Cataract surgery, what’s your story?

I’ve been aware for years that I had cataracts forming, early onset, lucky me. I have been very aware for the last couple of years that they were not only early onset, but also rapidly developing. Had a small scare back in the fall when my regular guy expressed doubt if I was a good candidate for surgery, but said he would refer me anyway.

Got to see the surgeon this week, and he is happy to operate, YEA. So now I hurry up and wait…, waiting in line is what we do, expecting to be called in 4 to 6 months. He says that there will be few restrictions on activity after surgery, is that your experience? I mean that is in the middle of show season and everything!

Hows the eyesight now? I am hoping and praying to be spectacle free, for at least a little while, for the first time since I was a small child!

I have had one eye operated on, the other is not "ripe’ yet.
That was about 2yrs ago & the improvement in vision was immediate.

Sorry, if you wear glasses now, cataract removal won’t completely correct your vision.
You will need a new prescription, maybe not as strong as your current glasses, but some need for correction should be expected.

As for restrictions, the day of surgery is most critical.
You will get a shield to wear over the eye that you keep on overnight. Intended to stop you rubbing that eye & disturbing the stitches.
Then you will have 2 different eyedrops - one antibiotic & the other a steroid - you will have to use daily (& if I recall, one 2-4X a day).
No driving the first day, then no heavy lifting or bending over for a couple days or as long as your Dr recommends.
Probably no riding until you are cleared for your normal activities.

It is one of the easiest procedures I’ve ever had.
Cannot wait until my remaining eye gets bad enough for the surgery.

Here, in the US, Medicare or insurance covers the cost of a basic pair of glasses after this surgery.

My dad had cataract surgery a little over a year ago. It is one of the best things he ever did.

Recovery restrictions were a temporary inconvenience, not painful. Well, well worth it for the excellent outcome. And the doctor said their problem rate is infinitesimally small, virtually none at their clinic. (They did one eye at a time, so there’s that.)

Since cataract surgery, my dad sees significantly better now than he has in many years. No adverse effects after recovery.

Based on his experience, I’d encourage anyone to do the surgery sooner rather than later. If a surgeon says it’s worth considering now, go do it and enjoy the results. :slight_smile:

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He said he was happy to do it, but I did forget to ask if there is any benefit, or risk to waiting until later. I was kind of shocked that he agreed to do it, I was expecting him to say no…

I had cataract surgery on my left eye just one year ago. My recovery was long and I still have some residual issues from the surgery. I can see the edge of the lense implant in the far left corner of my eye and I had a terrible time with seeing flickering in that eye (like a migraine aura) in certain light sources and I had to get special anti glare glasses to wear. Just make sure you do your research and are aware of the possible complications from the procedure. The procedure itself was easy, no pain and very quick. I am not trying to be negative, I just wanted you to know that the recovery is not always as easy as the docs make it out to be.
I had mine done before show season and I am glad I did, if I had waited until the middle of show season it wouldn’t have worked out well for me.


My Canadian aunt had cataract surgery last summer and she said her vision was blurry for about a week. By the second week, she had no problems with daily activities and by the third week she was feeling great. She had both eyes done at the same time too. Hope it goes smoothly for you too!

I had cataract surgery in both eyes about 5 years ago. One of the best things I ever did. I was very nearsighted and I had a lot of astigmatism. Now I see 20/20 out of both eyes without glasses. I wear cheap reading glasses for up close work like looking at a computer screen or reading a book, but I don’t need any glasses at all for driving or riding my horse or anything else at a distance. When I had surgery, I chose to have special lenses implanted to correct the astigmatism. I had to pay extra, but it was worth every penny. I had a slight complication after the first eye surgery when the intraocular pressure went up and my vision was cloudy. Doc gave me some eye drops that cleared it up within a couple of days. The second eye surgery went without a hitch. I don’t remember how long it took for my vision to settle after surgery, but I don’t think it was more than a couple of weeks. I know I was seeing pretty well within a couple of days, but it seems like it took several weeks to completely settle.

A couple of years after my surgeries I developed “pseudo-cataracts”, which is a very common late complication. Essentially, a thin film can grow over the new lens and make vision cloudy again. This is easily corrected in an office laser procedure that takes less than 5 minutes and the results are instant.

OP asked about restrictions after surgery–I was back to riding within a couple of weeks. Two or three months after the surgery my horse tossed me and I landed hard. I had the mother of all bruises on my back, but my new implanted eye lenses were fine.

My only suggestion is to think carefully about what type of lenses you want implanted. There are several different ones available, and you need to pick the one that best suits your needs.


I had both of my lenses replaced about 10 years ago. Still wear glasses because I like the progressives, and the photogrey option, as well as the physical eye protection. The cataract surgery was a success at first, but then one eye went bad and is now very blurry. One doc called it scar tissue, but another said it was cell growth behind the lens. Or maybe it’s the same thing but one doc didn’t want to call it scar tissue for some reason? But anyway, they’re still a lot better than they were pre-surgery, just nowhere near as good as they were the first year.

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Good read as I think I’m on the track for this :frowning:

Ophthalmologist appt in a few weeks (my annual) and will be talking to him about the state of the cataract in my left eye as it does seem to be a bit more cloudy than usual.

I am also glad to see this thread.

When I had an eye exam a year ago December, it was with an optomotrist. She said I had the start of cataracts, but that they had a ways to go before they were candidates for surgery. She said they were the reason I can no longer see well enough to drive at night (which is a hassle but not as bad as it could be, since my husband is always around and willing to do the night driving. I just miss it).

Last month, I had an eye exam with an opthalmologist. He is a well-known eye surgeon in Charleston, and I traveled quite a distance to see him (I live at the NC/SC border). He said I could have the surgery immediately, and that he felt my vision was quite impacted by the cataracts.

I have to admit, I wondered if he had a boat payment due or something. I still see well during the day, and I don’t think anything has really changed in the last year. I can read street signs at quite a distance as long as they are in daylight.

He pushed me to schedule the surgery, but the timing was bad for me. I had exceeded my out of pocket maximum on my insurance in July, and had I known I would see a doctor who was willing to do the surgery, I could have done it with no deductible or copay as long as I didn’t correct my vision (which my insurance doesn’t cover at all). He could have done one eye the week after my exam, but didn’t have any other dates available in December. Having the other eye done in January would have been all applied to the deductible. So I passed on it for now.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t exceed my out of pocket maximum at all this year. I am trying to hold out until I go on Medicare in mid 2023.

The whole situation was a bit irritating. Some is irritation at myself, as I could have made an appointment earlier in the year if I’d known he’d be willing to move forward. But some is at the surgeon, as I don’t trust that anything has really changed since last year. I had stopped seeing an opthalmologist years ago because I felt constantly pushed to have laser vision correction (which is not a good option for me, but that didn’t stop multiple doctors from pushing it). I don’t like a hard sell, especially when it comes to surgery.


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My story is very similar to OzarksRider. I was incredibly nearsighted with a correction of about -13 plus astigmatism which made my correction close to -20 so they tell me. Glasses since I was five, contacts since I was 8. I’m a high risk for retinal detachment because of all this. (Now i’m 58).
It came to the point where I was getting hard to correct with contacts and my dr convinced me that ‘now was the time’ for surgery. I had the beginnings of cataracts for some time but they weren’t bad enough for insurance to pay until I had the ‘glare test’ and that put me in. I had corrected lenses implanted, elected for monovision, and the results have been life changing. This was two years ago now. I also have the cells regrowing over and need to get it zapped but haven’t yet.

My glasses were so thick and heavy I can’t tell you. I had had to go back to hard gas perm lenses because no soft lens could correct me. It’s crazy to wake up and be able to see. So so grateful!


Cataract surgery is a modern miracle for anyone who has had bad vision their entire life. Yes you CAN be corrected to 20/20 or very close to it, IF you are willing to pay extra out of pocket for upgraded implants. I did and I have no regrets. I got corrected for monovision and I can do everything without reading glasses. I have had to use them exactly 3 times in the last 3 years. kande talk to your dr about doing the YAG laser to get rid of the cells growing on the back of the lens. It will clear it right up.

Cayuse I get some strange artifacts also under some kinds of lights, I think it is a reflection off the top of the lens. Is it annoying, yes, but the benefits of being able to see perfectly 99 % of the time without glasses makes it worth dealing with. If you haven’t had your other eye done yet, talk to your dr about your vision disturbances and he may be able to choose a different type of lens for your other eye.


Yes, they’d be happy to do it anytime I’m willing to go in to have it done. But surgery always carries some risks so I’m going to live with it for now.

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I also have so many freaking floaters (have had vitreous detachment in both eyes) and I guess lasering these cells will most likely give me more and I’m not sure I could take more so I am also just living with them. It’s still so much better that it’s nuts.

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I went to my regular eye doctor for an exam a year ago. When I hit 40 in 1988 I got progressives because I couldn’t read and my arms were no longer long enough to solve the problem. I didn’t like any of the other options and I would need a pair of readers at home, work, the barn, the grocery store, anywhere I could lose them.

The doctor did the exam, stopped abruptly and told me he wasn’t going to give me a new prescription until after I had my cataracts done. I sat there in stunned silence. I wasn’t having any problems except fine print. No problems at night and I can still read street signs at night. I vaguely remembered him saying something about a spot in one eye a few years ago. He told me the staff at the desk would set me up with an eye surgeon. He left.

I went to the eye surgeon and they started me through a long list of tests. We got to one room and had to wait. They said they were going to measure for the lens for my surgery. Another attack of stunned silence. I told them I wasn’t having any surgery until I got my asthma under control. It was very bad a year ago. They stood there for a few moments. Next stop. I sat down with the surgeon and he didn’t have a problem with postponing. You can tell when you need it. He sent a report to the doctor and me.

Back to the eye doctor. I didn’t think he had finished the exam and I needed the prescription. I had looked up cataracts online and problems with fine print is on the list of signs and symptoms. He asked me why I said that. I needed a new a prescription for reading.

I worked in medical records and coding at a psychiatric hospital for 15 years so I have worked with doctors and I’m not totally intimidated… When I went for this year’s exam I told him I was still pissed off about last year. We will postpone until problems pop up. I have a problem with eyes. I can’t stand watching people with contracts. I can’t do this surgery if I’m awake. I can’t think about incisions and stitches. I also can’t do eye drops because of nerve damage in my right arm. Everybody says it’s easy, no big deal. At the moment no one will convince me of that.

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I had cataract surgery and lenses put in two years ago. I no longer could see distances in jumping and my balance was off. The doctor said that cataracts can cause that. I was very happy with the surgery. It is no big deal. My eyes felt a little dry and scratchy at first but they gave me eye drops and it went away. I had the good lenses put in so I no longer needed glasses and it was great!!


Having agreed to the surgery, I had to go yesterday for measurements and tests, was told that once the booking people had my results they would put me on the wait list, current wait time 4 months.

Had the tests yesterday, got a call today, first date Feb 5th!


Choose your surgeon carefully. I waited till t got cataracts and had to have surgery. I’d had to get contacts in my teens and wore them till I got old and got cataracts and had to have surgery to drive. I used the surgeon who had done cataract surgery on my mother. His father had done cataract surgery on my father years before. All with no problems. I’m the only one in my family who WAS nearsighted.

I had seen the 60 minutes radial keratotomy feature about Russia developing the procedure but I was afraid to have it done even though I knew people who had it done with no problems. I knew people who then got the laser surgery but most of them had deteriorated and had to have more laser surgery in a few years. So finally I had to have the cataracts removed in order to renew my driver’s license and my surgeon said that despite my severe nearsightedness and my severe astigmatism I could get the inter ocular lenses and…no pain,
surgery in attached surgery building next to surgeon’s office and
Only took a few minutes and
absolutely NO pain
immediate 20/20 vision
no contacts
and although some people then need reading glasses I do not
and just need to use eye drops for dry eyes once a day
medicare paid for cataract surgery but my health ins blue cross blue shield anthem as usual claimed that interocular lenses like contact lenses were cosmetic so about 6 thou for the lenses
and now over 4 yrs later 2020 vision and no reading glasses either and all worth it.
so get yourself a board certified surgeon like Dr Richard Schulz Jr in Savannah. He was magna cum laude at Princeton and Oxford Scholar and UVA med grad.
Choose a surgeon with those qualifications.

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Well, 2 days until my first surgery, then 15 days later the second one. I am grounding myself for 3 weeks I think, we’ll see what the surgeon says, but I know he’s conservative. The first surgery is on my bad eye, the one that had a retinal tear, so I guess that one will take longer.

i was cleaning my kitchen floor today, thinking how creamy yellow it looks. When we first moved in it was a beautiful white. I have everything crossed that with my new ‘eyes’ it will be white again, or I’m going to be very disappointed!


Good for you! Thinking positive strong healing thoughts for you until you report back. Be patient with the process, and I hope you will be very happy with the end results! :slight_smile: