Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Think I'm getting a cataract,

The vision in my left eye is slightly blurry. Not awfully so but it feels different and when I look with my left eye my vision isn't good (with my glasses on). It could be just a vision change as a result of the operation but I thought that that was pretty much instant.

I've been doing some reading on cataracts. The RNIB site is useful. It describes it exactly as I described it to my husband - as though my glasses need cleaning even though they are clean.

Cataracts are listed as a common 'side affect' of a retinal operation and I was told that I would develop one at some point, but that it could be days, weeks, months etc. Today is 2 weeks and 1 day since the operation so I guess it could well be that.

I don't know whether to call the eye department or just wait until my appointment next Thursday? I might wait and see if it gets any worse or goes or changes.

This is what the RNIB say about surgery (taken from the link above)


Cataract surgery usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes and most people go home from hospital a few hours later. It is usually done with a local anaesthetic, which means you will be awake during the operation but you won't feel any pain. You can talk to the operating team if you need any assurance. The local anaesthetic may involve drops and an injection or just drops.
For your surgery, you will be given drops to dilate your pupil. Your face will be covered by a sheet, which helps to keep the area around your eye clean during the operation. To remove the cataract, the ophthalmologist needs to remove the natural lens in your eye and replace it with a plastic lens implant. The most common way to remove cataracts is called phacoemulsification. This technique uses high frequency sound energy to break up your natural lens with the cataract. Only really small cuts are used, so you don't need any stitches, and this helps to speed up your recovery from the surgery. Usually, the ophthalmologist uses a machine which acts as a microscope to get the best view of your eye as possible.
The lens in your eye is made up of different layers and the outside layer is called the lens capsule. During the operation, the ophthalmologist cuts through the front of the lens capsule so they can reach the lens inside. Using the same instrument, the ophthalmologist can break up your lens and the cataract inside your eye, and remove it using suction. Your lens capsule is kept in place so that the artificial lens implant can be placed inside it. The tiny implant is folded so that it can be put into the eye through the same instrument that is used to remove the cataract. Once it reaches the right position, the ophthalmologist unfolds the artificial lens so that it sits in the right place inside the lens capsule.
As you are awake during the operation, you will be able to hear what is happening in the operating room. You can also communicate with the ophthalmologist and the nurses who are on hand to reassure you. Because the eye is anaesthetised and your pupil is dilated, you may be able to see some lights and movement but not the details of the instruments used. You should not feel any pain in your eye.
A short time after your operation, your eye will be examined, to make sure the operation has been a success. Your eye will be covered with a dressing which stays in place when you go home, normally a few hours later. Your eye may begin to feel sore once the local anaesthetic starts to wear off. The pain isn't usually too bad and you can take a painkiller tablet, such as paracetamol, to help. The dressing, which is put on in the hospital, usually needs to stay on your eye overnight, but you should be able to take it off the following morning. Your eye may look red and you might develop some bruises but these will improve over the next few days.

Great. Another eye operation. Another local. Another eye patch!  It says under the activities to avoid that swimming should be avoided. I'm going to centreparcs on holiday on 6th February so if it IS a cataract then I'm going to have to ask to have the surgery after that - I believe that timescale isn't so important with cataracts so that shouldn't be a problem.

Will keep you updated...

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