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Author Topic: Cataract, OMG!  (Read 3738 times)
Chris_T
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« on: March 11, 2009, 11:21:29 AM »
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Had cataract operation on my left eye yesterday, and the MD removed the patch today. OMG, what a difference! Now the left vision is brighter by at least 1/2 stop, and white is white. By contrast, the right vision is like having a 81B warming filter over it. No wonder I had to work so hard removing orange and boost the tones in PS, and didn't seem to do much good. Now all my prints look a whole lot punchier and the orange cast is gone! And I finally understand why many people liked some of my prints that I didn't care for.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 11:37:20 AM »
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That's good news!  What did they do to your eye to fix it?
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 11:48:34 AM »
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Chris,

I'm glad it worked out well for you. I've been a bit nervous about cataracts, since I have been told the first signs of cataract have appeared in my right eye. How long was it from when your cataract was first discovered until you had it operated on?

I'm looking forward to comparing your "before" and "after" prints.

-Eric

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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Chris_T
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 12:06:35 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
That's good news!  What did they do to your eye to fix it?

Thanks. My cataract was diagonsed by a ophthalmologist, NOT by an optician. The procedure is out patient, painless (for me) and done in less than five minutes. Google to find out more, I don't want to mislead you.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 12:20:42 PM »
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Quote from: EricM
Chris,

I'm glad it worked out well for you. I've been a bit nervous about cataracts, since I have been told the first signs of cataract have appeared in my right eye. How long was it from when your cataract was first discovered until you had it operated on?

Thanks. The procedure was within weeks after the diagnosis. My parents were much older when they had theirs many many years ago, and I seemed to recall that the procedure should be taken when the cataract has reached a certain vintage. Hence I asked the MD whether there is a difference between having the procedure earlier vs later, and he assured me it would make no difference. Perhaps the technology/procedure has changed.

A patient I met in the surgical waiting room did not have as much luck. He had the same (?) procedure by the same MD, and today he "couldn't see anything". Perhaps there is an element of luck involved.

Let me know if you would like a referal.

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I'm looking forward to comparing your "before" and "after" prints.

Unfortunately, I'm the only one who can tell the difference. "Before" is using my unoperated right eye, and "after" is using my operated left eye (and I assume those without cataract). Did my poor eye sight also mess up my writing?  
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 12:29:47 PM by Chris_T » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2009, 03:20:31 PM »
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Good for you, and I hope it only gets better from here on in!

It seems to be a fairly unpredictable sort of thing. My mother-in-law had a laser job and swore it made her worse; others have claimed to be better than ever before. Just your luck or just the surgeon?

I´m starting to worry about my own vision now too; sometimes everything is wonderful and other times I have to fight a general blurring that passes by simply looking at a different subject at a different distance. If I was a camera, I´d compare it to a failure to holding focus on the focussed object. But, as I said, shifting focus brings it back sharp, so I doubt it can be a physical flaw in a lens - maybe a muscle problem? Grasping at straws comes to mind.

Rob C







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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 05:05:53 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Good for you, and I hope it only gets better from here on in!

It seems to be a fairly unpredictable sort of thing. My mother-in-law had a laser job and swore it made her worse; others have claimed to be better than ever before. Just your luck or just the surgeon?

I´m starting to worry about my own vision now too; sometimes everything is wonderful and other times I have to fight a general blurring that passes by simply looking at a different subject at a different distance. If I was a camera, I´d compare it to a failure to holding focus on the focussed object. But, as I said, shifting focus brings it back sharp, so I doubt it can be a physical flaw in a lens - maybe a muscle problem? Grasping at straws comes to mind.

Rob C

Ah, the aging eye. It's sort of ironic tragedy that just about the time most of us hit our stride in terms of technique and æsthetic skills—say, age 45 to 50—our eyes start falling apart.
I'm a family doctor rather than an ophthalmologist, so take this with a grain of salt; but as we get older all of us suffer a steady decline in acuity and focusing capacity together with declining light transmission. Even if you don't have a formally diagnosed cataract, the crystalline proteins in the lens gradually 'denature' with age, to the extent that most folks probably lose at least a stop of brightness by age 40, and another stop or two by 60. Most of us also develop 'floaters', extravasated blood cell ghosts that cast a drifting shadow on the retina. I had a retinal tear in my left eye in my 30's, so I have dozens of floaters in that eye. (This makes bird-watching very frustrating on a blue sky day: Gosh, is that another hawk? Nope, just one of my floaters. ) All of us also suffer a gradual decline in capacity to focus up close as the lens ages and becomes stiffer, especially after age 40, so we end up with reading glasses or bifocals. Vision doesn't really fall off a cliff most of the time; generally it's just a little bit worse every year.

Somewhere after age 50 many if not most of us also end up with a vitreous detachment in one or both eyes. The clear gelatin ("vitreous humor") that fills the eye shrinks a bit as we age, and it can abruptly separate from the retina, with the space between them filling with clear fluid. This generally causes a shower of flashes & floaters over the course of a few days, then things settle down. Scary but relatively harmless to vision. Rarely, an old scar tethers the retina to the vitreous, in which case you get a retinal detachment and big trouble.

Cataracts are generally felt to be a consequence of ultraviolet radiation exposure to the lens, compounded by trauma or some medications (like corticosteroids) as well as metabolic problems like diabetes. And since many of us spend a lot of time outdoors in sunny conditions....let's just say, wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses to minimize the ultraviolet dose to the lens. Cataract surgery is generally quick, painless, and very effective. A very small percentage of patients have complications and disappointing outcomes, but they're understandably quite unhappy about it, and they tell all their friends.

If you ever have a sudden decline in vision, (like for example abrupt partial darkness in one eye) don't delay visiting an eye doc. It's often something trivial, but you don't want to miss anything like an early retinal detachment where an immediate fix can prevent a world of trouble.

Common sense eye care: sunglasses to minimize ultraviolet dose. Seriously, never smoke tobacco (ever!). Aim for very tight blood pressure and diabetes control. Protect your eyes from trauma, as in protective eyewear playing raquetball etc. Eat your veggies and consider taking a multivitamin with selenium (like "occuvite") to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (though the data on this is a bit weak).

Hope that helps a bit.
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larryg
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2009, 05:18:26 PM »
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Glad everything came out ok    but how is the DOF?

I had a detached retina a few years ago.  You just don't think about your eyesight (at least I didn't) until something happens to get your attention.


You think this will help your compositional skills?
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 05:34:52 PM »
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Quote from: Geoff Wittig
This generally causes a shower of flashes & floaters over the course of a few days, then things settle down. Scary but relatively harmless to vision. Rarely, an old scar tethers the retina to the vitreous, in which case you get a retinal detachment and big trouble.

Hope that helps a bit.



This helps QUITE a bit; thanks for the diagnosis!

I have also experienced the flashes and an effect that can be triggered by looking at something extra bright, even by watching a bright thing on tv. This effect isn´t random, but seems to consist of a sort of roughly circular shape, or sometimes only part of a circumference, which is formed by what seems to be a ziz-zaged bright line. This lingers for perhaps fifteen minutes and disappears by itself.  Also, sometimes in the dark, if I roll my eyes quickly to left or right, there can be what seems to be a kind of flash in both directions.

Amazing stuff; nice to have a reasonable explanation at last!

Rob C
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Chris_T
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2009, 06:47:11 AM »
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Thanks to all the well wishers.

This is my second day after the procedure, and the operated eye sight gets even better.  I think it takes time for the new lens to settle and the brain to adjust to it. I forgot to ask the MD what the lens is made of (NOT Nikon or Canon   ), and how is it "attached" to the eye. Interesting subject. The only bothering thing is wearing my glasses with one lens with prescription and one with plain glass. I'll have to live with that until the other eye is operated on.

Even with the advances of medicine and the best doctors, there is some risk with any treatment. My father's cataract operation was perfect, but my mother's had some complication that was resolved after a few more visits.

I don't have any flashes or floaters, but my eye sight have been deteriorating for years. Several years ago focusing a camera started to become a little difficult. I typically focus manually, and had to rely upon the camera's focus indicator in addition to what I see in the viewfinder. Driving at night began to becom a problem, but I don't do that very often. Since it gets worse very gradually, I made the mistake of not having it checked sooner. Now focusing with the operated eye is better, but there is still some blurriness in the viewfinder. Hopefully when the lens settles in, and with my new reading glasses, it will get even better. But so far, I am very happy with the outcome.

Eye sight health ought to be an interesting topic for photographers, but it is seldom discussed in forums like this. The only one I can recall is one guy talking about his quadruple focal lens he wears to help focusing in addition to other problems. When my MD told me I need the catarac procedure, I went online and found tons of info, such as this one:

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 07:05:25 AM by Chris_T » Logged
Chris_T
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 06:53:51 AM »
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Quote from: larryg
Glad everything came out ok    but how is the DOF?

Thanks. Did you mean DOF in the viewfinder? Should I notice any difference?

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You think this will help your compositional skills?

I don't think so. Composition has more to do with my brain than with my eyes. Um, perhaps I should see if a neurologist can look at my compositions and prescribe a miracle drug. With the advances of medicine, you never know.  
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 07:48:25 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
This helps QUITE a bit; thanks for the diagnosis!

I have also experienced the flashes and an effect that can be triggered by looking at something extra bright, even by watching a bright thing on tv. This effect isn´t random, but seems to consist of a sort of roughly circular shape, or sometimes only part of a circumference, which is formed by what seems to be a ziz-zaged bright line. This lingers for perhaps fifteen minutes and disappears by itself.  Also, sometimes in the dark, if I roll my eyes quickly to left or right, there can be what seems to be a kind of flash in both directions.

Amazing stuff; nice to have a reasonable explanation at last!

Rob C

You shouldn't trust any 'tele-diagnosis'. Even from me  . See a real live flesh & blood eye doctor to make sure that's all that's going on. When I had my retinal tear I had a salvo of floaters and blurred vision that settled down over a week or two, but it was still reassuring to find out exactly what it was, and that I didn't need anything else done. You never want to miss a small retinal detachment, because this can become a large retinal detachment that ruins vision in that eye permanently.
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