Cataracts - Don't be scared

Last year I had two cataracts removed in three months and I just wanted to assure anyone who may be suffering, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of at all, in fact I rather enjoyed the effects of the “make you a bit more relaxed juice”. My sister is still waiting for her second one to be removed in the UK for over a year now and I was surprised at how they did not take the same infection precautions as they did here in that I had to take every item of clothing off and put on tissue pyjamas, foot coverings and a head covering and then was wrapped in my own personal duvet for the whole time. My sister said she just took off her coat, put a gown over her clothes and that was it. So, if you are worried sick about it, fear not as I am one of the biggest babies going where needles and hospitals are concerned and oh yes, no glasses as they insert lenses to your current prescription so its nice to shed them for a while.


I had mine done at Limoges Hospital - the first time as day patient and the second one as an inpatient and both times with a GA so missed out apparently on the “starlight” show I’m told… I think the GA was because of retinal damage which had to be fixed with significant laser treatment in the theatre which would have been unbearable without.
Nothing simple in my world, unfortunately!
But yes, totally agree… the care received in the French hospitals I have had the honour to be treated in has been exceptional.


The same here, Shiba. The joy of seeing road signs before I was on top of them :wink:

My problem was the edge of the road/pavement and also could not drive in full sunlight or at night. The eye surgeon was surprised at how quickly I had two develop at a fairly young age and I said my sister was the same but a few years younger so it could have been genetic as both our parents were youngish too when they had both of theirs removed. As I had a little job I had to drive and also to the shops living rural with no local amenities (another problem people could face living isolated on their own) but I realise if there had been an accident I would not have been insured - be careful if you are in the same boat.

Totally agree with everybody.

Quick, simple, and immediate improvement ih sight.

I walk with a neighbour almost every evening around sunset… have done for years.
She had her cataracts “done” end of last year and her joy on seeing everything again, so clearly, was like a child at christmas…
“look at those colours in the clouds… oh, I’ve not noticed that (whatever) before… oh, look… look !!!”

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My OH nearly always drove, but as navigator it was frustrating not being able to give direction until the last minute :thinking: Since last December I have taken the role of driver, never new OH was such a back seat driver :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :rofl:
A friend in the UK had her cataracts ‘done’ earlier this year, the first one left a floating clot, but the second one was completely fine.

“floaters” should be correctable


My friend was told at the medical surgery that she must see her GP, with any after care, their only obligation was to deals with the cataracts! She mentioned this on her next general check up with the nurse, who was amazed the problem had not been dealt with! After much pillar to post malarkey my friend just gave up.

Totally different to here whereby the opthalmologist is charged with all after care and in my case was the surgeon who operated on me both times. Never went near a GP from start to finish.

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France or UK Lily… my Ophthalmologist here at Limoges would be mortified if someone on his team simply dismissed such an issue…

ditto… except to get the bon de transport from my MT :wink:

Our Ophthalmologist told me that l had cataracts in both eyes and that they would need treatment in a few years. So a few years later, under a general anaesthetic, he performed the surgery 10 months apart, and gave me life changing implants. Each time he examined me at his surgery the following day and again a week and 3 months later. He subsequently performed laser treatment on one eye in his surgery - Throughout all of these procedures, even though l was very anxious, I didn’t feel any discomfort.

Ditto Shiba

In the UK. I don’t say too much about how I feel, it does not help her situation.

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This is more than interesting. I had to give up a job I very much enjoyed - driver/guide on tours of the WW1 battlefields [and other occasional tours].

We missed our slot on the tunnel coming home got bumped back 2 hrs. Only 35 miles/40 mins but in gloaming/darkness. I was absolutely terrified. I had a 16-seater full of happy, alive, members of the Chelt & Glouc Western Front Assoc behind me. I asked for Divine Guidance [guidance, literally! Not a back-seat driver but a From On High driver!]

I realised I was having extreme difficulty in judging horizontal width. Was I about to veer into the hedge or run head-on into oncoming traffic? I was also very much affected by dazzle.

We got back safely. Next morning I told the boss that was me, done. I could not risk being caught out in darkness again.

Since then I have been caught out in twilight/darkness a few times and have had the same trouble. There have been moments when I’ve very nearly come to a halt, on the open road, because I simply could not see past the glare of an oncoming vehicle.

It has become the principle factor in choosing which ferry crossing to use or flight to catch. I’m only 70 mins from Ouistreham but to get to the port +1 hr for the 08:30 crossing in autumn/winter means joning the madness that is the Caen perif in morning twilght. :scream:

Four years ago an optician told me that it was ‘a factor of age’. My last eye test, two weeks ago, I was told I had the onset of cataracts but would not need surgery ‘for 5-10 years’.

If the result of surgery now was to correct the problems I and others have described, I’d go for it, although otherwise, with a very light scrip, my eyesight is as good as the 20-somethings in SpecSavers - actually more acute than the young man trying to take advantage of a very small amendment to my scrip to sell me new specs. :smile:

I had the eye-test in UK a couple of weeks ago - two days lead-time - because I understand the lead-time for an optician RdV in FR is about 3 months! Could a RdV with my MT move things along a bit quicker?

I’d be grateful if anyone else could comment on their problems with driving and their experiences with cataract surgery, in particuar whether the condition being a serious driving safety factor would lead to treatment being deemed having a level of urgency.

PS. Being a photographer, any prospect of ‘messing about’ with eyes and eyesight gives me the jim-jams.

I confess I would welcome cataracts.

OK, that sounds bizarre, I know, but I’m amblyopic so only have decent sight in one eye, the “good” eye is myopic and astigmatic and in common with other myopes I have extremely bad presbyopia - such that one set of bifocals doesn’t cut it so I have a “driving” pair (distant and middle vision) and an “office” pair (middle and close-ish) for daytime use.

I went to see a good ophthalmic surgeon privately - his basic assessment was “well, I can do you keratotomy which might help the astigmatism but the presbyopia will need a flexible lens implant - however the risk of blinding you at 1-2% is too much given your amblyopia; come back when you get cataracts and we can do the lot”.

Bring it on :slight_smile:

Well, reading about your eyes… I’m feeling much better about my own. :wink:

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How old are you? I have very similar eyes to yours and haven’t got presbyopia yet but I’m rather dreading it. I have specs I wear for work and driving or going to the cinema etc but not for reading etc - I am 58 and my next ophtalmo appt is when I’m 60. I am terrified of anything to do with eyes :worried: very feeble and irrational I know.

A bit older than you, not everyone gets presbyopia, of course so I’m quite jealous that you are not affected :slight_smile:

I had a good neighbour as Blanquer changed the school holiday dates and my family had to cancel their visit which would have been to assist me with transport etc, the hospital does not let you go unless you produce your driver home in person.

I was deemed urgent because I live alone, had a little job and needed to drive to get food etc. Apparently now they don’t need to wait to operate if the cataract is not fully formed but I am not so sure about that considering mum had one grow back because it was not completely removed and the bit left continued to grow. As I said driving became near on impossible especially in sunlight and I had no prescription sunglasses either so ordinary glasses and of course the road margins and central lines depending on which eye is worse. I drove again two days after the op and was amazed to be able to see so clearly but now with age, the eyes are beginning to deteriorate slowly again so you have to factor in getting new glasses if you normally wear them, with the new prescription the follow up visit eye test gives you.