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PostSubject: Cataracts   Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:31 pm

About two years ago I noticed a bit of a deterioration in my eyesight. Not enough to be really concerned about but enough to get my eyes tested for new glasses.

OK. It wasn't long before my sight began to fail again so back to the optician I went and obtained more glasses.

OK again - for a while. It wasn't long before I noticed that my computer screen was becoming less and less clear,  I was unable to read Teletext on TV and unable to read ordinary printed matter. I turned reverse contrast on my computer screen to try and help things along. I was becoming pretty much helpless.

I decided to go to a "proper" optician - the previous ones had been the High Street multiples. After a VERY long consultation and examination I was told I had cataracts in both eyes which were so bad that I was classifiable as being blind. I was, at the time, unable to read even the top line of the Snellen chart (the thing with the letters on in ever decreasing sizes) with or without the aid of the test lenses.

The optican said she could make me a hospital appointment to have treatment without going through my GP. I agreed. That was a Tuesday.

The next day I had a call from a private eye hospital who told me they had been contacted by the optician. I pointed out that I was NHS and was told that severe /urgent cases like mine were treatable by them on the NHS. When would I like an appointment for an assessment? I thought this would be for weeks/ months in the future but they could make arrangements for later that week dependding on which surgeon I wished to see.

An appointment was made for Thursday that week (I'd already looked on the website for the surgeons that worked there).

The hospital seemed more like the reception of a luxury hotel. I was greeted, wheelchair and all, as if I was royalty. All measurements and readings were taken and off I went to see the surgeon. Very nice guy who inspired confidence. Surgery on the first eye was planned for the following Tuesday (remember it was only the previous Tuesday that I'd had my first contact with the optician).

The procedure I had was phacoemulsification https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phacoemulsification which was completely painless (although I did feel the knife push against my eyeball - just the feeling, no pain). The procedure took about half an hour - the pre-op (local) anaesthetics longer than that.

Afterwards I was taken to the recovery room where I was offered any of several types of tea or coffee and some very nice, very rich biscuits (these are also available to the person waiting for you in reception).

All done in an afternoon. I had to give a couple of weeks for the incisions to heal and then the second eye was treated.

After all that verbage, I can say that cataract surgery is one of the best things that has happened to me. I don't need glasses except for reading (very low power lenses) and everything has taken on a clarity that I've not experienced for a very long time.

I recall that Irene has a bit of a problem with her cataract surgery but her experience must be a rare exception.
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Irene
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PostSubject: Re: Cataracts   Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:31 pm

You are correct, -pops-, I have had both of my natural lenses replaced with other (synthetic?) ones. 

I did have a very problematic experience.  However, as you say, in spite of being fitted with incorrect lenses in both eyes, my sight is better than it was, because I was very short-sighted before.  I still experience lots of dazzle under bright lights and in the sunshine though.  Sad

It probably didn't help when my BP escalated to a high level during the procedure.  Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Cataracts   Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:39 pm

I have type 2 diabetes - diet controlled by not eating the cherry off a bakewell tart.

I have to have a retinoscopy exam every 12 months and my doctor insisted that I went to one of 4 private opticians rather than a high street chain.

Its the same with hearing aids - the best of the NHS ones are not suitable for me and I then went privately to a high street chain who proved to be hopeless. They are not fully trained audiologists but prescribers by numbers.

I now use a brilliant audiologist who is 40 miles from home - but well worth the journey.

Pops - your story is fascinating and you were so lucky to get treated so quickly. Your opticians were clearly incompetent to let your eyesight get so bad without diagnosing why.

Irene - can you not get the lenses replaced - or is it impractical.  It must be irritating for you. One of my friends had laser treatment on both eyes to cure his short sightedness. Whilst fine by day - he can no longer drive at night because any source of bright light in his vision appears as a dazzling 'star'.

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PostSubject: Re: Cataracts   Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:07 pm

Alan, I did actually receive surface eye laser treatment by the surgeon to 'somewhat' correct my left eye.  I have also received 'Yag' laser treatment to (what I believe) was to help to clear up the mess left behind in both of my eyes.  I could probably do with another session.

I really don't know if they would be prepared to repeat the process, which was performed at Rowley Hall Private Hospital - but under NHS funding.  Not sure that I would trust them again.

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PostSubject: Re: Cataracts   Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:30 pm

I can understand that - your sight is too precious to take risks with. Sorry to hear of your dilemma.
However - I console myself with the thought that it wasn't worth getting old unless it came with accompanying complaints to enjoy.

If I had to lose one of my senses, I think that deafness is possibly the first choice. I would hate to be blind, lose my sense of touch, lose my sense of taste, lose my sense of humour............ or my sense of smell.......on second thoughts.......

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