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Cataracts and model railroading Locked

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Cataracts and model railroading
Posted by Uncle_Bob on Friday, August 05, 2016 8:41 PM

This may be a dumb topic, but why not.  I have cataracts in both eyes.  Even though I need corrective surgery, I'm afraid to do so because I'm a wimp.  My concern about trains is, how will my sight be affected after the surgery?  I gather that I'll have to use either reading glasses or glasses, depending on whether I want to see close-up or far away. How does this affect adding details, decaling, soldering, etc?  I'm probably foolish, but I'm afraid I won't be able to do what I like to do with model trains afterward.  Feel free to tell me that I'm being foolish.  Thanks for your input.

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Posted by kacey66 on Friday, August 05, 2016 9:19 PM

Big SmileBig SmileI`ve had both done, what a difference. You`ll just need some cheap reading glasses 2-3 x. get 4-6 pair put them everywhere

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, August 05, 2016 9:32 PM

My dad had a lense replacement to fix a cataract on his eye.  Huge difference.  Definitely worth it.

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Posted by andrechapelon on Friday, August 05, 2016 9:39 PM

Uncle_Bob

This may be a dumb topic, but why not.  I have cataracts in both eyes.  Even though I need corrective surgery, I'm afraid to do so because I'm a wimp.  My concern about trains is, how will my sight be affected after the surgery?  I gather that I'll have to use either reading glasses or glasses, depending on whether I want to see close-up or far away. How does this affect adding details, decaling, soldering, etc?  I'm probably foolish, but I'm afraid I won't be able to do what I like to do with model trains afterward.  Feel free to tell me that I'm being foolish.  Thanks for your input.

 

 

I had cataract surgery 15 years ago. Both eyes needed surgery, but they only do one at a time. You'll be amazed at how clear your vision will be. The lenses they use will be for distance, so you'll need reading glasses afterwards.

The surgery's not the big deal as they give you really good drugs and you'll be joking with the surgeon while he's operating. The recovery period can be a PITA as you'll need to use medicated eye drops for a few weeks multiple times a day.

I've had artificial lenses in my eyes since 2001. In this day and age, it's minimally invasive and it's an outpatient procedure.

Edit: Get your reading glasses at The Dollar Tree. It's cheaper that way if  you go though glasses like I do.

Andre

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Posted by tloc52 on Friday, August 05, 2016 10:13 PM

I am having my surgery this month, the right eye on the 15th and the left eye on the 29th. I am looking forward to it. My doctor says its a life changing event. I hope he's right. When its done, I'll let you know how it went.

TomO

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, August 06, 2016 4:21 AM

A cataract is an opacity in the lens of your eye.  That opacity can grow over time to the point that you are blind.  They remove the lens and replace it, more on the replacement later.

There are ophthamologists who are MD's and the are optometrists who can check you vision but don't do surgery. Of the ophthalmologists, some operate more than others.  I don't mean that they are doing unnecessary surgery.  Some have a practice that is more geared to eye exams and others have a busy surgical practice.  The difference can be the difference between doing 50 cataracts a year and 1000.  You want the guy doing 1000/yr

There are complications, but they are relatively infrequent. 

If you have not had prior corneal surgery to correct your vision (Lasik) there are a number of different types of lens they can replace yours with (internally-- coke bottle glasses are a thing of the past)  Medicare only pays for the basic model.  There are lenses that will allow you to see near and far or correct astigmatism.  I was not a candidate for that so I can't tell you what it costs or how good the vision actually is.

I got a lens for distance.  I went from not being able to see road signs until up close and not being to see scores on the TV to seeing clearly.  Initially I got by fine with drug store cheaters for glasses.  Over the past 5 years things weren't as sharp and I now wear prescription glasses because of residual astigmatism from Lasik surgery.  For really upclose work, like replacing KD coupler springs, I use an optivisor.  It doesn't make my hands any steadier though.Embarrassed

Seeing is pretty important so I would be looking forward to surgery if I were you.  I don't remember a thing from surgery other than "we don't want you to talk have some Versed".  Your eye will feel a little scratchy for a day or two afterward.

 

Henry

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Posted by John Busby on Saturday, August 06, 2016 5:19 AM

Hi Uncle_Bob

Your first mistake was growing olderBig SmileWinkLaugh

Eye surgery or any surgery always has risk factors atatched to it

I have just gone through more complicated than normal, two cateract operations and a partial corneal graft.

First up there is only a little discomfort for a day or two after the operation rather than any pain.

The day after the operation you will notice the improvement in the eye that has been done when they uncover it for the first post operative check

My eye sight is now better than it was ten years ago.

Yes you may need glasses and or reading glasses after the operations some do some don't.

That descision won't be made untill you have fully healed and had a couple of eye tests

You will also have eye drops for a little while as well

As long as you do exactly what the Eye Surgeon tells you to do no problems.

You won't be able to do much modeling while the treatment takes its course

But once its all done and dusted the world is your oyster and you won't regret it.

You might need a jewlers loop to help with the small fiddley stuff but I can see no reason you won't still be able to enjoy the hobby bits that you like.

So stop being an idiot and get it doneBig SmileWink you won't like the alternative choice.

Well you did ask what we think.

Anyway I must go and asemble those Busch HO scale flowers the domestic authorities wants the table cleared so she can think about dinner.

regards John

PS NO you can't have that sports car, whats wrong with the sensible one parked in the drive way Big SmileWinkLaugh

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Posted by Uncle_Bob on Monday, August 15, 2016 5:08 PM

Sorry it took me so long to get back here.  I was logged out, and unable to log back onto my account for better than a week.

Anyway, I called last week to set up a pre-op appointment.  The bad news is, I have to wait a month, but at least the wheels are in motion.  Thanks, guys!

Edit:  no Medicare here.  I'm still 15 years short of retirement. I just have a ton of health issues, at least two of which may have played a part in me developing cataracts in my forties.

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Posted by rws1225 on Monday, August 15, 2016 5:35 PM

Angelas a fellow Bob I can second the motion that getting rid of cataracts is easy and you will be amazed by how bright the lights in your house are after the surgery[8-|

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Posted by CGW121 on Monday, August 15, 2016 6:48 PM

I had my eyes done last summer. I had it done by laser surgury,and was painless. If you are in a large metro area search for a doc that uses laser. The biggest change for me was before the suguryI was very nearsighted, like 20-600 nearsighted. I can see 20-20 now but need glasses to see up close whereas before I could read the names of the states on the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of a $5 bill. Would do it again tho

 

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Posted by BobL609 on Monday, August 15, 2016 7:00 PM

I had both of my eyes done about six years ago.  I went from glasses that were really thick to 20/20, although I do use the really inexpensive (cheap) readers on occasion.  The surgery was relatively painless although the drops were a total pain in the posterior. While model railroading was a consideration in the surgery the fact that DMV could lift my license when it came time for renewal and I really didn't want to live the rest of my life as a passenger. 

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Posted by ss122 on Monday, August 15, 2016 8:46 PM

Hi Bob,

I think I may be able to answer some of your questions. I am an ophthalmologist who has done thousands of cataract operations.

First off, everyone is nervous about having their eyes operated upon. Talk to people who've had it done. Each year there are 3.5 million cataract surgeries done in the U.S. I'm scheduled to do 19 this week. The success rate is about 98%. 

The most common replacement intraocular lens (IOL) type is called mono focal. You can choose to have good uncorrected vision at distance, but need glasses, or an Optivisor, for close work. You could choose IOLs that would make you nearsighted, but you'd need glasses for distance. Given the need for eye protection, I'd go for distance IOLs. There are IOLs that allow you to do both but they are not covered by insurance, and you might lose some clarity with near work.

My interest in model railroading led me into ophthalmology, but that's another story.

Best wishes on your surgery. I bet you'll be pleasantly suprised.

 PS You do not need to have this done by laser. Laser sounds great but there are no studies in our field that show any benefit for laser over using ultrasound. Medicare and insurance companies will not pay for use of the laser because of this. The patient has to pay out of pocket to say he or she had it done by "Laser".

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Posted by Nick100 on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 12:23 AM

I have had both eyes done and highly recommend the lense inplant. The prep takes longer than the operation. The operation is easy on the patient. Your eye sight should be as good or better than before the cataracts started. Colors get brighter. Good luck.

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Posted by b60bp on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 4:16 PM

You'll be really glad when you've had this done. It's been a few years for me but I recall the surgery was pretty mild. Perhaps the most memorable detail of it was the amazing fireworks that appeared when the cataract was destroyed. I did lose a good bit of my formerly excellent closeup vision. I can still read without glasses but it's much better with readers. focal distance is much different and an Optivisor comes in handy. I recall the surgeon said he could set one eye for close up viewing if I really wanted but I figured a matched set would be better. It takes a little adjusting but you'll certainly work it out.

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Posted by danno54 on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 6:02 PM

I was getting concerned about my eyesight also as i plan to spend retirement modeling cars, trains and restoring 1:1 cars.

Turns out i had cataracts. Just beginning but still bothered me enough to have the surgery. Had both eyes done with the implant lens inserted.

Have worn glasses since i was ten and could not read the big "E" on the eye chart. After the the cataract surgery i can pass the drivers eye test without glasses. I still wear prescription glasses for reading mainly and i don't like carrying readers around. I couldn't really get the fine stuff dialed-in with cheapo readers.

I now see much better. Everything is sharper and colors brighter. My prescription glasses let me see fine print and work in H.O. scale just fine.

As above posters have stated, the surgery is quick and i could have been back at work the same day. The actual procedure was less than ten minutes and i was awake chatting with the doc through out.

The stress anticipating the first procedure was the most discomfort i experienced. Second eye was routine.

 

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, August 25, 2016 7:07 PM

Thought I'd contribute my experience with cataracts.

A few years ago my eye doc said I was getting cataracts and I'd need surgery someday.  I asked him when, and he said "You'll know.".  And I did.

My vision correction had been pretty much constant my whole life (nearsighted).  All of a sudden, there was a downwards spiral.  I got new glasses several times, but finally it became quite obvious it was time.

Since both eyes were pretty bad, I was able to have them both done at the same time.  I STRONGLY recommend doing this.  You won't have to adapt TWICE to new vision, only once.  And your down time will be half as long.  There is nothing unsafe about it.  The doc does one and makes sure that's OK before starting on the second.  Pretty much the same as separating the operations, but only by a few minutes.

Since I was nearsighted pretty much all my life, I decided I'd stay that way.  I'm already used to it.  I'm happy I chose that route.  I had told the doc that I was a model builder and wanted a correction to work really close.  He said he could do it, but he recommended not going so "radical".  I decided to take the advice of the professional.  Right now, I'm in focus from about 8" out to arm's length.  It gets blurry farther out, but for many things I still don't need the glasses.  And for close work I use the ole Optivisors.  Which I will admit I was using anyway.

I researched the "fancy" lenses and all, like having different ones in each eye for distance/close.  Nah.  I got just the plain old regular ones.  And I don't regret it.

The whole event from arriving at the hospital to leaving took 3-4 hours.  There was a bunch of prep work I don't really recall.  I'm pretty sure I got some mild happy pills at the beginning.  Probably a good idea.

As my lovely wife drove me home, I looked out the window of the car and I COULD SEE AGAIN.  HOORAY!  So clear.  So sharp.

I made sure to have the work done in the morning and also recommend that.  The rest of the day it felt like I had sand in my eyes--sorta irritating and itchy.  That was lessened a lot by bedtime, so I could sleep (see: doing it in the morning, above).  The next day there was still just a wee bit of the sandy's.  After that everything was just fine.  I DO recommend arranging for several days off of work or whatever.  You need to relax and recover.

By the way, the "sand" is what's left of your cornea after they destroy it and remove (most) of the residue.  Sounds kinda gross.  

At night for a week or two I had to wear an eye shield so that I couldn't accidentally poke my eye while I was asleep.  I wore the shield.  I LIKE to see.  So I did it.

My old glasses worked pretty well until I got around to getting a new prescription.  If I had to, I could still use some of my old ones.  If I could find them.  

It's been a couple of years since I had the procedure.  Compared to the alternative, it's GREAT.  I have no regrets about doing it or the choices I made.  Also, do NOT bargain hunt on this matter.  This is a very important project. 

 

Hope this was of some help,

 

Ed

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, August 25, 2016 7:51 PM

7j43k
I STRONGLY recommend doing this.

I've never seen that done in 30 years in the OR.  My uncle was a pioneer in the modern technique of cataract surgery and he never did it.  Too late to ask him what he thinks of it now. 

The Internet says this is growing in popularity, with low reported risk.  However, there is a recognized syndrome where it you have a penetrating injury to one eye, you can go blind in both eyes.  Also there can be major breaks in sterile techniques, if the autoclave malfunctions, for instance. 

The BIG reason why this isn't done more is Medicare pays less, 50% less if the second eye is done at the same time.  The average charge for surgery is around $3,500 and Medicare pays $600+.  Private insurance pays a lot more.  This is not too unrelated to the epi-pen controversy. 

Only one of my eyes needed to be done, so I can't comment on your recovery comments except it takes several weeks before you are ready for a presciption for glasses.  The sand in your eye, is the incision in your cornea.  Destruction of the cornea is not quite the description I would use.

 

Henry

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Posted by superbe on Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:20 PM

I had cataract surgery on both eyes with at least a month apart.

Of course I have medicare and I also have an Anthem supplemental policy. I can't break down who paid what but I didn't pay a penney. In fact the new lenses for one pair of glasses I needed were covered as well.

Before the OP let's the possible expense of the surgery deter him from having the procedure he should check with his optomologist and optometrist as to the costs.

Bob

 

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:46 PM

Here's some info on doing both eyes at once:

 

https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/is-bilateral-sameday-cataract-the-future

 

There's a lot of info out there.  I spent a goodly bit of time researching, as I would be the big loser if things went wrong.  Or even right, but not what I wanted.

I recommend doing the same.

 

Ed

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Thursday, August 25, 2016 10:06 PM

LION has had cateract surgery, Now him can find the Wildebeests avain.

ROAR

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Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by herrinchoker on Friday, August 26, 2016 12:48 AM

I have had both eyes done, about six months apart. I chose for long range lenses, it allowed my to use both rear,and front sights on my rifles. ( I shoot long range with black powder rifles--600 yds.) I choose to be put under, made it easier on the surgeon and myself. Some will do the operation with the patient being awake--the thought of somone coming at my eye with a mini-vac and a micro-high speed cutter wasn't negotiable. I need glasses to work up close, but I needed them before the proceedure. I was fortuniate in that I had no discomfort after the operation on either eye. Colors ARE much brighter, and the tree rats have been greatly reduced on the bird feeders. Last week had the first of two operations for " trigger finger " I had the tendons on my left hand stripped, and smoothed so when I open and close my hand the fingers no longer SNAP and then feel a burning sensation. Once I fully heal I will have the other hand done. The orthopod would not do both at the same time --to quote him " no-one loved me enough to wipe my butt"  Whille uncomfortable, I would recommend this proceedure if you experience this condition.

herrinchoker

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Posted by Uncle_Bob on Friday, August 26, 2016 9:22 PM

I'm surprised the surgeon did both eyes at the same time. They tend not to operate on two organs on the same day.  My ophthalmologist flat out said they don't do both eyes on the same day.  Kind of inconvenient and a good way to burn through time off work, but oh well.  Also, I asked about general anesthesia, and was told they only do that in extreme cases.  Looks like my old friend Versed and I will get reacquainted again soon.

A friend recently had both eyes done.  He got multifocal lenses put in ($3 grand a pop, after insurance), as well as Lasik to get rid of his astigmatism (which apparently is covered -- go figure). One eye went well, while they had to take a third whack at fixing the repair to the other eye this afternoon.  

When this is done, I'll have to take 1-2 days off after both procedures to let my eyes recover.  This also gets me away from staring at computer monitors at work all day.  (No idea if computers have accelerated the growth of my cataracts, but it hasn't helped my eyesight, which went from nearsighted but okay to "YIKES!" in about a year and a half.)  

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, August 28, 2016 6:09 PM

Sunlight, booze and radiation, smoking, obesity, steroids and bad genes accelerate cataract formation.

There are a lot of things in medicine where you have no symptoms until you are 25% of normal.  Things hit the fan pretty quick at that point.

 

Henry

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, August 28, 2016 7:05 PM

Bob,

I believe the reason they want to avoid general anesthesia is so they can ask you questions about "things".  If yer konked out, they can't.  Be sure and tell them beforehand you are feeling REAL anxious ('cause you are, ya know).  I'm pretty sure the right happy pill will calm you down.  And, really, you should BE calm when they're working.

Your eyes going downhill over a year and a half is pretty much how mine went.  I don't see it being the computer.

You are going to be SO happy when your eyes work properly again.  Remember that.  I sure was.  Everything will be so sharp and colorful.

 

Ed

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, August 29, 2016 5:49 PM

7j43k
I believe the reason they want to avoid general anesthesia is so they can ask you questions about "things".

No.

They don't want to hear squat from the patient.  The eye is part of your central nervous system (think brain) but from a physiologic tresspass or ability to make the procedure painless, it might as well be at the end of your finger.  It is easily numbed and you don't need much of a heart or lungs to weather the surgery.  The only patient I put to sleep in the last 10 years of my practice had Alzheimers and was unable to keep still and stop talking.

A busy surgeon might do 24 cases a day. You can't have 1/4 of them sitting around barfing or too dizzy to go home for 2 hours afterwards.  Then there are the major complications of anesthesia.  All that can be avoided with midazolam and propofol and the patient gets pretty decent amnesia.  This is definitely a case where less medicine is better.  And unlike outpatient gallbladder surgery, a cataract patient feels pretty good.

30-40 years ago it was mostly general anesthesia and a week in the hospital.

Henry

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Posted by Uncle_Bob on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 6:45 PM

The pre-op is scheduled for 10/13, eye 1 for 10/27, and eye 2 for 11/10.  Maybe I can parlay this into multiple trips to Five Guys!  Devil

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 7:52 PM

Very good. We hope to hear some good news.

I have macular degeneration in left eye so modeling days are over. Still had many good years of model railroading.

Rich

N

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Posted by dante on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 9:44 PM

richg1998

Very good. We hope to hear some good news.

I have macular degeneration in left eye so modeling days are over. Still had many good years of model railroading.

Rich

 

Rich,

I am so sorry to hear that. But has the AMD completely blown your vision in the left eye? You are probably aware that there are therapies that can at least halt its progression (a special vitamin and injections). I know people with vision in one eye who are still able to drive (legally).

Dante

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Posted by Uncle_Bob on Thursday, September 01, 2016 6:02 AM

I'm sorry to hear you have macular degeneration, Rich.  

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Posted by mobilman44 on Thursday, September 01, 2016 8:05 AM

Hi!

What a timely topic.  I was advised last week that I'm almost a candidate for the surgery in one eye.  Virtually everyone I know that had the operation said it was a great help, and would certainly do it again. 

Like the OP, I'm just not in a hurry to have someone messing with my eye(s), but of course will do it when it is truly necessary.

I'm definitely glad to read that all the previous posters have had positive experiences.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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