Cataract Surgery and Choice of Focal Distance

Discussion in 'Laser Eye Surgery' started by JJ Lee, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. JJ Lee

    JJ Lee Guest

    I'll have a surgery in my only good eye in a month. Before going over the
    details w/ my doc, I just want to know if my thinking makes sense.

    1. I want the monofocal distance to be around 8-9 inches because that has
    been my comfortable reading distance (I need to read manuscripts whose print
    is usually small, so I read without my glasses). The near vision is the most
    important for me.
    2. Then, I can have a pair of glasses to give me a good focus at 16 inches
    for my computer work.
    3. Finally, I can have a stronger pair of glasses (maybe bifocal) to give me
    a good far vision for driving, etc.

    Does it make sense, or does anyone have a better idea?
    JJ Lee, Jun 9, 2006
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  2. JJ Lee

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    You might also consider that your needs may conceivably change, and
    such an arrangement may prove to be inconvenient in the future. Also,
    you might need to consider just how much anisometropia you will wind up
    with and how that might affect your binocularity with eyeglasses.

    Dr. Leukoma, Jun 9, 2006
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  3. JJ Lee

    Dick Adams Guest

    Anisometropia? Is it fatal?

    Well, the OP could also wind up with some astigmatism.

    Dumb luck or surgeon skill could get her to where I am:
    ~ 1.0 Diopter nearsighted in each eye, including quite minor astigmatism.
    Bad luck could get you more astigmatism as well as anisometropia.

    I am not an eyecare professional, but I can tell you this: It is very
    nice to be able to see most things without eyeglasses, and to be able
    to use Walgreens readers for close-up. (Still need glasses for night
    driving, though.)

    Over a diopter of astigmatism in one eye was mostly resolved -- the
    other eye had very little to start with. I was not told in advance if
    the astigmatism could be corrected, only that it would be less.
    Otherwise I was told practically nothing, and given no opportunity
    to make any choice about working distance. The surgeon has
    a very good reputation in my locale, but not for communication.
    If I had been given an opportunity to choose, I would have chosen
    reading distance. I think that would have been the wrong choice.
    As it is, I can see my computer screen and everything on my desk
    with cheap reading glasses (happen to be Zenni's, but Walgreens+1.25
    are almost as good). I can see everything else in the room quite clearly
    by looking over the glasses, which are small, and slide down the nose.
    For really close work, like watch repair, I have got a lit magnifier on
    a stand attached to the desk.
    Dick Adams, Jun 9, 2006
  4. JJ Lee

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Have you ever considered therapy, Dick?


    Dr. Leukoma, Jun 9, 2006
  5. I agree with that idea. JJ is probably reading at 8 or 9 inches out of
    necessity due to the cataract. Once that's gone, he/she should be able
    to relax out to the more normal 16-18 inches and be comfy.

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Jun 9, 2006
  6. JJ Lee

    Dick Adams Guest

    Maybe I should start with a portable medical dictionary. Then if some professional
    person threatens me with anisometropia, I could avoid having a panic attack.
    Dick Adams, Jun 9, 2006
  7. you found, so you must know how to google, but if not,
    click on and carefully enter in the search box the

    definition anisometropia

    and see what happens

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Jun 9, 2006
  8. JJ Lee

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Anybody looking for answers in a news group ought to
    expect to encounter some medical and visual science jargon. If I
    encounter an unfamiliar term, I would prefer to look it up rather than
    embarrass myself. The term anisometropia has been used here countless


    Dr. Leukoma, Jun 9, 2006
  9. JJ Lee

    JJ Lee Guest

    Thank both of you for good suggestions. I had always read at 8-9 inches even
    before cataract severaly interfered with my vision. Maybe I loved clear and
    detailed close-up vision that my myopia gave me :) Provided that my vision
    is clearly focused at 16 inches after the surgery, will reading glasses give
    me clear and focused close-up vision? I'm certainly intrigued by your
    suggestions because dealing with "small reading glasses" should be much
    easier than dealing with "glasses for intermediate vision".
    JJ Lee, Jun 9, 2006
  10. JJ Lee

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    You're right. But it still applies to all of you binocular/biocular
    people out there.
    Dr. Leukoma, Jun 9, 2006
  11. JJ Lee

    Dick Adams Guest

    She's right, Leuko.

    So much for anisometropia and binocularity.

    You folks get so wrapped up in your fancy nomenclature
    that you lose track and come unstrung.
    Dick Adams, Jun 9, 2006
  12. JJ Lee

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Dicky, didn't your mother teach you how to behave? Here you are, a
    senior citizen, acting like a two year-old. You and Otis, birds of a

    Dr. Leukoma, Jun 9, 2006
  13. Well it's not common, but if you're happy with it, you can certainly
    request it. The surgeon might balk at inducing so much myopia on purpose.
    Yes. you would need about a +1.50 lens to get you to 8 inches if you
    end up being about a -2.00 myope, which is what I'd recommend. You would
    need approximately a -2.00 for distance vision.

    Alternatively you might want to consider:

    1. Go for best distance vision and either wear a trifocal or a
    progressive for the 16" and 8" distances. In this scenario the distance
    Rx would be near zero and probably optional, so instead you could just
    get a pair of +2.00 for 16" and +4.00 for 8 inches, or you could make
    them bifocals with the upper for 16" and the lower for 8".

    But since you only have one good eye, you probably should wear glasses
    all the time (with Trivex lenses) for protection, esp. when driving or
    doing anything where you might receive an impact.

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Jun 9, 2006
  14. JJ Lee

    acemanvx Guest

    Realize your asking for -4 to -5 diopters of myopia. This is how bad my
    eyes are naturally and im not happy with this much myopia. Yes I can
    read easily at 8 inches but things get blurry in a hurry past a foot. I
    cant even read the computer monitor without a thin pair of minus
    glasses and this is no fun! I need glasses for everything except eating
    and reading up close.

    As others have suggested, you are much, much better off asking to be -2
    to -2.5 instead. This will let you see the computer monitor without
    correction AND let you read everything except tiny/fine print. You will
    be much, much less dependant on any kind of glasses at -2.5 than -5.
    Not only that, your distance vision wont be so poor. -5 is very poor
    distance vision(worse than 20/400), you will feel handicapped or
    functionally blind without distance glasses but at -2.5 youll still be
    quite functional(better than 20/200). If I could chose how myopic I
    wanted to be, I would NOT want to be more than -2.5 myself.
    acemanvx, Jun 10, 2006
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