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02-17-2022, 08:49 PM   #1
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Cataract experiences?

I didn't see any section of PentaxForums which seemed suitable, so.....
I've been a member of this forum for some time, and now I need cataract surgery. My right eye, my dominant eye, shows the world as a blur. I can't use it with my many cameras! I find that using my SLRs with my left eye difficult, since most cameras are designed for right eye use. BTW, I hate holding a camera away from my face, thus giving up the advantages of bracing the camera against my face. Film cameras have to be held to the face, of course.
So I must do something to continue my passion of some 65 years. I am considering having my right eye optimized for close vision, and my left eye, when its cataracts are not so bad - yet! - set for "normal" vision. I'd have to wear glasses to enable "normal" vision in my right eye. To use a camera I'd take off the glasses, which would enable close vision with my right eye, and let me put my eye close to the viewfinder.
I'd appreciate experiences from fellow members who have had cataract surgery. Does my proposed course of action seem reasonable?
Thanks!
George Hazelton

02-17-2022, 09:06 PM   #2
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Hi George, sorry to hear that age is catching up with you, but I'm also glad that it has.............the alternative is not so good.
Please rethink having your right eye optimized for photography, as this will impact on all your day-to-day activities.
Driving your car (safely), depth perception of simple things like gardening or watching TV, will all be second best. Instead of having to wear corrective lenses just for photography, you would have to compensate for all your other activities. I am left eye dominant, and while a little awkward, is very doable. Just my $0.02.

Good luck.
02-18-2022, 03:30 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
I am considering having my right eye optimized for close vision, and my left eye, when its cataracts are not so bad - yet! - set for "normal" vision. I'd have to wear glasses to enable "normal" vision in my right eye. To use a camera I'd take off the glasses, which would enable close vision with my right eye, and let me put my eye close to the viewfinder.
No.please NO!

You don't need or want close focussing to use a viewfinder - I'm assuming you mean a viewfinder and not the live view screen. Viewfinders are basically designed for the eye being in distant vision, even though they may have an adjustment (or clip-on modifying lenses) to enable those who need glasses for distance vision to take their glasses off. To see the live view screen obviously you will need close vision for that, but generally [D]SLR users prefer the viewfinder. It makes sense for the viewfinder to be designed for distance vision because then you can change from looking through the viewfinder to looking over the camera directly to the subject without your eyes having to re-focus (or put on or take off your glasses).

I have had cataract operation in my right eye and am waiting for the left to be done. I have chosen to optimise both for distance because I don't want to wear glasses when out and active in the wind and rain - or using a camera viewfinder. I don't mind putting glasses on for indoor sedentary things like reading or computing.

Meanwhile for a few months I have had distance vision in my operated right eye and my natural short-sightedness in my left. It's driving me nuts! Even though I am temporarily wearing glasses (with no right lens) supposed to correct my unoperated left eye for distance, my brain seems to hesitate as to what eye to see through. My binocular vision is so messed up that I can't judge how to put a cup down on a saucer. I'm now due for my left eye op in two weeks and getting my eyes balanced again can't come soon enough.

There is a recent thread here :-
Cataract experiences? - PentaxForums.com

Last edited by Lord Lucan; 02-18-2022 at 03:33 AM. Reason: Format and tpyos
02-18-2022, 05:41 AM   #4
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my advice

first go to your doctor, explain the situation - I'm a photographer and this is how that affects me

ask your questions

see if they could set up a simulation with one eye corrected for distance, the other for short vision

_____________

my experience

I was extremely nearsighted

when it came time to get cataract surgery I faced the same options

I chose far distance in both eyes

I was worried about headaches if I had one far and one near

I ended up with 20/25 in my left eye and 20/20 in my right eye for distance

I wear cheap reading glasses and for night driving I have prescription no line varifocal eyeglasses



good luck


Last edited by aslyfox; 02-18-2022 at 05:48 AM.
02-18-2022, 06:02 AM   #5
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I agree with the replies above. I had both my eyes treated a few years ago now. I went through stages/prescriptions where my brain was and was not co-ordinating the sight from both eyes. With your scenario you would forever have to wear glasses in order to enable that co-ordination and. as Lord Lucan says, without them - even with them? - your brain will have difficulty handling the discrepancy.

Personally, I think you are seeing(!!) a difficulty where there is none. As I understand it, camera viewfinders are optimised for distance sight, so not requiring much, if any, correction for cataract lenses similarly optimised. Prior to my cataract ops I was short-sighted and had to wear glasses for driving, etc. I did a lot of close figure work and my sight was "off" enough to also need correction for that work in order to avoid headaches and silly errors - transpositions, dropping lines when reading across rows of numbers.

My cataract surgeon optimised my lenses for distance sight, so the change for me was significant - from wearing glasses primarily for distance, to needing them primarily for reading. This was the result of a discussion between us.

I was advised last year after noticing a little deterioration in my sight that I was ok to drive in daylight, but not at night. This was due to some scarring appearing in the lens of my second eye to be treated. That has been dealt with by laser.

I continue to wear varifocals, as I have done for over 40 years. Much of the time when I'm out and about I'm looking over the top of them without realising, even when looking through the camera viewfinder. I continue to wear them for several reasons - 1) I'm used to them, 2) I feel more secure when driving and I can see the car instruments more clearly, 3) I don't have to find a home for the glasses when I don't need them, but might, 4) I can read my phone, restaurant menus, anything really, without having to find the glasses - mostly convenience reasons.

I could use my cameras without using my glasses - I've done it - but I choose not to as, yes, I can take the photo, but can't clearly see the settings/menus displays/options or the rear screen review after taking the photo. Plus, I'd need to have the glasses readily accessible - round my kneck, or on my head, just ready to get tangled up or fall to the ground.

In the light of my experience, I'd say "Don't do it" - but your circumstance may be different and, it's your choice.
02-18-2022, 06:59 AM   #6
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Fortunately, I do not (yet) suffer from this condition. I use reading glasses for computer work and other 'close' activities, but my distance glasses are 'over-corrected' (after discussions with my Ophthalmologist) to assist me with birding (when I need to see birds at a distance before using binoculars or spotting scope), and they are also ideal for photography, with one caveat - I have to remove them to adjust settings on the camera, hooking them through a clip on the neckstrap, or when scrutinising the rear screen (K3 original). I have tried using reading glasses for photography - brain says 'In Focus', but camera says 'No'. I have tried varifocals, but with limited mobility (damn near everywhere except the brain !), I cannot read labels on the top shelf products, as my head will not tilt far enough back. If you ever see someone several feet away from a shelf looking at it through binoculars - that'll be me. As for driving - I don't drive, never have done, and never shall.
02-18-2022, 07:36 AM   #7
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Iím not far from these decisions myself. Having previously had retinal surgery at 20 years young on both eyes and periods were my vision was seriously impaired in one eye at a time during recovery, I experienced the disconnection of my binocular vision. I could - at one time - focus each eye independently one near and one far. It isnít a skill I want back! For nearly a year after both were completely fixed I would be reading and one eye would be out of focus entirely. Iíd have to close the other eye to force things into focus. It was an interesting experience I donít want to repeat.

02-18-2022, 07:59 AM   #8
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George, I'm sorry to hear this about your eye troubles.. I can relate well.I have been shooting now a bit over 30 years. I am right eye dominant also and for a long time had excellent vision in that eye. About 10 years ago I woke up to a serious infection in my right eye... when it was over, I had a lot of scar tissue over my cornea. It was untreatable.My vision in my right eye is hazy, can't see fine details at all.Talk about depressing. I worked in a lab and microscopes were also a big part of my job. But it was the photography that really bummed me out. I gave strong consideration to leaving the hobby and finding a new job. I'm glad I did not though. I practiced using my left eye and retraining it. It was so uncomfortable at first. It took awhile but I do not think about it now. My technique evolved so that I use my right thumb to close my right eyelid...it comes naturally now and helps brace the camera.

Good luck and hang in there.

al
02-18-2022, 01:10 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Cataracts....

Many thanks for all the thoughtful responses! I'd asked the opinions of family and friends who'd had their cataracts removed; they were very happy with the outcomes, but since none are other than casual photogs - generally using point and shoot digitals, held out not peered through - they couldn't grok my concerns. You good folks know where I'm coming from!
I'll get the plain jane lenses, optimized for "distance" vision, and carry some reading glasses, as I've done for several years already as my arms became to short to read comfortably.
02-18-2022, 03:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
I didn't see any section of PentaxForums which seemed suitable, so.....
I've been a member of this forum for some time, and now I need cataract surgery. My right eye, my dominant eye, shows the world as a blur. I can't use it with my many cameras! I find that using my SLRs with my left eye difficult, since most cameras are designed for right eye use. BTW, I hate holding a camera away from my face, thus giving up the advantages of bracing the camera against my face. Film cameras have to be held to the face, of course.
So I must do something to continue my passion of some 65 years. I am considering having my right eye optimized for close vision, and my left eye, when its cataracts are not so bad - yet! - set for "normal" vision. I'd have to wear glasses to enable "normal" vision in my right eye. To use a camera I'd take off the glasses, which would enable close vision with my right eye, and let me put my eye close to the viewfinder.
I'd appreciate experiences from fellow members who have had cataract surgery. Does my proposed course of action seem reasonable?
Thanks!
George Hazelton
I am younger than you and unfortunately have cataracts that are growing in both eyes, worse in my left.

I am currently near-sighted in both eyes, the left more so than my right.

I think my left eye will need surgery first.

My "plan" (this makes sense to naive me) would be to get a "new" left eye to match my right. This way, it's easy on my brain when wearing glasses without having to mentally adjust much. Both eyes would be equally near-sighted. If you have one set at close and another for far, then the prescription on the lenses for your glasses will vary, and the magnifications presented to your brain for each eye will be different. I believe the brain will have issues if the diopter difference is 2 or more. And/or, you might lose depth perception.

So, for me, my natural glasses-off situation would be largely unaltered (better actually, since my two eyes had a 1.5 diopter difference, which will then be zero). I will be able to look at my iPhone without glasses, and this is also a way to cheat needing reading glasses for my ageing eye muscles.

Of course, I'll need glasses for distance and middle distance, but I already have that (progressives). I want the least amount of trauma.

Your mileage will vary depending on what "close" (how severely myopic) exactly means, and whether you are outdoorsy or not.

I guess you will need to discuss further with the surgeon. Also, are you considering asphericals?

Note, BTW, that looking through a viewfinder requires distance focus (though cameras allow you to adjust the diopter a bit). Looking at the LCD screen on the back of the camera requires close focus. I'm not sure which you mean.

Note2: my strategy might be different if both eyes are done at the same time. It could be many years before my right needs surgery.

Last edited by gavinhw; 02-18-2022 at 03:18 PM.
02-18-2022, 04:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gavinhw Quote
I am younger than you and unfortunately have cataracts that are growing in both eyes, worse in my left.

I am currently near-sighted in both eyes, the left more so than my right.

I think my left eye will need surgery first.

My "plan" (this makes sense to naive me) would be to get a "new" left eye to match my right. This way, it's easy on my brain when wearing glasses without having to mentally adjust much. Both eyes would be equally near-sighted. If you have one set at close and another for far, then the prescription on the lenses for your glasses will vary, and the magnifications presented to your brain for each eye will be different. I believe the brain will have issues if the diopter difference is 2 or more. And/or, you might lose depth perception.

So, for me, my natural glasses-off situation would be largely unaltered (better actually, since my two eyes had a 1.5 diopter difference, which will then be zero). I will be able to look at my iPhone without glasses, and this is also a way to cheat needing reading glasses for my ageing eye muscles.

Of course, I'll need glasses for distance and middle distance, but I already have that (progressives). I want the least amount of trauma.

Your mileage will vary depending on what "close" (how severely myopic) exactly means, and whether you are outdoorsy or not.

I guess you will need to discuss further with the surgeon. Also, are you considering asphericals?

Note, BTW, that looking through a viewfinder requires distance focus (though cameras allow you to adjust the diopter a bit). Looking at the LCD screen on the back of the camera requires close focus. I'm not sure which you mean.

Note2: my strategy might be different if both eyes are done at the same time. It could be many years before my right needs surgery.
Thanks for the post. I've decided to have both eyes for distance vision, the right (worst) first. I admit I didn't know that viewfinders were designed for distance vision. My heartfelt thanks to you and the other Forum members for the advice.
Good luck with your problem.
02-18-2022, 04:25 PM   #12
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I am currently going through cataract removal. I opted to get the more expensive refractive lenses for both eyes to cure my astigmatism up to about 2-3 foot distance. I have had my left eye done and it has been a miracle. What was a hazy blur is now almost perfect other than the usual vitreous humour floaters. Another ten days until my right eye is done. Close focus is taken care of by a cheap pair of +2.0 diopter readers. I can heartily recommend cataract surgery if you have the opportunity. - Jack
02-19-2022, 08:24 PM   #13
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Mr. Hazelton, hopefully this will help youÖ
(1) do not make any decisions without fully discussing all of this with your current eye surgeon
(2) you will likely need both eyes operated in order to give you the clearest vision. With todayís advancements in cataract surgery, even the eye with a minimal cataract can still be operated if there will be an improvement in the vision of both eyes
(3) if you have your vision corrected for hopefully post-op 20/20 in each eye, then the viewfinder will be clear and the lcd screen blurred , and glasses will be needed for anything up close
(4) if you have a multi focal type implant then you may find that certain lens aberrations from the implanted lens may bother you, or there may be a compromise in vision.The vision ( distance better than reading, or reading better than distance)
(5) the preferred method of surgical correction is a newer type of lens called the enhanced monofocal lens. This will give you excellent distance vision and fairly clear vision at arms length. Your cellphone should be clear enough to read and the camera lcd will be fairly clear.
(5) there is also monovision, one eye corrected for distance and the other for near. With the advancements in the enhanced monofocal lenses this type of correction is likely being recommended less often.

Regards, David
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