Discussion in 'Driver Health' started by REO6205, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    I found out today that I have cataracts forming on both eyes. This isn't totally unexpected since I'm 73 and people my age get stuff like this. The cataracts aren't bad yet but from what I understand they can cause blindness if left untreated.
    My first clue was an increasing sensitivity to lights at night and a longer recovery time after being stabbed with some moron's high beams.
    I'm set up with an ophthalmologist for surgery in a couple of weeks.

    My question is...Those of you who have had cataract long did it take for recovery? I'm having both eyes done but they won't do both of them at the same time. I've heard all kinds of stories but I haven't heard from somebody with first hand experience.

    What's it like?
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  3. MGE Dawn

    MGE Dawn Heavy Load Member

    May 19, 2019
    Vancouver, WA
    While not firsthand, my grandpa's experience warrants the heads up. Like any optical surgery, one of the most likely potential side effects of cataract surgery is, infuriatingly, cataracts. So it's a fair idea to keep an eye on things to that extent. And no, the pun was NOT intended
    HoneyBadger67, stillwurkin and REO6205 Thank this.
  4. stillwurkin

    stillwurkin Road Train Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    I personally never had cataracts ..i am 63. But my father-in -law, and my mother had their cataracts removed with no ill effects. Recovery was good. This was probably 5 years ago. They both see real well. Yes they will cause blindness. Some third world countries have no access to eye care. Some tv program i watched a fairly large ship with eye care. It was docked at a port in one of those countries. They were removing cataracts. Many of the people they operated on were already blind. The look on their faces was pure joy when they received their sight back. Praying that all goes well for you.
    Cattleman84 and REO6205 Thank this.
  5. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    It's tough.

    I developed one in 2008 when trees while driving formed a green normal visual and a double copy brown visual. Two eye surgeons confirmed a fast moving cataract that will have to come out. In a year the eye was gone to where nothing but haze and light and dark. It was a real problem. (Night time halos on the moon and all light sources prior)

    When you are found that you cannot see a chart it's surgery time provided nothing else is a risk as well.

    Day of surgery, a outpatient surgical center in Little Rock had me there at 530 am which considering that the eye was essentially off line the other was no problem and it being night was a good cloak.

    A few hours later they had me on the table in a prep room. They stick a green sticker after pausing to check and make sure thats the eye to cut. It's irrevocable once they start so if they cut out a good lense it's a real screw up. you will have the staff pause three times.

    Fill your eye with 12 drops. It will shut the eye down pretty much for you its not a problem. You are not using it anyway. It is necessary that whoever is doing it work really fast, some of those 12 are really dangerous drops. So be prepared for rapid fire dropping.

    On the table they may use Profofol in IV, puts you out before you figure out the cold coming up your arm. The next thing you might catch is serious pain as they introduce argon gas which goes into eyeball sometimes to capture the life long left overs we all have since birth, some more than others. It is also a way to get the retina settled. If you wake up during this.... it is absolute you do not move. You are not in a position to disrupt the microscopic precision going on. Before you think you are going to move, you will feel hands on shoulders and god commanding (Doctor) you not to move at all as the medicine wears out of you fast due to the pain. You will be put out again.

    Write this on your heart. When your doctor kicks you out to go home with a driver... DO NOT look up vertically. The gas bubble with carry that crap and trash straight into his work and screw it all up. Do not whatever you do look vertically straight up on purpose. For a fixed time until that bubble and the trash in it goes away.

    When you come around you learn two things. Armored steel patch on eye. That stays on until the eye surgeon pulls it the next morning to see where your new lenses vision is at. mine turned out to be 20/25 with a light filter. The second... you do not use power anywhere in your body for a certain number of days. You touch nothing, you lift nothing espcially. Hydrostatic pressure from your internal water content will progress through looking for a weak point. That is your surgery eye.

    Thence your vision will split permanently and you might have to go back under the knife after choosing which eye you want. The other will probably be disabled. Otherwise its a worse problem. (And a big waste)

    Expect medical billing in the range of 24,000 per eye. Most people like myself will sell camelot to see again so there is that. I was double insured so it was free.

    You will get a prescription for bifocals. Turn it to a tri. Meaning a intermediate lenses in the middle of eyeglass lense over your new eye. Get no lines etc. Pay up. You will be dealing with this 10 years or more so get the best lenses you can pay for. (My glasses were at the time 760 with everything in it)

    The surgery for me was a life saver. I was contemplating end of life as a deaf man who relies on eyes more than anything. Weeks of careful contemplating methods, and then the what to do with the body plus my wife who will be left behind. Ultimately I stayed with us in this life for her. Doc did a good job.

    I don't need glasses to keep a semi or car in the travel lane and I can focus on the front sight of a handgun at 24 inches. There were other pernament changes.

    There is one temporary post surgery change. You may see a line through a small intense source of light like a computer disk drive indicator. That will go away in a few weeks as the new lenses settle into place pernamently.

    Another is if you haze over after surgery, you are taken to a special laser room, seated, told to look at a small light and do no move. The calculations are entered targeting the haze which represents your body covering scar over the work. The laser will penetrate and burn that off. Provided its on target. Or burn you out if you move or jerk. Be calm. Like in front of a rattle snake calm. that is another 3000 dollar billing per shoot.

    YOU WILL have a ring of fire on your vision as your eyeball processes the laser hit. That will go away if the laser fired to the scar layer and stopped there doing the burn.

    You will be seated and given three or four instructions as if God is talking to you. You stay away from cancer patients, radioactivyt etc, you have maybe a few other thoughts given to you personally based on your situation.

    And thats pretty much the end of it. Ive had my eye lenses for 10 years now. It's doing ok. Am seeking to see surgeon again related to vision problems related to heartrate that wont slow down. That will be the priority this month. Among other things prescan and preheart work later.

    My grandmother developed cataracts in both eyes during the 80's medical technology had nothing for her. She laid in bed in a dark room for 7 years and ended her life when lungs quit at 87 in a hospital dark room. I saw her in person 2 days before she passed, its possible she hung on for me one more time. I was trucking.

    (There is one surgery procedure. VERY barbaric. The entire lens system holding the cataract is chopped out leaving you with shark eyes visible down to the retina. You cannot be around children with this. This is a very old and barbaric procedure dating to after the civil war.) you will scar children with that.

    Her eyes were piles of brown protein about half a inch high totally wrecking any usable vision. And wrecking her life. One moment she was functioning as mother to me and the next in bed for 7 years. Blind. There were precautions to prevent her from suicide.

    With the glasses I have now, one eye is down to 20/5 the operated eye is around 20/15 or so in the right distance. More precise than that up to a certain number of feet without glasses. (I am near sighted, but surgeon improved on that in several ways)

    With one eye done, you retain some distance measure ability. With two eyes done, you will find yourself in a cell phone camera like flat world, but a pretty one nice and sharp and so forth. If you need glasses they will be built for you. Your first consideration is defenses against LED radiation. That burns eyes out faster than anything at night when trucking. After a while distance is not a problem. Particularly if you learn to bowl or shoot a carbine etc.

    (*Been bowling all my life, just had a 2 year ban after eye surgery to make sure that the eye will "Take the load" when my 11 pound ball straight out at 25 mph which is alot of power.)

    And the shooting? Slugging was banned for life. The retinas cannot take it. But handgunning is a joy. cutting cards edge on at 10 yards now and then. If not that then really close.

    When you go to hospitals or doctors you tell them about that eye. You dont want them to "Nuke it" and undo everything that has been done for you.

    That's my story in complete form.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  6. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    Dad had them. His eyesight was getting awful.

    It's an outpatient procedure. One eye at a time, about a month apart.

    He could see good as new afterward.
  7. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    Yes indeed the eyes you will be given with the right lense put in are going to be glorious.

    My ex has a double cataract forming, we are just waiting for it to get real bad. Right now night driving is almost too bad to do and that tells me she is in a land of halos. Approximately 6 months or less before she goes blind. When she does, Im there 24/7 as her hands until surgery. Once one eye is repaired and the lifting ban is resolved she can enjoy her new world.
    stillwurkin and Dave_in_AZ Thank this.
  8. "semi" retired

    "semi" retired Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Not sure, I always liked Lincolns,,,doesn't sound like a day at the beach. I hear old age isn't for wimps,,,guess what, I'm a wimp. Good luck.
  9. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    I don't intend to be around for old age. There is no joy in it if the body fails to function properly. Or the mind develops a problem.

    I bought a meal tonight and due to white hair they gave me a senior discount by mistake. About 10 years too early.
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  10. 062

    062 Road Train Member

    Oct 20, 2013
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  11. Oxbow

    Oxbow Road Train Member

    Nov 24, 2015
    I'm following this with interest. Please let us know how it goes.
    snowwy, REO6205, stillwurkin and 3 others Thank this.
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