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Eye health (cataracts, glaucoma etc) - expert Q&A

(105 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 15-Apr-19 14:48:58

Have you been experiencing issues with your vision or noticed a change in how your eyes look or feel? Do you have a question about cataracts, want to get to grips with glaucoma or learn more about a symptom you or a close one may been experiencing?

Renowned consultant ophthalmologist, Mr Larry Benjamin, is here to answer your questions as part of blindness prevention charity Orbis’s See My Future appeal. Larry is consultant ophthalmologist at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire and has been an Orbis medical volunteer for 15 years, training ophthalmologists in Zambia, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Ghana and more, with both the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital and within local hospitals.

He has special interests in cataract and diabetic retinopathy management and has served on the ophthalmic committee of the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2016, Larry won an award for his dedication to improving global eye health at the Charity Staff and Volunteer Awards.

Gransnet is supporting Orbis’s See My Future appeal. For three months, until 23rd June, all public donations to the appeal will be doubled by the UK government. To find out more and double the impact of your donation, visit:

Please add your questions on this thread before midday on Monday 29 April, when we will be sending them over to Larry. Answers will be posted here shortly afterwards

MiniMoon Mon 15-Apr-19 15:33:46

Hello Larry, thanks for this opportunity to ask a question.
I have recently suffered posterior vitreous detachment of my left eye, the right eye had the same symptoms two or three years ago. I would like to know if the large, opaque floaters ever disappear. I know that the brain forgets to see them after a while, but will they ever disintegrate?

Zoxa1 Mon 15-Apr-19 17:54:42

Would love to know your opinion on having clear lens extraction to treat primary angle closure.... I will have had my right eye done on 17th April.

travelsafar Tue 16-Apr-19 08:46:44

Hi i also have 'floaters' due to detachment of the gel at back of the eye.I am finding that bright lights or sunshine make this worse. I have been told i have cataracts forming in both eyes and sometimes my eyesight seems misty. I asked if they are ready to be operated on and was told not yet, how long or rather how bad do they have to be before they are??
Thank you.

TwiceAsNice Tue 16-Apr-19 09:05:04

I am diabetic and in Nov my last retinopathy exam showed “background retinopathy” . I have since lost weight and tightened up a lot on my diet so my question is can background retinopathy be reversed ? My GP says with blood glucose improvement ( my levels are ok but am hoping my next review next week show them as much improved) my next test could be normal again. Is this true?

Willow500 Tue 16-Apr-19 10:11:15

I am highly myopic with astigmatism in both eyes and very thin retinas - I had laser treatment for a Neovascularization about 15 years ago which has left a blind spot just below the macular in my left eye. I wear varifocal gas permeable contacts and can see fairly well at the moment - my prescription hasn't changed for the last 3 years (still -15.72 & -16). Glaucoma also runs in the family and a scan at my last optician appointment showed PVD in the left eye and to a smaller degree in the right. I haven't noticed any symptoms with this.

I'm concerned that if cataracts develop (none so far) surgery could cause more damage - I understand I wouldn't be able to have corrective lenses inserted but would clear lenses be possible?

Charleygirl5 Tue 16-Apr-19 15:55:52

I have had Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy for a few years now as well as dry AMD since 2009. I can still drive but those days are numbered.

I also have mild cataracts- I was led to believe that having Fuchs was a contraindication to having cataracts removed as and when. Has that changed? That to me would mean that cataracts would be most likely to cause severe visual impairment before the other two diseases.

mcem Tue 16-Apr-19 16:38:58

Postcode lottery or outdated opinions when it comes to "being ready"?
My ophthalmologist believes that the op should take place just as soon as the cataracts are diagnosed and that there is no justification for the idea of "ripening".
Do you agree?

baubles Tue 16-Apr-19 17:19:22

My infant grandson has a coloboma in the iris of his left eye. He’s been referred to the ophthalmology department but as yet hasn’t been seen. It runs from the pupil to 5 o’clock. I realise that you can’t tell if his vision will be affected but what can you tell me about it in general terms please?

nannynormal Wed 17-Apr-19 10:48:07

I get double vision in y right eye if I have been reading or looking at my phone. It lasts for a long time, but it is always there slightly.

wallers5 Wed 17-Apr-19 10:56:32

Why do I wake up with red eyes all the time?

Greciangirl Wed 17-Apr-19 11:13:54

I sometimes experience bright wavy lights to the side of my eyes. Also occasional flashing lights. Is it anything serious.

Christalbee Wed 17-Apr-19 11:44:16

I have been diagnosed with 'narrow angles' and advised that I should have a Laser Iridotomy within two years. Is this necessary, and if it is, how soon should I get it done. Should I have it done now and not wait two years??? Thank you.

ninathenana Wed 17-Apr-19 11:49:54

My question is similar to Twiceasnice's I have had 5 or 6 injections in one or other eye over the last few months for diabetic retinopathy. Is it likely that I will be able to go longer than 4 wks between check ups soon ?
Interesting that TwiceAsNice? was told that improving blood sugar levels could help reverse the problem. I haven't been told that.
I am on insulin for T2

Meg54 Wed 17-Apr-19 11:51:00

My eyelids on both eyes itch like fury top and bottom.
I have used Blephasol, Sodium Cromoglicate, warm eye pads and baby shampoo, all to no avail. This has gone on now for over 3 years, and each morning I wake up feeling like I have been punched in the eyes!
Is there anything I can do?.
Many thanks, Meg.

fizzers Wed 17-Apr-19 11:56:13

Both my parents had glaucoma, what are my chances of getting it? what age range for the onset of glaucoma? I might add I go annually for eye testing and have done for many years

Paul2706 Wed 17-Apr-19 11:58:46

I have been told I have cataracts developing and feel my glasses often look dirty or Misty my optician days there is nothing to worry about but would advise against removal as I have a lazy eye minimal to no vision and feels the procedure would be too risky I would value your opinion on this.

mumagain Wed 17-Apr-19 12:02:40

Hi, for many years I have suffered from Uveitis and as a result of oral medication (steroids) I have suffered from cataracts . The one on my left eye was removed September 2017 and the one on my right eye is nowhere near ready for removal.
I expected my eyesight to improve greatly after the removal of the left eye cataract and was very disappointed to find that it didn't. I asked one of the many doctors I see at the eye hospital every few months about this and was told ' Oh you can't expect a good improvement as the optic nerve has been permanently damaged due to the inflammation. I was very surprised by this as this was the first time I'd been told this. Was there any point then in the cataract op, and is there any point in a future op on the right eye ?

Grannytwo Wed 17-Apr-19 13:20:10

I find that when i’m doing any close work I automatically close my left eye, which is the eye I had a cataract removed from. The optician doesn't seem to take any notice when I tell him. It’s driving me round the bend.

Hazeld Wed 17-Apr-19 14:12:55

I almost always wake up in the mornings with red eyes, the actual eyeball itself is very red with red veins. What causes this and is it anything to worry about please?

Immiesnana Wed 17-Apr-19 14:29:30

I had a Macular hole and lens implant operation in July 2018 and my Consultant is pleased with the result. I however feel that the vision is still slightly distorted which my Consultant says is due to scarring. I would like to know if it will improve with time.

BlueBelle Wed 17-Apr-19 14:37:46

Short sighted -12 ish both eyes, I wear soft contacts for 40 years Astigmatism in both eyes and had torn retinas after a blow to the head some years back repaired twice been ok for a while Now have cataracts and been advised to wait until I really can’t manage because of my previous eye problems I m 74 does this sound right please ?

Secondly one granddaughter Very long sighted about +10 or 11 had a turn which isn’t noticeable in either her glasses (thinned glass very expensive) or contacts is there laser treatment for long sight yet ?
Thank you

GrandmaMoira Wed 17-Apr-19 15:13:57

I have recently been diagnosed with cataracts. My vision is not blurry but suffer a lot from glare which is causing me migraines lasting several days. Is this common and can anything be done, apart from reactive or polaroid glasses which I now have.

ginamat Wed 17-Apr-19 19:15:25

I have suffered with dry eyes and blepharitis for several years and have done all the things I am supposed to do - warm the eyelids, gently massage them and use eye drops, mainly artificial tears. I also use chloramphenicol when needed
as I often get infections. The trouble is that my eyes are very sensitive and don't like me messing about with them too much. Is there anything else you can suggest please as it's driving me mad!

Bamm Wed 17-Apr-19 19:24:31

I have been diagnosed with pigment dispersion syndrome and have to attend the eye hospital to have the eye drainage channels assessed. My appointment is over five months away. Is the risk of Glaucoma such that I should worry about this ?