disadvantges of having matching eyes or one each far and near sighted. I like reading without glasses so I chose the different eye solution. This means I can see both near and far reasonably well without glasses, and there is no need to keep track of a pair of cheaters for reading. I usually wear my glasses on the observing field, but I don't have to. I can see the sky with my right eye, and still read my computer screen and logs with my left.

The different focal lengths also mean that my farsighted right eye magnifies the image when compared to my nearsighted left eye. But this has not been a problem. I guess the brain's image processing center can accomodate many different situations.

Anyway, the final choice of far/far, far/near, or near/near is a personal one. Near or far makes no difference at the eyepiece, but the removal of the catarack improves the view.

Antone
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Deane Clark
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Re: Cataracts

Post by Deane Clark »

Glad to hear things went well, Antone. I wonder if your depth perception has been affected at all? I didn’t have to worry about that as I didn’t have any to begin with, lol.
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aggregory
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Re: Cataracts

Post by aggregory »

I have noticed some depth perception uncertainty but that started a long time ago. Fortunately the only time this troubles me is when I am descending stairs in a poorly lit stairwell. In that situation I am just a bit more cautious. This slows me down but that is all.

Antone
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kibatme
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Re: Cataracts

Post by kibatme »

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on this topic. Had my pre-op evaluation today, first surgery on the 26th.

Opted for intermediate distance monofocal IOL as a compromise between the vision extremes of my hobby interests (i.e., astronomy vs. fly fishing).

Talked with my doc about the potential for a wrinkle in the lens capsule creating a diffraction spike. He understood my concern and discussed options for correcting it if needed.

I'll still need glasses for both distance and close-up needs. I will always wear glasses when fly fishing to protect my eyes from those nasty little hooks. And, when observing, I keep my eyeglasses on my neck with a Croakie, so not a big deal to continue wearing glasses.
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