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Lens Replacement Theory: Part One

Posted on Monday, June 3rd, 2024

Dave!Over a decade ago I was trekking through the Costa Rican rainforest when a branch snapped back on my face and cut into my eyes. This caused a series of problems with my eyes and eyelids, and I had a half-dozen procedures and minor surgeries over the years because of it. And now I've had two more so I could get the lenses replaced in my eyes. I decided to write about it in case anybody out there is curious about cataract surgery.

A couple years ago my optometrist had told me that cataracts were starting to form in my eyes and I would need to eventually have surgery to improve my vision. As we age, the lenses that focus light on our retinas can get discolored, cloudy, or both. Called "cataracts" they negatively affect normal vision because it obscures and changes what we see.

Recently it's gotten increasingly difficult for me to drive at night. There's a weird glare from headlights that's uncomfortable. Not to a dangerous degree, but certainly enough to keep me from driving after dusk. But even more critical? Watching movies in a theater or at home when the screen is bright and the room is dark was not a great experience. That was something I couldn't deal with.

And so at my last appointment my doctor and I talked about it, and she said I met the criteria for getting cataract surgery now.

Long story short if you want to skip the next couple days...

  • My overall surgery experience was excellent, which I'm told is typical.
  • They fix one eye at a time, so you always have one working eye while the other eye is impaired.
  • I had functional milky-vision four hours after surgery when I untaped my eye. Full vision was there the next day.
  • I am seeing better now than I have in a decade.
  • I selected multifocal two-zone AcrySof IQ Vivity lenses. I will explain why next entry. Be aware that while cataract surgery is covered by most insurance plans (with or without routine vision care), only the basic lenses are covered. Fancy two and three zone lenses are most likely not covered at all.
  • Yes, it's freaky having your eyes sliced into. Maybe it's because I'm so used to dealing with eye surgery stuff that this didn't faze me, but it seriously wasn't a big deal. I understand that many people will be afraid to have cataract surgery even if they need it because the mental game can be overwhelming. If that describes you, I'd urge you to at least look into it. They can give you relaxing drugs and there are options that will make it not so terrifying for you.
  • After being recommended by my amazing eye doctor, I selected Pacific Cataract and Laser in Bellevue, WA for my surgeries. Cannot possibly tell you how thrilled I was with them every step of the way.
  • All in all, cataract surgery has improved my life for the better and I highly recommend it to those whose vision is being compromised from cataracts.

Tomorrow I'll talk about my lenses and the surgery itself.

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  1. Lora says:

    My husband had his cataract surgery at Pacific Laser’s Tacoma location and was also very pleased. He opted for the basic lens – I’m really interested in hearing about your two-zone lenses as I will need surgery at some point as well.

    • Dave2 says:

      You might even be able to go with 3-Zone to eliminate use of glasses entirely. Fortunately the staff at Pacific Cataract is exceptional. They can evaluate your situation and come to a consensus with you as to which lens is best. I have absolutely zero complaints about going with the company. This is all they do, so they really are experts on all of it!

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