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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7906
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My mom many months after cataract surgery gets glare sitting

Customer Question

My mom many months after cataract surgery gets glare sitting inside looking out or near windows or bright lights.
Her doctor said nothing is wrong, only recommend laser surgery to remove the cloudiness.
Would this solve the problem? I read on another website with similar problem "other doctor said back of my iris in my right eye had pigments missing, perhaps caused by the surgery. He said this was more common with blue eye like I have. As a result, light enters my eye not only through my pupil, but also through parts of my iris. This is what causes the glare." What do you think?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Coachrobmd replied 2 years ago.

Coachrobmd :

Blue eyes are less pigmented than dark eyes. I have blue eyes. When oncoming lights are seen when driving at night, it means my retina is flooded with more light, thus it takes me longer than others to get back my night vision. This is not so much an eye question as a general question about light processing.

Coachrobmd :

In driving school, we were taught this as well.

Coachrobmd :

As for the cloudiness, I cannot address that, as I do not know what it is they're trying to treat with that.

Coachrobmd :

I'm going to refer you to the eye category for this question.

Expert:  Coachrobmd replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today. I am an ophthalmologist.

Coachrobmd knows a lot more about eyes then he is letting on :-) but I am happy to lend a helping hand.....

First, let's address your mothers issue and what her eye surgeon has mentioned.


I would think that what your mothers doctor is talking about is a cloudy posterior capsule that is blocking some of her vision in an eye that had cataract surgery in the past.

When a cataract is removed a "bag" is left behind. This bag has a back surface called the posterior capsule. The artificial lens (PCIOL) is placed into this bag during surgery.

In a number of patients, months or years after they had their cataract removed and an artificial lens placed inside their capsular bag, the back (posterior) part of the bag becomes cloudy. Some patients liken it to their cataract "growing back" and have symptoms of glare, blurry vision etc.

This is not a serious condition and is easily treated in the ophthalmologist’s office with a special instrument called a YAG laser. After putting a numbing drop in your eye a special contact lens is sometimes placed on the eye and, in a few brief moments, the YAG laser "removes" the cloudy posterior capsule. There is no post op recovery time needed, no patch, no drops and your mom can expect her vision to return within a few moments to hours.

The cloudy posterior capsule almost never "grows back" or gets re-cloudy.

Now, as to the information you have read while surfing the web. The condition you were reading about is called iris transillumination defects, usually secondary to a condition called pigment dispersion syndrome. It can also, as the webpage noted, be caused secondary to trauma during intraocular surgery.

From what you have posted about your mothers symptoms and what her eye surgeon has told her, the data you got from the web page has nothing at all to do with what is going on with your mothers eye.

I suggest your mother follow her ophthalmologists advice and proceed with the, simple and safe, laser treatment. I feel very confident that this will solve the issues she has been having with glare.

Does this make sense to you?

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you at no additional charge :-)

Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7906
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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