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Glaucoma and cataract

(13 Posts)
truman Tue 21-Nov-23 14:00:21

Has anyone with Glaucoma had cataract surgery?. I went today to be assessed for cataract surgery. When I had the tests I was told I might have Glaucoma and that would be have to be looked at before I would be considered for cataract surgery. I am also very short sighted (-8) and I wear varifocals for distance and reading. I am under the impression that although the cataract is very small they were not keen on doing anything about it yet because of the Glaucoma. I had my usual eye test 3 years ago and there was no mention of Glaucoma then.

M0nica Tue 21-Nov-23 14:29:07

Glaucoma can develop at any time. Glaucoma runs in my family, although I do not have it (yet) that means that I am entitled to annual eye tests to test for it.

Three years between eye tests is a long time, especially in old age, for all kinds of reasons. The recommended gap is two years and yes, you can easily develop glaucoma and have it quite badly in three years.

Cataracts, on the other hand can be quite slow developing and it may be, that it is not your glaucoma that is causing the delay in the operation but that the catatract is developing slowly and, at present, there is no need to operate.

I had a gap of about 5 years between the developing cataract in one eye being identified and the need for an operation to deal with it. My surgeons definition of 'needing' the operation was 'when the loss of clarity in my vision began to cause me troubles in my everyday life.

Like you I am/was severely short sighted, over -8 in one eye. One of the advantages of cataract operations is that you can have a new lens fitted which is made to your glasses prescription. After a life time of reaching out for my glasses first thing every morning, I no longer wear glasses, except for driving and distance viewing. Again that was a choice. I was told that I could have my prescription set up so I needed glasses for reading or distance - I made the distance choice.

Bridie22 Tue 21-Nov-23 15:55:17

I have Glaucoma and had both Catarracts removed , no problems.

Shinamae Tue 21-Nov-23 16:00:57

I am blind in my left eye, but had my right eye done and that is -13, so that is shortsighted 🤓

truman Tue 21-Nov-23 18:35:07

Thank you for your replies. It was at my eye test in 2020 that the optician said I would need the cataract in my right eye done. We moved house in 2022, so this year I made an appointment for another eye test so I could get added to the waiting list. This optician after the test referred me to the eye department at the hospital to examine the need to have the cataract removed. The doctor after the usual tests told me I had Glaucoma and referred me to the Glaucoma clinic. He then said yes I did have a cataract but as I could see ok with my glasses at the moment he was not keen to do it yet. He then said because of my high prescription I would be more at risk of a detached retina, and the Glaucoma complicates matters. He then said we do not treat cataracts just to cure short sight. I was a bit taken aback at this comment as I only assumed I needed this cataract removed on the advice of the two opticians I have seen. To be honest after I have had the Glaucoma sorted out, I am thinking of booking a private consultation to get a second opinion. Monica, ref you being as short sighted as I am did you have both eyes done. The Dr said I would have to as to do one eye with such a high prescription I would be totally out of balance.

Shinamae Tue 21-Nov-23 19:35:52

I’ve known for years that with my high prescription, I am at a great risk of detached retina, but they did my cateract anyway..
My left eye had always been weaker than my right eye, but then to make matters worse. I had an ulcer in my left eye a few years ago. If I hadn’t had an ulcer I think they would’ve done my left eye as well, but the retina was scarred so it was a no-go, but I’m just grateful I can see at all actually 🤓

BlueBelle Tue 21-Nov-23 19:47:03

I was -12 in both eyes and I have astigmatism ( hugely short sighted ) I ve also had torn retinas a few times and have a hole in one macular however they did both my cateracts this year and I am now -2 in both eyes still have the hole but that’s a wait and see and hope situation
I can see very well distance but need cheapo reading glasses as
I m now -2 in both eyes, so a BIG difference

Marydoll Tue 21-Nov-23 20:21:29

I had an eye test today and was told that although I have had cataracts for years, they are not yet ready for surgery and a change to my varifocal prescription is what is required.
However, I do have to have annual eye checks, due to multiple comorbidities. so my eyes can be monitored.

M0nica Tue 21-Nov-23 22:39:14

truman I have had cataracts removed from both eyes, about 5 years apart. My eyes, as I remember were -8. something in one eye and -5.something in the other. The -8 eye was the first done.

I went privately, after 2 rather unhappy incidents with the NHS involving eyecare, with me in one case and an acquaintance in the other. My consultant acknowledged that there was an increased risk of retinal detachment, but not a high risk. I do not have glaucoma.

No, of course the consultant doesn't just do the operations to improve eyesight, he does them to remove cataracts, but one of the good side effects is that they can then put in a lens that means that your eyesight is much better - and what is wrong with that?

He is talking total nonsense when he says because you are so short sided both have to be done together. As only one eye is being done you will still need to wear glasses and all that happens is that the lens prescription for the treated eye goes down from -8 to -2 or similar. the other lens stays unchanged and your vision will be where it always was. It feels a little strange at first, but your brain quickly adjusts to it.

I had the -8 eye done first, the second eye didn't need to be done for another 5 years.

I think you have just got a stroppy consultant who for some reason either doesn;t want to do the operation or is happy to take risks by doing both at once - avoid if you can!

Read Bluebelle's post, between your last post and this one. A very cheering and upbeat description of how things can be.

truman Wed 22-Nov-23 10:02:06

Thank you all for your replies. I must admit I am worrying now about the Glaucoma. I made a mistake and Googled it last night. I just wanted to know more about it. There seems to be different types. To be honest being so short sighted is bad enough without this as well.

Marydoll Wed 22-Nov-23 10:11:57

Googling is always a mistake! Everyone's situation is different. Only your doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis. I don't think you have a stroppy consultant.
Of course you are worried and probably thinking of the worst case scenario. We all do that.

I remember my RA consulatant telling me, he was concerned that I may have rheumatoid lung. I needed travel insurance and I couldn't get it, because it was a terminal condition.
Of course I Googled it. Apparently many patients die just months after diagnosis.
I was distraught. I actually didn't have it and five years later, I am still here. A lesson learned.

Fleurpepper Wed 22-Nov-23 11:44:55

Each case is different, and each case can have different outcomes.

My neighbour had both cataracts done last year, and he has developped glaucoma and macular degenaration since. Apparently it can happen in rare case. I had never heard of this before.

M0nica Wed 22-Nov-23 19:02:06

Googling is not always a mistake, but you need to understand what you are looking for and how to assess the reliability of the sources you use.

As a trained researcher, with a career in information research and retrieval, on medical matters, in fact on any subject I never use social media of any kind and restrict my information searching to reliable sources like the NHS and a few American sites and peer-reviewed academic journals and cross check all my sources and their information.