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(20 Posts)
Luckygirl Thu 21-Nov-19 08:56:43

Been to optician for test and to review my prescription - no change needed. But.....I went because I was having trouble reading programme choices on the TV, dealing with headlight glare when driving at night and getting a lot of floaters.

Optician said that I have cataracts (which I knew from previous test 18 months ago) but that they did not need surgery yet. He then went on to say that I should not drive at night!

I think it is nuts to say that on the one hand they do not need surgery and on the other that I should not drive at night! All the stuff on the net says that they need surgery when they start to impinge on your daily life - well, night driving is part of my daily life!!

Any thoughts from those with experience?

Daisymae Thu 21-Nov-19 09:33:42

My optician told me that they can refer based on symptoms alone, even if you meet the standards for driving. Might be worth going back and pushing for a referral now, you'll probably have to wait months anyway.

Teetime Thu 21-Nov-19 09:42:40

I have been told I have early cataracts on both eyes. I've never been great a night driving on unlit roads so I try not to do it.

mcem Thu 21-Nov-19 10:09:32

They should be corrected when they start to affect your lifestyle.
Push harder!
Mine were done very soon after diagnosis and without a long wait.

kircubbin2000 Thu 21-Nov-19 10:40:52

I went for my appt after waiting 3 years. I thought I would have the op but they told me this was only the wait to get on the list which was another 18 months. I was so fed up and could see nothing on the eye chart with the bad eye.I paid over £2000 to go private and op only took about 5 minutes.

Urmstongran Thu 21-Nov-19 11:50:41

I think cataracts need to be what the medics describe as ‘ripe’ (ugh!) before cutting them. Hence the annoying wait and deterioration in eyesight.

BlueSky Thu 21-Nov-19 12:27:01

At my appointment 3 years ago I was told I had very early cataracts, which would probably take about 10 years to be 'ripe'. At my check up last year nothing was mentioned about it. As I had more pressing worries, I didn't even think to ask about the cataracts. Will mention next time.

kircubbin2000 Thu 21-Nov-19 12:35:37

If they need done you would know. I couldn't see to drive at night or see clearly with the bad eye.

Alexa Thu 21-Nov-19 12:36:17

I had thought they were bonny little hard things of oval shape I could keep as a souvenir in a little box until when I asked the surgeon for it he said I'd not want it as it was squishy

glammanana Thu 21-Nov-19 12:58:57

I had both of mine done within 2 months of each other this past Summer at a private clinic via NHS referrell which took just 4 weeks from my eye test being done and clouding being found on the right eye.
I would change Opticians and have a second opinion done and start pushing for the procedure to be done.

Sussexborn Thu 21-Nov-19 13:04:11

My OH had his done privately when he was in his 50s. Spent three years in SE Asia as a small child and wouldn’t keep his sun glasses on apparently.

I was told almost in passing that I have cataracts forming (both my grans had them so no surprise). Been putting it on the back boiler because of the vulva cancer recurrences. If I get the all clear in early December will have to try and make an appointment.

Several lunch/coffee friends live in a sheltered type community opposite an optician who has got immediate NHS appointments for them and surgery done within two weeks.

Missfoodlove Thu 21-Nov-19 13:25:34

I use these to keep my eyes healthy.
They can in some cases reverse the cataracts.

NanTheWiser Thu 21-Nov-19 16:13:38

At the bottom of that report it claims that there is no convincing evidence that it works Missfoodlove :

"CONCLUSIONS: There is currently no convincing evidence that NAC reverses cataract, nor prevents progression of cataract (defined as a change in cataract appearance either for the better or for the worse). Future studies should be randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trials with standardised quality of life outcomes and validated outcome measures in terms of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare, and large enough to detect adverse effects."

So you might be wasting your time and money.

Luckygirl Thu 21-Nov-19 16:51:42

The "ripe" idea is old hat now apparently.

mcem Sat 23-Nov-19 23:50:47

That's exactly what I was told by my ophthalmologist. Old hat and simply a way to avoid admitting to long queues!
Mine were sorted as soon as they were diagnosed.

bingo12 Sun 24-Nov-19 05:23:32

You could ask your GP to refer you or even just go to A and E at your nearest Eye Hospital. They may have said not to drive at night because cataract cause '' blinding'' from the dazzle of on coming car lights but also sunlight - though this also can continue after op. - i.e. dazzling.

JohnRNIB Thu 05-Dec-19 10:32:20

I got in contact with RNIB's Eye Health Information Service after seeing this post, and this was their response:

"I do think this is odd recommendation. There is nothing specific around driving at night, legally, so discomfort may be an issue, and some people choose to stop night driving, but I tend to agree with him – if it’s a problem that limits his lifestyle, then referral may be indicated. Some patients are just more symptomatic than others.

"It is difficult because, as optometrists, we know that people we refer too early for surgery get rejected, and it’s then a waste of everyone’s time!

"The optometrist should be following NICE Guidance for cataract treatment. Section 1.2 of the guidance says clearly that the decision to refer for surgery should be based on a discussion of the impact the cataracts are having on your vision and quality life, and that access should not be restricted on the basis of visual acuity (the “ripeness” of the cataract) alone.

"Maybe suggesting he gets a second opinion from another optometrist or goes to his GP for referral would be the next step. If the consultant turns him down, then he is armed with the information he needs to fight his corner.

"That said there is always a risk for surgery so, if the cataracts are very small, they may be calculating that the benefits aren’t likely to be significant enough.

"If you can direct him to call the Eye Health Information Service to chat through indications for surgery, I’m sure we could help (0303 123 9999 Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 9am to 1pm)."

Jane10 Thu 05-Dec-19 11:02:16

That's helpful John.
Alexa- what would you have done with your lenses if they really were 'bonny little hard things' ? Nice Earrings maybe? grin

travelsafar Fri 06-Dec-19 08:25:40

One of my friends had her cataract removed yesterday. All went fine. I asked her what the criteria was for it's removal. She said she was seeing halos around street lights and her vision was worse at night. She drives so obviously it affected that. Strange that the OP was not allowed to have hers done. I am due in January to get mine checked , my left eye is defo much worse so i shall push to get it done, the right eye not so back.

Luckygirl Fri 06-Dec-19 09:17:09

Thank for sending that enquiry and posting the result - that is very helpful indeed. smile