Saturday, May 7, 2011

Contact Lens after Cataract Surgery?

Question: I am having cataract surgery on my right eye with a lens implant that will give good distance vision. My left eye is extremely nearsighted. My eye doctor wants to correct the left eye with a contact lens, not glasses. I'm reluctant to be totally dependent on a contact. Is it possible to get glasses with a corrective lens for left eye and clear glass for the right?

Answer: Let's assume that after Cataract Surgery that your right eye sees well at distance without the need for any optical correction. If your left eye still requires a considerable optical correction and thus a relatively strong prescription eyeglass lens, the difference between the two eyes may cause your vision to be quite imbalanced and very uncomfortable. This is because the eyeglass prescription for extreme nearsightedness actually minifies or makes images look smaller. Thus, even though the vision might be good in each eye-there may very well be a difference in image sizes that causes you considerable discomfort.

Patients who have markedly different prescriptions in each eye-a condition called anisometropia-often complain of dizziness and headaches and even other uncomfortable symptoms when they try to wear eyeglasses. One option as your Cataract Surgeon described is to wear a contact lens. This equalizes the image sizes between the eyes and you would not actually be totally dependent on the contact lens as we are assuming that you will have good vision after the Cataract operation on the right eye.You do not state your age or whether you have the beginning of a Cataract in the left eye. If so, it is only a matter of time before you will have surgery on the left eye with a lens implant and then both eyes will have equal image sizes. If there is no Cataract in the left eye, another option-if your Cataract Surgeon approves and feels that it is medically necessary and safe and preferred or you are intolerant to a contact lens-the Cataract Surgeon can perform a Clear Lens Extraction and Lens Implant on the left eye which would also create equal image sizes in both eyes. The last possible option-if there is no Cataract in the left eye and you are not likely to develop one in the foreseeable future, is to have a Laser Eye Surgery procedure such as LASIK on the left eye to correct the nearsightedness. This would not be the best option if there was any chance you would need Cataract Surgery in the left eye any time soon. Eyeglasses after Cataract Surgery when one eye is extremely nearsighted is not the best option

Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery of Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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