The mother of a Keiro staff member recently underwent cataract surgery. Below is the reflection on her experience.
Growing up, I wore thick “coke bottle” glasses for near sightedness from fourth through ninth grades. I’ll never forget the thrill of knowing I would no longer have to wear glasses, and made a quick transition to contacts, which I wore for roughly 40 years. Because I was so near sighted, I wore gas permeable lenses. Around age 53, the vision in my right eye started to blur slightly, and worsened as the year progressed. It was difficult to read in dim light, and night driving became challenging. My optometrist changed my prescription every six months until he could no longer improve my vision with stronger or weaker lenses. At the following year’s exam, he detected a cataract. I was shocked, because I thought I was too young to have cataracts. He told me that while it was bad news, cataract surgery was a good option for me, and I was sent to a specialist. The pre-surgical procedure included an exam, lots of measurements, and required not wearing my contact lens for a month. I simply wore my glasses. About three days prior to surgery, I began an eyedrops regimen. The procedure itself was painless, and the preparation was much longer than the procedure itself. I checked in two hours prior and was administered some eye drops and a little intravenous relaxant. I walked into the surgery room, sat down, and the surgeon narrated every step of the procedure, which lasted about five to ten minutes. She aspirated my lens, and inserted an IOL (Intraocular Lens). This particular lens was called a Crystalens and is attached to the muscles of the eye. It was recommended because the lens allows for more accurate focusing for distance, intermediate, and close up vision. My eye was bandaged. I sat in recovery awhile and was driven home and told to take it easy for the remainder of the day.
I slept with a plastic eye shield taped to my face. The following day, at my follow up appointment, the bandage was removed. Much to my disappointment, my vision was blurry. It improved as the day progressed, and in a few hours, everything was perfectly clear. The clarity of my vision was amazing! On the follow-up appointment, my vision was 20/15 and best of all, I no longer had to wear a contact in that eye! It was so amazing to be able to wake up and see without putting my contact in! In the following weeks I had to administer antibiotic and anti inflammatory eye drops.
A year and a half later, a cataract formed on my right eye, so I had another Crystalens implanted. The procedure was the same, only this time, I was able to wear a soft contact in my left eye up until a few days before my surgery. As a lifelong glasses and contact lens wearer, the experience has been liberating, and I still marvel every day at how clearly I am able to see. I still use reading glasses, but my night and distance vision is superb. My latest eye exam showed 20/15 vision. Finally, after 57 years, I have perfect vision!
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