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Cataract surgery - standard or multifocal?

(33 Posts)
Daisydaughter Fri 07-Jun-19 11:00:50

I have moderate cataracts, but what to me feels like fairly lousy eyesight generally. I am thinking of having surgery done privately to improve the latter as I will not qualify for NHS for a while yet. I'd love not to have to wear glasses afterwards but for that multifocal lenses are necessary. I've been warned against by one consultant. Has anyone any experience of them?

blondenana Fri 07-Jun-19 19:46:15

Daisydaughter you wouldn;t need to wear glasses at all after cataract surgery, would you? i had my cataracts operated on some years ago, and my vision was 20/20
Do you know for sure you wouldn;t qualify for it on the NHS .your optician should know and can refer you
I do wear glasses now again, but only for reading, my eyesight has deteriorated somewhat but not drastically

janeainsworth Fri 07-Jun-19 20:02:13

I had cataract surgery done 7 years ago & was told that multifocal lenses weren’t available on the NHS - whether that was because they were too expensive, or because outcomes weren’t good, I don’t know.
You need to ask the consultant why he doesn’t recommend them.

Iam64 Fri 07-Jun-19 21:05:31

My surgeon said he’d considered but ruled out vari focals because I’ve s history of inflammation linked to rheumatoid arthritis. I’m v happy with my new eyes, can drive without specs, Just have reading glasses

toscalily Fri 07-Jun-19 21:07:36

Mr Tosca has had both eyes treated, one in January which he was so pleased with he asked the consultant when going for his check up could he have the other cataract done. He was put on the list and the appointment came through much soon than expected, early April so he went ahead and had the other eye done. He has now seen his optician who told him both operations appear to have gone very well indeed, but of course the latest eye operation is still adjusting and it will be a few months till it finally settles. This was done on the NHS but in a smaller local hospital which is mainly private but takes NHS overflow. You are correct that the NHS only offer single not multifocal but Mr Tosca asked the optician about this at his eyesight test two weeks ago and was told that multifocals are not always advisable and there are still some problems with them. Before this Mr Tosca had worn multifocal glasses for many, many years. He does have to use glasses for close up reading but was advised to get a bog standard pair till his sight has finally stabilised.

This obviously is what he has been advised but is quite recent and you may of course get different advise from your optician/surgeon but I hope it can help you in making a decision.

LadyGracie Fri 07-Jun-19 22:08:17

DH is having a cataract operation on Thursday, his surgeon has recommended they fit lenses to correct his distance, he’ll need only reading glasses.

He’ll have his second operation in July.

travelsafar Sat 08-Jun-19 06:50:02

I am going to push to get mine done when i next see my consultant.It is horrible to have a constant misty feeling in front of your eyes .

Resurgam123 Sat 08-Jun-19 07:05:31

I am booked for the end of July. I am not much looking forward to it. However I know lot of people who have had one and find it has helped.

phoenix Sat 08-Jun-19 08:03:01

My optician referred me last November. I'm still waiting for the consultation appointment, and been told that there will be a wait of about 5 months after that for the actual surgery sad

Ginny42 Sat 08-Jun-19 08:08:56

Daisydaughter, I have the permanent lenses and I've been delighted with them. As I'd always been long-sighted I opted for those lenses and have several pairs of cheap reading glasses for small print.

In the drawer I have several hundred pounds worth of designer specs, all useless to me now. Go for it. You won't regret it. Just think on hot days when you haven't got specs riding down your nose and leaving marks!

Elegran Sat 08-Jun-19 08:48:06

Most of you have said "only reading glasses" but I wear my reading glasses a lot - for reading, sewing, painting, knitting, finding out what is in the small print on items in the supermarket - and not having to dig them out of the bottom of my handbag would be a very welcome improvement. I came to terms long ago with such things as having to wait until a bus is approaching the bus shelter before being sure what its number is, so I hardly ever wear my distance glasses.

I am now eighty, so when my cataracts are bad enough to be operated on, I may only have a few years before I am care-home-bound and won't need to see very well to do housework etc, (dust? What dust?) but I sincerely hope I will still be able to read, sew, paint and knit. If I have a choice, I suspect I shall choose the close-up lenses.

LadyGracie Sat 08-Jun-19 10:17:21

DH was referred last September he has had 4 new pairs of glasses since then, he hasn’t driven for months.

He had a letter about a month ago from NHS Wales to say patients are seen in order of priority and he should hear by the end of the year, by which time he wouldn’t be able to see at all.

We have opted to go private hence his operation this coming Thursday.

Daisydaughter Tue 11-Jun-19 12:33:52

Thank you all for the advice. Interesting that nobody appears to have had multi focals done. Sounds like they are not available on NHS. I’d love to hear from anybody who has. I hate having to put glasses on and off (having worn varifocal glasses for years), so I would prefer similar cataract lenses. However, there are possible side effects (eg halos round lights), but my consultant doesn’t do multi focal at all, so is possibly biased in his advice. The surgeon who does multifocals locally doesn’t have such a good success rate, so it’s a real dilemma. I’m in my early sixties so will be stuck with my decision for a long tine! Thanks again and keep the replies coming!

Loislovesstewie Tue 11-Jun-19 12:44:37

My DH had both eyes done some years ago. He wears glasses for reading now rather than the varifocals of before, and is very happy with that! He wears sunglasses in the summer when out and about . No complaints from him . I'm just cross with the selective deafness that he seems to have.

Floradora9 Tue 11-Jun-19 15:12:31

My DH a glasses wearer had both lenses replaced so he now does not need glasses for distance. What he cannot do , and I can , is take off his glasses to read something like in the supermarket . My optician's advice was to wait as long as possible before I had mine done .

Liz46 Tue 11-Jun-19 15:32:03

I had both mine done about two years ago when I became nervous of crossing the road (and put my hand out to a fire engine at the bus stop).

I can see distance very well now but have a pair of varifocals which go dark in the sun so that I can sit in the sun reading but when I look up, I am not looking through a reading bit.

If I use an escalator, I do not want to look down through the reading bit so would take varifocals off.

I have reading glasses (3 strength) all over the house and in various pockets, from the pound shop.

Eloethan Tue 11-Jun-19 16:27:04

As I understand it, the NHS lenses are generic in that they are not specifically tailored to an individual's sight. I think that means glasses are likely to have to be worn for either short or long sight (but I might be wrong).

When my son had his eyes lasered privately about 6 years ago, he was offered a discount for anyone he knew who wanted sight correction treatment. (He no longer needs to wear glasses).

I went along and had the relevant tests and was told that if I had the surgery (not laser treatment - that wasn't suitable) I would not need to wear glasses at all - I was told NHS treatment didn't offer this. However, it was very expensive (then, I think, around £5,000 - presumably more now) and I didn't go ahead.

I find contact lenses too uncomfortable now and just manage with glasses for distance - although I'm always mislaying them!

janeainsworth Tue 11-Jun-19 20:38:54

I find contact lenses too uncomfortable now and just manage with glasses for distance
Eloethan could it be that your eyes are dry? I only wear contact lenses if I’m going out, but was having trouble putting them in & they weren’t very comfortable. The optician said my eyes were very dry (I had no idea they were dry) & recommended Systane eye drops. It’s made a great difference.

Patsy70 Tue 11-Jun-19 21:23:47

I had cataract surgery on my left eye last June to correct the high pressure/early cataract and was told that I would only need reading glasses. I do not consider that the vision in my left eye has improved and was prescribed eye drops for the high pressure (in right eye) and drops for 'dry eyes'. The drops have made the area around my eyes very dark and also caused red itchy areas. I am still using distance and reading glasses. My next appointment is in July and I really don't know what to do for the best.

Eloethan Wed 12-Jun-19 00:17:50

jane I haven't worn contact lenses for several years now. I think I did use eye drops to lubricate the eye but my eyes still felt "gritty" and uncomfortable. Thanks for your input though.

Floradora9 Wed 12-Jun-19 15:19:58

Eloethan my DH had one lense put in because of a detached retina other eye had to be done because his eyesight did not match in that eye . He now needs no distance glasses after wearing them since he was a lad . He does need reading glasses and he still goes to take off his glasses before taking off a sweater and going to bed though they are not there. He thinks he is very lucky.

Iam64 Wed 12-Jun-19 15:23:15

Patsy70, you may be allergic to the drops. I had the cheaper ones prescribed for dry eye but the eye surgeon recommended a hydro tears and my eyes are no longer itchy or red.

Patsy70 Wed 12-Jun-19 17:39:13

Iam64, I have been prescribed Hylo-Forte for 'dry eyes', but there is no improvement.

Iam64 Wed 12-Jun-19 20:04:17

Patsy - can your optician help? Otherwise, it's worth asking for a referral to an ophthalmologist. Not having a go at GP's but we only get one set of eyes and we need an expert if things are going wrong.

Patsy70 Fri 14-Jun-19 17:14:41

Iam64. Yes, I might try the optician route, before my appointment in July.