Recently, I developed cataracts myself. I began to notice that my vision was deteriorating. I had trouble seeing to drive at night. As a golfer, I could no longer see where my ball went. My reading vision was also getting more challenging. I recall that I had excellent vision without glasses until I reached my early 40's, and I had been wearing bifocals for the last 25+ years. Now even updating the glasses did not help improve my vision. I knew that I was developing cataracts and needed surgery. I consulted one of my partners at Cornea Associates, who confirmed the presence of cataracts and advised me to have cataract surgery.
When I considered the lens implant options that are available, I chose multifocal lens implants to correct my vision, which would hopefully eliminate my need for glasses.
Surgery was performed one eye at a time, using topical anesthesia with intravenous sedation. Although I was awake for surgery, I do not remember any of the details. I did not experience any pain or anxiety during the surgery. It was, in fact, a pleasant experience.
When I got home that afternoon, I could already notice that my vision was improved. Objects seem to be clearer. Most striking was the change in color perception. White objects were truly white and blue colors were much more vivid.
I began using my eye drops and followed the post-operative instructions of my surgeon. I had minor issues with eye irritation and light sensitivity, but these issues improved as my eyes began to heal. My only problem occurred after my first eye surgery and before the second eye was operated. I found that the two eyes seemed out of balance. The operated eye had clear vision and did not require wearing glasses. However, the un-operated eye still had blurred vision and needed my glasses prescription to focus the vision. I had a clear, nonprescription lens placed in my glasses for the operated eye to permit me to use these glasses for the second eye. However, I couldn’t get them to work well together. Since I was doing well in the one operated eye, I just abandoned my old glasses and let the second eye remain blurred. I was anxious to get the second eye operated; and once this was done, both eyes functioned together. In fact, my binocular vision was excellent. I do experience some of the known side effects of multifocal lenses. Namely, I do have mild halos and glare at night; however, I’ve gotten used to this, and it doesn’t interfere with my ability to see to drive at night. I also notice that my reading or near vision requires good lighting, and in a dark environment, I may need to use some over-the-counter reading glasses. However, for the most part, my vision no longer requires me to use glasses.
When I am back at work and counsel patients about cataract surgery, I can now provide my own personal testimonial. Patients love to hear which lens implant I selected and why. They often say, “If it’s good enough for Dr. Gelender, then it will be good for me.” Enough time has elapsed since my surgeries for me to fully appreciate the benefits of cataract surgery. I can now drive at night without difficulty. I can read and use my computer without difficulty. And most importantly, I can now see my golf ball fly down the fairway. To quote the Jimmy Cliff song, “I can see clearly, now….” Life is great!