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Why didn't I get my cataracts fixed earlier???

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#1 Bob S.

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:25 AM

Holy cow, my 63 year-old right eye now has the equivalent of a 19 y-o lens with surgery occuring 10 days ago. I received a Tecnis aspheric monofocal lens that has me 20/20 plano at infinity. Since the other eye will not be operated on until next week, I had and opportunity to evaluate my two eyes performance on stars for the first time last night. All I can say is that I wish I had done it sooner. I got into astronomy late at age 52 and have been doing it very actively in the Southern states with some 120+/night viewing years over the past 11 years.

When I moved my 12.5" f/5 Zambuto/Starstructure to M42 last night, I was frankly shocked at how extensive the nebulosity was with my naked eye and a Leica ASPH zoom. It was as if I had a UHC in the eyepiece which I did not. I couldn't get over the significant increase in color intensity in the green and blue visual spectrum. The pinks/reds seemed slightly less pronounced? I looked at M1 and thought I had a filter in as well. It was exceptionally transparent last night and I moved the scope onto the the Flame Nebula and to my surprise was able to very distinctly see the Flame without a filter. I could just make out the shelf in IC434 but could not see the Horsehead Nebula with the smaller scope and no filter.

This morning, I took my 6.3" Apo out and looked at the Moon and Saturn. I put the Leica ASPH in the scope with a 2x TeleVue Powermate. Again, I was amazed at the surface brightness increase in the newly repaired eye as opposed to my old lens in the other eye. Saturn was also a bit brighter and pleasant to look at.

In my checkup yesterday, the opthamologist advised that I had a slight waviness to my lens capsule that was causing a changing diffraction situation on extrememly bright point sources of light like a halogen light. It has been getting less pronounced and he said it would continue to change/improve in the next three weeks and will likely be a non-issue. If there is any residual waviness, he said that he could ameliorate this with a Yag laser.

As a fellow astronomer and opthamologist opined on this site that if the risk of surgery is less than the potential benefits of cataract removal and you can't stand the sequelae of the cataract like flaired oncoming car headlights, then it is time to get the surgery. In my case, this has been very rewarding and I can't wait to get the other eye done next week.

Before I end, I do want to acknowledge that the thought of a surgeon sticking scalpels/tools into my eye was frankly terrifying. The procedure is well less than 10 minutes and was frankly a walk in the park with no associated pain, no stiches or shots required. If your aging eyes are telling you that it is time to consult your opthamologist, I can at least share that the "juice was worth the squeeze" for me. Bob

#2 Saint Aardvark

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:57 AM

That's a great story -- it's cool that you got the chance to compare vision in your two eyes. Though I haven't needed eye surgery, the thought of it has always been terrifying, like you said...it's interesting to hear that it wasn't that bad.

Clear skies!

#3 Greyhaven

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:33 AM

Good for you Bob! I don't know how much the process has changed in the last few years but what a change it was to the artificial lens. I had not realized how degraded my vision had become and how funny I must have appeared during the week between surgeries as I winked between the eyes comparing views.I must have looked like a cartoon character
who had just been bashed on the head :crazyeyes:
be well
Grey

#4 csrlice12

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

We can rebuild him; bigger, stronger, faster...... :lol:


Glad your surgery worked out. Haven't had cataract surgery, but did have Lasik. I understand what you mean by people having scalpals in your eye (even in Lasik, the initial flap was done with a scalpal); I too was terrified, and like you, after all was said and done, it was like, what was I afraid of other then the thought of it?

#5 Red Shift

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:21 PM

True Story....
I have worn corrective lenses since 5th grade.
I am now almost 62.
My vision was so bad, I could really only read the big E
at the top of the eye charts.


A couple or 3 years ago, my Othalmologist said to me
"I've got good news and bad news for you"
The bad news is that you have cataracts.
The good news is that after your cataract surgeries,
you will have 20/20 vision.

I had both eyes done about a year and 3 weeks ago.
Now I have 20/20 in both eyes without any corrective lenses.

One thing that I discovered was that for MOST of us,
our lenses tend to yellow with age. We see greener greens, and warmer blues, and more orangy reds. Tree trunks look browner. When our birth lenses are replaced with the artificial ( new ) lenses, most replacements are as clear and color free as can be. Colors are now true. WOW !!!

Do this, close your newly lensed eye.
Open the other.
Look at the colors outside someplace.
Try to remember how they look.
Now reverse the process.
See the color shifts?

#6 GeneT

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:24 PM

I have the onset of cataracts. Last week, my ophthalmologist told me that I was a few years away from having surgery. One of my concerns was how this surgery would affect my viewing. Thank you for posting. It seems like my ability to pluck out objects from the eyepiece will actually be enhanced.

#7 azure1961p

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:07 PM

We can rebuild him; bigger, stronger, faster...... :lol:



Lol I thought it was better not bigger! I was a diehard fan of that series as a kid.
A fella I know at work had a cornea replaced with a synthetic. He said the procedure was a non event it was so removed from any sensory connection - apart from seeing. They numbed it, paralyzed the muscles and the rest he felt passive to. In particular he loves that his astigmatism is gone.

Glad your procedure went well Mr S.

Pete

#8 Bob S.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

Thanks Pete. Now the other eye. Greg, on the day following the first surgery, I was A/B'ing my right and left eyes and was amazed at the color and light throughput differences. I have been winking at everything making these comparisons which will end this coming Wednesday morning.

Gene, Everybody has a slightly different outcome but there were some things that I did tonight with my 20" f/3 Lockwood/JP Astrocraft that were very interesting.I spent the first 1.5 hours playing with my Mallincam Hyper Plus connected to my 3.5" Watec monitor that is mounted on the scope and proceeded to look at the Flame, Horsehead and Orion Nebulas in full color. The Flame Nebula was particularly fine tonight. The Horse and Orion were a bit mediocre. The transparency was about 8/10 but the seeing was about 5/10. We have the jet stream hovering over Florida at about 45 thousand feet. I put the Mallincam in the scopes holster and my first target visually was the Orion Nebula. I just had to take in the immense differences I am seeing with the new lens in my eye and used a bunch of different Ethos ep's to get different perspectives of the nebula. I then went up to the Flame Nebula without a filter in my 17mm Ethos and the Flame was pretty prominent. I then put in a 2" Hb filter and looked at the Horsehead Nebula.

Now, here is where it gets interesting. I carefully looked at the configuration of stars around the Horsehead Nebula and as some of you know, there are some pointer stars that guide you right to the Horse. I took out the Hb filter and began studying IC434 and looking for the Horse without a filter. I was right at the threshold of seeing it but could not see it. However, I was able to view IC434's shelf and redish faint glow with just my eye and an eyepiece with no filter. If the seeing had been better and the skies a bit darker, I am pretty sure that I will now be able to see the Nebula without a filter. Never, in the 11 years that I have been in the hobby have I been able to see the Horse without a filter, image intensifier or astrovideo camera except in Tom Clark's 42" f/4 scope. I have seen it at least 400-500x so know exactly what to look for. With the faint glowing red background of IC434, I think if the seeing had been better, I would have been able to faintly make out some aspects of the Horsehead Nebula without a passband filter. That my friend, is what the cataract surgery has done for me. It has frankly fundamentally altered some of my longstanding percepts developed over probably 700-800 nights of viewing and has created something of a bit of mental confusion when viewing very familiar objects. I was incredibly struck by the amount of nebulosity I could see in the outer regions of the Orion Nebula. Even though I have seen these regions on photos, with my image intensifying ep's and/or astrovideo cameras, to see them without a filter and to get such a striking amount of visual information suggests that the risks attendant with surgery have been well rewarded.

Thanks again folks for you input and kind words. At my age, the journey into the cosmos seems to be getting even more exciting. Bob

#9 Bill Weir

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:11 AM

I was incredibly struck by the amount of nebulosity I could see in the outer regions of the Orion Nebula. Even though I have seen these regions on photos, with my image intensifying ep's and/or astrovideo cameras, to see them without a filter and to get such a striking amount of visual information suggests that the risks attendant with surgery have been well rewarded.

Thanks again folks for you input and kind words. At my age, the journey into the cosmos seems to be getting even more exciting. Bob


Glad it went so well Bob. The other eye should have a similar positive result. Now maybe you will understand why some of us don't feel the need for video assist.

Bill

#10 Bob S.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:42 AM

I was incredibly struck by the amount of nebulosity I could see in the outer regions of the Orion Nebula. Even though I have seen these regions on photos, with my image intensifying ep's and/or astrovideo cameras, to see them without a filter and to get such a striking amount of visual information suggests that the risks attendant with surgery have been well rewarded.

Thanks again folks for you input and kind words. At my age, the journey into the cosmos seems to be getting even more exciting. Bob


Glad it went so well Bob. The other eye should have a similar positive result. Now maybe you will understand why some of us don't feel the need for video assist.

Bill


Bill, With my "new" eyes, I still will not be able see Mag 21 objects live and in color depending on the seeing conditions without my astrovideo or B&W images with my intensifying eyepiece :yay: One of the things that I had been warned about and actually saw a bit of last night is that there are more blue abberations in Ethos eyepieces than I have ever noticed before. I felt a need to switch back to my Leica Vario ASPH zoom for better color presentation. Frankly, I found myself kind of overwhelmed with thoughts and ideas as I went about viewing last night and having a background in psychophysics, I am really off my game right now in terms of how my brain is processing all of this visual information. I can only imagine that after I get the other eye done and start extensively using binoviewers that this phenomenon is only going to get more intense.

It is funny how our perceptions are developed over time and when a curtain is removed from these perceptions, the view on the other side is not exactly what we were expecting or used to. I can tell you for sure that my observing efficiency has gone into the toilet and my planned ballistic moves in terms of manipulating all of my fairly complex equipment have slowed way down for the time being.

On the other, other hand Bill, with these new eyes, I may become slightly less interested in the techno wonders and enjoy the photons more as I think you are alluding to? Bob

#11 Pinbout

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

so now you can get a calcium Ca-k solar telescope? :grin:

#12 Bob S.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

so now you can get a calcium Ca-k solar telescope? :grin:


It is now fully on my wish list for my Lunt LS152 ;)

#13 Bob S.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

A friend asked me why it is that he and I have been able to see more color at night than the average astronomer and how this cataract surgery implant changes the perceptions. This is what I advised him: "As you know, in low light situations (scotopic) we are primarily using the rods in our eyes which show contrast but not color. In bright light situations (photopic) we are using more of our cones which show us color. What you and I have are more sensitive photopic systems that are able to operate in scotopic environments. I had a Tecnis brand Aspheric Inter Ocular Lens (IOL) implanted in the lens capsule after they pulverized my birth lens with high frequency radio waves that liquified the birth lens and the debri was sucked out of the lens capsule. The IOL is clear acrylic and was placed into the lens capsule in my eye and was designed to give me 20/20 vision about 5 feet to infinity. As we age and are subjected to strong UV rays, our birth lenses in our eyes yellow and become more opaque. It gets to the point where you start losing visual information and for us older folks it causes flairing of headlights which makes it more difficult to drive at night. With the IOL, I now have the lens of a 19 year-old. That was the design paramaters of Abbott Labs when they made this IOL. As you can imagine, with a 19 year-old's lens, the light throughput it significantly improved and along with that, my photopic as well as scotopic vision is concomitantly improved."

Hope this helps to understand what is happening with me. As always YMMV and I am not medically trained to give any advice/suggestions for others.

#14 BigC

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

Glad to "see" your surgeries went well,and the results are pleasing.

Advances are obviously being made every year.My cleanup operations several years ago were longer and involved anesthetic and much more time than your entire lens replacement.

Since the OLD style cataract surgery in 1960 didn't leave a sac for the artificial lenses of today,glasses or contacts are my choices.

I still don't care for the headlight glare at night and keeping the eyeglasses clean helps with that.

Interestingly the brilliant bluish headlights bother me much less than the white or yellowish ones.

But for anyone who eyes have developed cataracts the odds surgery will improve seeing are astronomically in your favor!

#15 GeneT

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:27 PM

At my age, the journey into the cosmos seems to be getting even more exciting. Bob


Bob,
Will you be 70 in three months? ;)

#16 Bob S.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:05 PM

At my age, the journey into the cosmos seems to be getting even more exciting. Bob


Bob,
Will you be 70 in three months? ;)


Gene, No but I bet you will be. Big time congrats on making it and still looking up. I never thought I would live past 35. What a surprise life is :jawdrop:

#17 GeneT

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:37 PM

No but I bet you will be.


Alas, true! :grin:

#18 Bob S.

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

Well Astro Buds, tomorrow morning is the big day for the second and hopefully last eye surgery. I will be getting the clear aspheric lens implant but am also getting a procedure done called a Limbic Relaxation Incision which is a pair of incisions that relaxes the cornea to remove an undiscovered astigmatism I have in my left eye. Hopefully, the whole procedure will go well and I will have two really good eyes. Today was my last day to keep doing the right eye/left eye comparisons between and opaque lens and a new clear one. Tomorrow, God willing, I will have two really good eyes with clear lenses. Thank goodness that we have this updated technology where they can do these procedures without shots or stiches. It sure beats the olden times where the operation was much cruder and more invasive. Clear skies, Bob

#19 Greyhaven

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

BobC
I had the procedure where the sack that holds the original lens was left intact but a year later I had to go back and these sacks had developed their own type of cataract and the change was increasing really quickly. Because the implants had been in for a year a the implants had time to settle into position so I had the front of the sacks removed via laser.Believe me after getting my clear vision back once, I said, fine remove the covering. I guess the part of the sack that fogs over is the front of the sack so the rear stays in place. It's amazing what we'll go through for a clear view of the sky.
Be Well
Grey

#20 Bob S.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:55 AM

BobC
I had the procedure where the sack that holds the original lens was left intact but a year later I had to go back and these sacks had developed their own type of cataract and the change was increasing really quickly. Because the implants had been in for a year a the implants had time to settle into position so I had the front of the sacks removed via laser.Believe me after getting my clear vision back once, I said, fine remove the covering. I guess the part of the sack that fogs over is the front of the sack so the rear stays in place. It's amazing what we'll go through for a clear view of the sky.
Be Well
Grey


Grey, It seems you may have experienced what is referred to as a secondary cataract. In my readings, apparently up to 40% of people getting the procedure can experience this phenomenon. I had a chat with my opthamologist about this and he advised that a less than two-minute procedure with a Yag laser mitigates this problem. Apparently, they just laser open a hole in the capsule membrane to allow light to come through. In my readings, it is usually the posterior part of the capsule that gets cloudy but again, not being an eye doc, I am shooting somewhat from the hip :question: Bob

#21 Bob S.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:56 AM

BobC
I had the procedure where the sack that holds the original lens was left intact but a year later I had to go back and these sacks had developed their own type of cataract and the change was increasing really quickly. Because the implants had been in for a year a the implants had time to settle into position so I had the front of the sacks removed via laser.Believe me after getting my clear vision back once, I said, fine remove the covering. I guess the part of the sack that fogs over is the front of the sack so the rear stays in place. It's amazing what we'll go through for a clear view of the sky.
Be Well
Grey


Grey, It seems you may have experienced what is referred to as a secondary cataract. In my readings, apparently up to 40% of people getting the procedure can experience this phenomenon. I had a chat with my opthamologist about this and he advised that a less than two-minute procedure with a Yag laser mitigates this problem. Apparently, they just laser open a hole in the capsule membrane to allow light to come through. In my readings, it is usually the posterior part of the capsule that gets cloudy but again, not being an eye doc, I am shooting somewhat from the hip :question: I am happy to report that the second eye surgery seemed to go well and my vision 22 hours post-op is actually better than my first eye. What is amazing is that now with binocularly fixed eyes, light is much whiter and colors are more vibrant. This first morning of post-operative perception is like seeing the world in a pretty significantly different way. I can't wait to get clearance to try my binoviwers on the heavens. I think it is going to be a very interesting and positive experience. Bob

#22 BigC

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:05 PM

You experience of everything being whiter and clearer mirrors my experience post-op after vitrectomy.When the old debris and fluid was suctioned out the new fluid was much clearer.But there are still some floaters than only are a bother at extreme high power when the image is very faint.

#23 mistyridge

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:05 AM

I had cataract surgery last year and the results were simply amazing. I use to wear glasses with a +8.5 correction in one eye and +10 in the other eye. I was legally blind without glasses. Theses lenses were very thick. I had been wearing these since I was 5 years old. Now I can read without glassses and only need a mild correction for some residual astimatism for distance vision...about +0.25. My astronmical viewing has improved 1000%. I can now see the milkyway under my yellow zone skys which I have never been able to see. Star colors are really bright and I can now see the north star which I could not see for tha last four year due the cataract.

#24 Bob S.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:53 PM

Mike, My eyes until I developed age-related cortical spokes coupled with the nuclear cataracts were not too bad. However, in a very short period of time, about a year, things tanked. I am two days out of surgery for my second eye and the world is simply amazing from a visual standpoint. Lights have a very different and brighter tone, colors are more vibrant and my beautiful 57 year-old runner wife is more beautiful than I have seen her in years. The light reflecting off her skin is much more radiant and adds to her native beauty. This whole experience has frankly really turned my world upside down a bit. I can't wait to get cleared to get under the stars and be about 30 days s/p out of surgery and see how everything has settled down. Can you imagine what my binoviewers are going to be like :jump: Bob

#25 mistyridge

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 01:50 AM

Bob, Just wait until its all done, it just gets better.






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