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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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I had catarrach surgery on May 14. 2009 The results are not

Resolved Question:

I had catarrach surgery on May 14. 2009 The results are not what I thought they would be. My vision is still slightly blurry, I have a ball of white light that rolls along the bottom of my eye it gets more frequent by the end of the day. Sometimes it fels like there's a film in front of my eye. My night vision is also affected. Headlights are fuzzy. I told all of this to my opthomologist. He has prescribed glasses. Is it normal to wear glasses after catarrac removal. Shouldn't the surgery have improved my eye sight? I had lasik surgery in 2005. Thank you
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 8 years ago.

Sorry to hear about your troubles. We try to be as accurate as possible when making the calculations for cataract surgery. Since you've had previous Lasik surgery, it makes it slight more difficult to get right on target. The measurements are more accurate if you were able to provide numbers obtained prior to your Lasik surgery or an old prescription.

Your current blurriness can be due to a variety of factors. I'll go through them one by one.

1. Refractive error - Due to difficulty with calculations from your LASIK or from astigmatism that was induced or unmasked by the surgery. Treatment would be glasses, contacts, or LASIK enhancement.

2. Dry eyes - could be the cause of the film, but vision fluctuates with blinking.

3. Posterior capsular opacity - you new lens is sitting within the original capsule of the old lens. Sometimes, fibrosis and scarring can develop from that membrane behind the lens. This is due to residual lenticular cells not completely removed. Even with the best of surgeries, it is not possible to remove all of it. This opacity have occur right after surgery or years later. Treatment is with a laser done in the office (different from the LASIK you had before). Most doctors like to wait at least a few months until after the surgery before considering this. This is cause a film sensation as well.

4. Inflammation, swelling of the retina (CME or cystoid macular edema) - this can be the cause of your blurry vision, but is usually detected at your 1 month visit.

The white light can be a floater that is now more apparent after the surgery. If you are seeing flickering of lights, then this could be due to retinal stimulation from the gel material within your your eye pulling away from the retina. This pulling away is common after cataract surgery, but if you are seeing flickering of light, then you ophthalmologist should perform a dilated exam to make sure there are no problems with the retina. A dilated exam is routinely done at 1 month and 6 months after the surgery in all patients.

I would address these concerns again with your ophthlamologist at your next visit. If you are having more or increase flickering lights or floaters, you should contact him immediately for an earlier appointment.

Dr. Khu
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