Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I wear my sunglasses at night

A couple of years ago, we caved to the pressures of being yuppie cat owners and agreed to a dental appointment for our cat. This involved her being anesthetized for the teeth cleaning and when we brought her home the following day, her pupils were dilated to the size of dinner plates. One image that will stay with me always is Sputnik standing at the top of the staircase, looking down at us with that stoned kitty stare, and you could all but hear her thinking "oh my god I'm at the top of the stairs this is sooooo cool! ... wait ... How do I get down?"

That's pretty much what I looked like for the rest of the day after my cataract appointment. Those pupil dilation drops are long lasting, dude. I totally rocked the indoor sunglasses look for a few hours.

Now I have to pick out my new eyeballs.

I've been doing a little studying about eyeball anatomy. The lens is a pretty spectacular piece of equipment. It is very fluid and has the ability to change thickness, thus allowing you to see clearly both up close and far away. As we age, the lens become more rigid and that's why our near vision is usually impacted. Some of us also develop cataracts on the lens.

With cataract surgery, a self-healing incision is made into the eyeball and the old lens is removed, all the remaining cataract goop is vacuumed out, and an new artificial lens in inserted into the eye. The standard monocular lens is covered under Alberta Health Care, but with it, one loses some near vision, so that 95% of people need to wear reading glasses afterward. Distance vision is improved.

However, a multifocal lens is now also available, which is not covered under health care and runs close to $3,000 for both eyes. The multifocal lens is comprised of concentric rings of varying thickness which allows for near and far vision. Apparently intermediate vision is slightly compromised. The major drawback is that there is some issue with a slight halo effect around lights at night, because of the presence of the rings. I already deal with a massive halo effect around lights, so I figure anything is an improvement.

I have to decide which I want. I am leaning toward the multifocal lens. It seems like the best technology and since lens replacement is a one-shot deal (the new lens adheres to the capsular bag and thus cannot be removed), it makes sense to go with the best option available. Plus the Spousal Unit (bless his heart and his unending support) has already said cost be damned, make the choice you think is best.

What would you do?

Did you know: once you have an artifical lens in place, you will never get cataracts again? Cataracts cannot grow on the artificial lens. Cool, eh?


Remi said...

I'm a wimp and leery of anything to do with the eyes so I'd probably stick to the traditional ones. I know it's not the same thing, but I've heard of enough people that hate bifocal glasses that I would be a little nervous about how I'm going to handle built in bifocals.

That said, I know a lot of people who would go to great lengths to not have to wear glasses at all. I had a friend who did laser eye surgery and he couldn't be happier.

Anonymous said...

maybe get references of people who had the newer bionic ones put in, see how they like it?

I would tend to go with the new and improved versions.

You realize after will owe your spouse big time for not making a fuss!

He should make a list

Wandering Coyote said...

Man - this is your eyesight we're talking about! Go with the multifocal/all the bells and whistles lens, in my opinion!

mister anchovy said...

I would try to get the multifocal ones

L said...

Oh my, I really, really feel uncomfortable saying which I'd do.
I will say, however, that a little halo around lights at night is no big deal... it happens to me now, three years after surgery,and I barely notice. It sounds like it'd be an improvement in your case anyway.

Otherwise, I think you'd have to go with what would fit your lifestyle best. With a lot of close up reading, typing, computer work, etc., maybe multi-focal would be good. But if the doctor would have given me that option, I'd have told him I need another year to research. I am a freak.


As someone who suffers with major night blindness (my halo's have halo's have halo's) I probably would go with the standard eyeballs out of fear.

Conky said...

if u can afford it without losing the house....why not?!

add up what u would spend on glasses for the rest of your life, minus that from the 3K, itll make it easier to pay for.

Allison said...

Huh. That's crazy with the first surgery option you'd still have to wear reading glasses, I'd go for the second one, even though its not covered.

John Mutford said...

Oh God. You used incision and eyeball in the same sentence. All the blood is rushing out of my heda nswb

bloody awful poetry said...

The fancy new mulitifocals, pwease.They sound awesome. And especially since you're used to the halo thingies anyway.

And my word verification is "bobable". I am amused.

Todd said...

How new and well-tested is the second method? It costs more, has a halo effect at night [something like beer goggles I imagine ;)], costs more... But the way you describe it, it seems like the preferred way to go.

What is the new lens made of?

And ya, the first one, it seems silly to go through all that and still need to get glasses because you can't see, lol.

If the research you've found makes a good case for the second option, and you can afford it, go for it! :D

Karen's Mouth said...

Cost be damned eh? What else do they do? Can you get coloured ones? Ones with a terminator stylee reference grid? X-ray ones???????

What's the deal with compromised intermediate vision? Would that be bad? Otherwise go for the all singing all dancing eyeballs.

Gifted Typist said...

Funny, I was imagining you yesterday crashing about your house with unfocused eyeballs.

My sense is that you will correct the problem at hand with the standard lenses. Going one step further is like market speculation: You may reap the rewards, true, but if there's a downturn ...

With eyes, money shouldn't enter the equation on your decision, (although it is nice to have the option.)

I'd do the research on these multi-focals first. And make sure you consider the vested interests of anyone trying to sell you the more expensive option.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks for all your feedback, my peeps!

I was given bifocal reading glasses (an oxymoron, I know) a couple of years ago, Remi, and it did take me a few weeks to get used to them, but damn they are heavy! I would dearly love to no longer wear them.

For someone who keeps giving and giving, he is surprisingly not much of a list-keeper, Kelly. But I would like to talk to some people who have the new ones.

I agree that I want the best option, Wandering Coyote, I just need to make sure I can live with the drawbacks.

Duly noted, Mr Anchovy, thank you.

I hear you on the need to find out every last detail, Justrun, ha! I am a wee bit obsessive that way myself.
Good to know that the slight halo effect doesn't bother you.

For me, anything would be an improvement over the all-consuming halos I get now, UB, but it would be nice to have none at all.

That's a really good point, Jen, because glasses sure ain't cheap either, not to mention the fact that I am always forgetting where I left them. That alone is worth something!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yeah, I sort of figured if you are going to go through all that slicing and dicing, you might as well be able to ditch the readers, Al. Your vote has been noted!

John, you okay, man? Put your head between your knees and breathe!

I'm leaning toward the fancy ones, BAP. Just need to find some people who have them and query them.

Those are all questions I have been asking myself, Todd, and they are certainly all things I need to have answered before I can make any informed choice. Thanks for reminding me to keep asking questions.

I'm not even sure how intermediate intermediate is, Karen. I am getting a whole new education in eye stuff these days.
But yeah, reference grids would be amazing!

You bring up a very good point, Gifted. The bifocal readers I have now, I find quite useless for the purpose they are supposed to serve and I am pretty sure I was just upsold on them. I obviously need to do more research.

dguzman said...

Wow, so you have your choice of robot eyeballs????

I'm about as freaked out as your stoned kittehs. I'm chicken too--I'd go with the insurance-covered traditional one, and just wear readers. That "halo effect" sounds like it sucks.

Anonymous said...

I thought lens replacement was only done when the cats were severe. Am I mistaken? My mom goes in Feb. 9 to have one eye done. They will see how that goes before doing the other, of course, she's a gray hair...

S.M. Elliott said...

Man, I had no idea the new-eyeball selections were this varied!

BeckEye said...

Spend the extra money, lose the glasses. You only live once. Unless you believe in reincarnation. Or...zombification. Oh, I forgot who I was talking to.

Volly said...

Yeah, I'm kinda with John -- major squick! They'd have to knock me out, tie me down and Tase me, bro, before they could get near my eyes with any sort of sharp instrument.

So I salute your courage, bravery, and scientific objectivity, and wish you a quick & complete recovery with 100% satisfactory long-term results, whichever way you go.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I don't know, D, I have a major halo thing happening now and there is no way it can be as bad as it currently is. And I hate wearing even readers.

I'm not entirely sure how severe the cataracts have to be before lens removal, Leazwell. But apparently mine are severe, so that could well be.
I hope your mom's surgery goes well.

Nor I, SME! I didn;t know I would have to make decisions!

Zombie or no zombie, I am certainly leaning toward lose the glasses theory, BEckeye.

Aw, that's so sweet, Volly! I have this ability to be able to ignore facts (like they are going to slice my eyeball open) until it actually happens. I think it's call capacity for denial.

justacoolcat said...

Can you get them with lasers?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh I certainly hope so, JustA, otherwise why bother?

Sean Wraight said...

Barb - That is quite the choice my friend but as a 'visually challenged' person my vote is for the second option. Anything to make your life a little less complicated when it comes to oculars.

And insist on the medicinal marijuana for the recovery. Your blog postings could take on a whole new perspective as you get back on your feet!

In all seriousness though. Good luck with this. Its equal parts scary, with equal parts liberation I am sure. In the end though I think it will be a great step for you. A successful one too.

Here's hoping things get moving quickly now.


Bridget Jones said...

OMG that's such a scary thing I can't comment! Bifocals totally suck. Have had them for years and still am not nuts about them, but it's the only game in town for me so far. Am wishing you the very best, whatever you decide.

p.s. but in principle, I agree with Jack.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I didn't even consider the medical marijuana, Sean! I like how you see the upside to everything.

Thanks for your support, I am leaning toward the super eyeballs, and just need to do a bit more research to make sure I have all the info I need.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I have bifocal READERS, if that's not the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard, BJ. And they are pretty useless.