The first eye done was my right eye and all I remember is “I’m going to make you feel good” and waking up in the office. Technically, I kind of remember him in the eye but not really and I don’t remember feeling good.
I was driven home and had all kinds of special effects. Glare reflected into circles and I had giant haloes that night (10’ and 20’ haloes). I was totally freaked out and got on the doctor about it at the day-after visit because I couldn’t even go outside much less drive.
Well, about 5:00 that day things cleared (I was really, really dilated) and I was stunned. I couldn’t just see. I could really, really, really see. Technically, they had already cleared because once I got back to my father’s (I stayed there the night of the surgery) I got in my car and drove home. I was dangerous not because I couldn’t see but because I was staring at things and thinking “wow”.
I took the next day off and had one scary experience. The meds, particularly Lotemax are really goopy. I had so much goop that a big chunk gathered on my eye lash and was blocking my vision. I thought, “oh crap, the lens moved or something” but it was just the goop
So, all told, 1 day surgery, 1 day post op, 1 day to recover and back to work on Friday.
I did one thing stupid for the second eye surgery. I drove in the dark to my fathers and since the appointment was early it was dark. The freeway was OK but I forgot the dilating drops and had to go back. This meant driving about a mile through a town I’m only semi-familiar with. This was a very bad idea. I missed the freeway on ramp because I had one good eye with flares (more in a bit) and one bad eye that needed glasses I didn’t have (I broke them the day of the surgery somehow). I didn’t really need glasses to see at that point, but in the dark, in a city I didn’t know, well, I sure needed something. I should have parked on the side of the road and waited for the sun to rise. I didn’t and like I told someone, “there were drunks on the road safer than I was”, but I’m here writing this.
My left eye was basically the same as the right except for one difference, I got a giant floater in it. I kept thinking I was seeing flies, or bugs, or birds, and jerking my head. Fortunately, it went away. I still have some minor floaters but I had those before the surgery.
I'm 1-½ weeks after the second surgery and it's mostly good, better than expected but it’s not all perfect.
I mentioned above that I hit all 3 zones (16”, mid and long). I’m amazed at how well I see sometimes when everything clicks just right with the light. Tree’s are amazing but I knew that would happen because it happened with my first pair of glasses. Thing is, this time, there was no adjustment the way it was with glasses when I first put them on. I’m not stepping over curbs or anything weird. It worked 100% out of the gate.
One interesting thing is that when it comes to sunglasses colored lenses don’t matter nearly as much now. Even the Oakley Prizm lenses, which were lifesavers for awhile really don’t matter much. My vision is good enough they don’t matter. I am finding that polarized lenses work better than non-polarized lenses (things are really bright) although I don’t have any black / grey non-polarized lens so a 9% non-polarized lens might be fine. I picked up a pair of Serengeti’s to replace my beat up Maui Jim’s and they’ve been good.
Another surprising effect is the color white. Who knew there was so much white in the world. I had to clean the bathtub because I could see all the grime now.
One effect that I hadn’t counted on was the change in vividness or richness. I’m not certain if it was the yellowing or an effect of the lens. I had a lot more yellowing than I realized once I could compare a good eye with a cataract eye so the richness of color might have been that. I’ve also read, I think, that the symfony can cause a loss in this area. I have no complaints! This trade was well worth and I’d have made it in a heartbeat and it may not even be a trade. I may be seeing things the way they are now and I’m not colorblind by any means.
I’m giving this one its own section because it’s a big deal. One reason you get this lens is to not have haloes. Well, I don’t, but I’ve sure got spiderwebs and flares. The effect isn’t bad close up out to about 100 yards. At range I get flares, or spikes, especially from LED headlights or headlights with funky designs (it’s not so bad with old cars and a single headlight). Those tend to just be kind of lumpy, or kind of a double vision effect around the light.
I also get spiderwebs on brake lights and some colored lights. Tail lights are fine but when the brake triggers it’s a spiderweb. It’s pretty freaky when you first see it. LED’s spiderweb too, really big ones.
But it’s a little bit weird because in low-light they aren’t there. It’s just when it’s 100% dark and my night vision at the same time is fantastic. I just can’t process these kinds of light. I’m told I’ll adapt but we’ll have to wait and see because it’s also got to the lens too.
One other note. I live in a relatively sedate city after 9:00 PM. The other night I drove to the store and it was OK, not good, but doable. I didn’t feel unsafe but this is coming from a guy who probably shouldn’t have been on the road for much of the last year. There’s no way I’d drive on a 5-lane freeway, or downtown Vegas, or any downtown, yet, at night, but I think for the basics, getting to and from work in the Winter, late night trips to the grocery store, it’ll be fine. The flares, or spikes, are definitely more manageable today than a few days ago.
Putting it simply, I don’t have the night vision I’d have gotten with a monofocal, yet. I may but I’m not holding my breath.
Should you do it?
I can’t answer that. I have very good insurance, .gov worker, and because I went the premium lens route, the cost was $3K/lens, possibly another $1K in surgery costs and another few hundred in meds and supplements. I can afford it although it hurts a little bit right now.
The thing is, I didn’t want to wear glasses. I go up and down hills, wear sunglasses and just didn’t want to have to deal with bifocals (and the doctors and the lens delivered that). I have no regrets and I can Uber if I need a night ride to go partying (which I should probably do anyway).
For me it was the right choice. No, in a way, it’s kind of a miracle when you think about it. I have, in effect, absolutely fantastic contact lenses for the rest of my life if they hold up.
For another person, maybe straight monofocals, because the insurance covers 100% would make sense. Maybe you need good close up so a monofocal or monovision works. You may have other lens options, there’s some really interesting stuff coming in the future years. If you want to drive at night, I’d give these lenses a serious, second, third and fourth thought, just like I would any multifocal lens.
For me, like I said, no regrets at all.
Thanks for your post and insights