Cataract PSA

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Synchro, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I wanted to share something, in hopes that it might help some of my friends here at G-T.

    Some years ago, I had a bicycle accident which resulted in a minor tear to the retina of one eye, and a minor concussion. Up until that accident, I had been far-sighted and used a +1.75 diopter contact lens in one eye, in order to be able to read without having to carry reading glasses. This approach is called “mono vision” and is a great solution for presbyopia.

    After the retina repair, I noticed that I no longer needed the contact lens I order to read. I concluded that the retina repair had changed my left eye, so I just went with it and have lived the last four years or so without glasses. Recently, however, I realized that I was having to get quite close to the computer screen at work in order to resolve the characters on the screen. A couple of weeks ago, I misread a MAC address and realized that this situation had to be addressed. I made an appointment with an opthmologist and within minutes he told me that I had cataracts. Here’s the rub, I had always thought of cataracts as clouding one’s vision, but it also causes myopia. My left eye, which had been injured, was considerably worse off than the right, but both have cataracts. Interstimgly, my ever far-sighted right eye was starting to change as well and was actually slightly myopic.

    A helpful Optometrist prescribed some -2.0 diopter contacts, so my left eye will be more useful up until the surgery. The second I put that contact in, the world seemed a friendlier place. My brain was not having to work so hard to sum the signal coming from each eye and I felt considerably less fatigued as soon as I put in that lens. After the surgery, I’ll be wearing a +1.75 diopter lens for reading, once again. It’s a small price, and I hate wearing reading glasses, so I’ll be sticking with a contact lens solution for the foreseeable future.

    My Message to All My Guitar Buddies

    A lot of us here are not so young as we used to be. I’m 64 and very healthy and active. For the most part, I feel as good as I did forty years ago. I’m not planning to go quietly into that darksome night; I’m going to live as full of a life as possible every day of my future. Finding out that I have cataracts did not elicit any negative feelings on my part. I was happy that the problem was on that could be solved simply and with a positive prognosis. The surgery takes 10 minutes and is done under conscious sedation. The incision was described as “ microscopic” and other than a restriction on bending over or lifting more than 10 pounds for about a week, the recovery is very, very fast. I should be back at work the next afternoon.

    If any of you are suffering a loss of vision, take the time to get a full, dilated, eye exam. If you have any change in the refractive character of your eyes, it could be as simple as a 10 minute operation. With insurance, my out of pocket cost is about $300 per eye. I have a couple of items on my wishlist, a Little Labs Redeye 3D Phantom Direct Box & Re-Amplifier & a Strymon Flint, but these can wait and when I finally do get them, I’ll at least be able to fully appreciate their visual effect. :)

    The bad news: Cataracts can sneak up on you. I spoke to a 48 year old coworker that had his removed just a few weeks ago.

    The good news: After speaking to several people who had the surgery, I have learned that it’s nothing to fear and the results are very good.
    ronbo, rob batz, ishtar and 16 others like this.
  2. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    My Optometrist tells me that my turn is coming soon for the same thing. All the best with yours.
    ishtar and emitex like this.
  3. BrianW

    BrianW Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    I just went through a full eye exam and can thankfully say no cataracts yet. My vision is not perfect and need reading glasses, but otherwise good eye health. I was told however that my turn was coming soon as well. Just turned 64 myself...
    I know a few people that have had it done and had no real issues. All the best for you!
    emitex likes this.
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Mark(and others), I was recently diagnosed with double cataracts as well. At 52 no less.
    Interesting observation about feeling tired cause the brain is having to work harder summing the sight of differently myopic eyes. It suddenly makes a lot of sence.
    My eyesight has gotten so bad I had to stop reading books, playing pool, and very hesitant of taking up any soldering jobs(read: guitar electronics) since I have to take my glasses off and practically hold the soldering iron a couple of inches from my eyes.
    By contrast my auditory perception is more astute and it seems to have increased my ability to identify people by voice alone, which has been very convenient on the occasions I wanted to get friendly with Mrs R. At least I think it was Mrs R.
    Some new prescription glasses are helping me over and out of running into inmovable objects, until its effect starts to wears off. Then its new glasses, or an operation. In a way I'm kinda looking forward to them. Side effects and risk are minimal, and the benefits are potentially huge. No more glasses or contacts, sign me up.
    Sonny Strimple and emitex like this.
  5. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    I get a full exam every 3-5 years. I am terribly near sighted and abuse my glasses, and because I dont skimp on glasses - both one of the most useful tools I own and most important fashion statements - and my terrible eye sight require the most expensive lenses, I spend a small fortune on glasses every few years. But I love my glasses. I feel naked without them.
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  6. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    For guitar work, I suggest you get your Leo Fender on.

    Seriously, these things are like $15 on eBay and really help for looking at little stuff. I actually wear my glasses underneath this.

  7. MrAstro

    MrAstro Gretschie

    Mar 5, 2015
    Sydney, NSW
    I had both of the lenses in my eyes replaced a few years ago because I was severely longsighted and when I needed flip downs on my regular glasses for reading it was getting ridiculous. Same surgery as cataract surgery essentially - they zap out your old lenses and insert new ones into the old lens capsule. I'm now 20:20 and just have reading glasses for the computer and up close stuff. I'm glad I had it done - it's life changing.
    Sonny Strimple, emitex and benjwri like this.
  8. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    What are they called ? ( actual name )
    Freshy likes this.
  9. BuddieGreen

    BuddieGreen Gretschie

    Sep 3, 2018
    indiana usa
    i work in a medical building where these procedures are done. its kinda amazing the progress thats been made and what they can do for eyes now days.
    speedy recrovery Synchro, youll be in and out b4 you know it
    benjwri likes this.
  10. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Thanks @Synchro that's some great info to pass along . I actually just got my eye exam a few weeks back and all is well , and a new pair of glasses too . I get my eye exam every 2 years at work through my medical benefits and I take full advantage . I am allowed one normal pair and one prescription safety pair which are great as I use power tools around the home , and sometimes using the proper tool at Animal Control to dispatch an animal . Heck , even mowing my lawn I wear regular safety glasses .
    I did a lot of photography years ago and was friendly with Nat Fein ( the Babe Ruth Photo ) and learned to value my eyes when looking through the lens . We can buy a new camera or guitar anytime , but not our eyesight
    emitex likes this.
  11. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    I just searched for 'magnifying headset'.
    thunder58 likes this.
  12. benjwri

    benjwri Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2011
    Central ON Can
    Several weeks of prep with meds an drops...then in and out...1/2 a day!
    Had both mine done several years regrets.
    The first one is a littly scary...lik, this guy is gonna fool around with my eye...but painless an well worth it!!
    emitex likes this.
  13. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    I have never talked to someone who had cataract surgery that didn't sing its praises.
    Sonny Strimple and emitex like this.
  14. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Haha. That sounds somehow like another idiom for "delusions of grandeur".:p
    LongJohn and Henry like this.
  15. vyndance

    vyndance Gretschie

    Dec 12, 2014
    Bear Valley Springs, CA
    Had the left eye cataract done at 40 due to an accident.
    Had the right eye done at 60 due to old age. What a difference in medical technology in 20 years. The first was an 3/4 day deal with prep and surgery the second I don't believe lasted 30 minutes. Just had an exam for my drivers license and the left was 20/20 and the right 20/15. Still need readers for 2 ft in front of my face but the world is clear.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    Sonny Strimple and emitex like this.
  16. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    That picture's terrifying. I'm actually hoping for worse eyesight, so that I never have to see it again.

    More power to you Synchro, your spirit is inspirational. Best wishes for a speedy and successful procedure.
    cowmoo and dak55 like this.
  17. Sonny Strimple

    Sonny Strimple Country Gent

    May 8, 2011
    Western Maryland
    I had to have cataracts removed from both eyes last fall. They did each eye about a month apart and did the worse eye first. Synchro is right - they tend to sneak up on you especially as you get older. I'm a play by ear guy and I must say a play by eye guy also as I learn a lot from watching videos on YouT and such. It really got bad for me by the time I had the procedures, I was starting to have problems with night vision, which affected my driving. I would reccomend getting the procedure done to anyone who needs it done. It made all the difference in the world as I got my vision back to normal. I am getting older, so things do tend to go wrong with age.
    On December 7th, I had a heart attack and had to have open heart surgery, a triple bypass. Luckily I had a great Surgeon and everything went well. I'm doing great now. I will be 75 in July and feel much as I did when I was much younger guy. Synchro has it right, if you can do these things to stay and feel younger, Why not! Last night I watched a video of Little Old Lady and started to learn and play it. Old dogs still can learn new tricks!
    MrAstro and emitex like this.
  18. Freshy

    Freshy Synchromatic

    Sep 30, 2017
    Homosassa FLA
    I had mine done 2 years ago. (I'm 66)
    I was actually upset with myself that I didn't get it done much earlier in life.
    Before retiring to FLA I enjoyed bird hunting and shooting sports. From my 50's on I was worse at shooting every year. Separate distance glasses and reading glasses. Getting worse and worse at night driving.
    Now I'm an eagle with my distance. Go figure.
    emitex likes this.
  19. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    Thanks for all this, Mark. Annual eye exams for me for the last few years now. Schedule the surgery?

    Yes, these are great. I don’t have the mono ocular but do have headlights...and a back up beeper which can be annoying
  20. emitex

    emitex Synchromatic

    Aug 21, 2014
    Thanks Synchro and all who replied with info and experiences! I'm currently dealing with this same issue and need to schedule the procedure.
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