Wish I'd Never Had Cataract Surgery

by CP
(Boston, MA)

I had cataract surgery more than three months ago. I now have constant pain in my eye from a feeling that there is something in it. Since it was so difficult to get to see a doctor six weeks agao (due to a shortage, I guess, and overbooking), it was suggested by the office that I go to the Emergency Room, which I did. I was diagnosed with severe dry eye and put on prednisone drops, told to put hot compresses on my eye as many times a day as possible, take antibiotics twice a day and use preservative-free, artificial tears, all of which I have done over the past several weeks. I am still in agony, and no matter what doctors I call (former or current), they either can't see me or refer me to the emergency room.

I feel that there is extremely insufficient medical help for this problem. It's treated as such a routine surgery, I guess, that no one thinks it important to see you. I finally am getting to see my doctor next week, and I truly wonder what he will say, since this seems to be so "rare" and of so little concern. I will not have my left eye done until I am absolutely certain that my right eye has recovered, if ever.

I am not one who complains about pain. I have had two other surgeries from which I recovered extremely well and with little to no pain. I am so, so sorry that I had this surgery. I would much rather have given up my night driving permanently than to be going through what I am going through right now. There seems to be no help.

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Aug 17, 2016
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Conjunctival chalasis
by: Anonymous

After going to 7 different doctors and making two ER visits to Mass Eye & Ear and pretty much giving up hope, I thought I'd try one more time and, thus, happened to stumble upon an 8th doctor close to my home, who told me that she didn't have the resources that they have in Boston. She referred me to a doctor in Boston with whom I made an appointment. All I kept thinking was here I go again.

However, this 9th doctor, 11 if you count the two ER visits, had some new ideas. I was tested on a machine that could detect corneal nerve damage, and I came away with quite a telling story. I had, what looked like to me, very bad nerve damage. The doctor put a Prokera lens in my eye, which is composed of an amniotic membrane. It was terribly uncomfortable, and I had to suffer through four days with it in, due to it being a holiday weekend after it was inserted. I went back to have it removed and couldn't believe the difference. Although I still had a severe feeling of a foreign body in my eye, the other pain I was feeling was gone.

I have continued to see that doctor, who after another couple of visits, tested for conjunctival chalasis, or conjunctivochalasis, which I was found to have. The only way this can be detected is for the doctor to put a fluorescin dye in your eye. It's a condition caused by excessive folds in the conjunctiva and for me created a constant feeling of a giant foreign body in my eye. Surgery was recommended. I dreaded another surgery but decided it was probably the only way I'd get any relief.

Two weeks after the surgery, which was only four weeks ago, I still had the foreign body sensation. The doctor seemed a bit surprised but asked if the feeling went away when I pulled my lower eyelid away from my eye. Since that seemed to help, he inserted a soft contact lens to keep the eyelid from rubbing. So far, after two weeks, this seems to be working, although I still have some discomfort from the lens. Definitely not as bad as without it. I have a follow-up visit in two days, and I am hoping that I will be able to have the lens removed and that I will be "cured". Of course, there was nothing said about that. I'm just hoping.

My advice is don't give up, even when all the doctors are telling you there is nothing there, and it's all in your mind, you're thinking about it too much, or I don't know why the pain would be so localized. After almost two years, I think I'm finding some relief.

Aug 16, 2016
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I regret having cataract surgery
by: Diane

I wish I could go back in time and not have had my surgery. The worse thing I ever did. I could see good before the surgery, but was unable to drive at night and didn't see well in low light. I still can't drive at night and see in low light. I'm actually afraid to drive period. No one every told me that might close up vision would completely go. I can't event eat without reading glasses. In fact I can't do anything without reading glasses. Please don't ever have this surgery. I wish I could reverse my surgery.

Oct 23, 2015
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Still Not Right A Year Later
by: Anonymous

After months and months of seeing specialists in Boston who told me there was nothing wrong with me, that it was all in my mind and I thought about my eye too much, I went to Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, where I saw a very good doctor. He told me that I still had severe dry eye, blepharitis and meibomian gland disfunction. Why no one in Boston could tell me that is a mystery to me.

I have been on Restasis for three months now, which seems to be helping some, not entirely. Still have much discomfort daily, and, combined with the huge floaters that I have, my vision is not great. I feel as if I have a constant film over my eye.

This is so discouraging. My life has been turned upside down by this supposedly routine surgery. While I understand that, from a physician's point of view, it may be routine, I would hope that people think very carefully about having cataract surgery unless it's totally necessary. If you have dry eye before the surgery, my guess is that it will be 1000 times worse afterwards. I had slight dry eye previously, nothing that bothered me, but no one ever asked or tested for it before the surgery.

If you can live comfortably the way you currently see, do not do it. If it's being done just so you don't need glasses or contact lenses, I suggest you rethink. Although, I'm sure the odds against such misery as what I am experiencing are minimal, I definitely suggest being absolutely sure surgery is what you want. I would give anything to have my life back as it was.

The doctors can't understand, because they've never gone through the agony of living with a constant feeling of something in your eye, and they won't understand unless they do.

Oct 23, 2015
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Blurry vision
by: Anonymousmarios

After my cataract operation 4 months agomy right eye is still blurry and cant see a thing!! Cornea edema the doctor said!!! My life is in pieces; I'm angry all the time, have used drops for months and nothing!!!! My doctor got paid basically to destroy my eye!!!!

Jan 24, 2015
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WORSE DECISION
by: Anonymous

Me too I wish never had the surgery, the doctor does not know what to do with me anymore I cannot see clear still blurry and see halos and cannot recognize the the people faces unless I stand in front of them in top of that I have dry eyes and the doctor recommend to use Restasis which is a steroid drops, I try them and my vision got worse so I stop them. Good luck

Jan 24, 2015
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Cleveland Clinic
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, the distance I would have to drive to get to one makes it prohibitive and better for me to go to the ER. I may look into it, though, should I have no success with my next appointment. Thanks again.

Jan 24, 2015
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Source of help
by: J. Friday

I have found that when all local doctors don't seem to be of help that Cleveland clinic specialists will get you in within 2 weeks and review the material you bring with you, do an examination and determine what the problem is...I have found them to be patient, understanding, thorough, and will explain their diagnosis and treatment possibilities. Although it was a 3 hour drive for us it was well worth the results. There are several Cleveland clinic locations across the nation. Good Luck!

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