Cataract Surgery – The Eyes Have It!

Cataract Surgery – The Eyes Have It!

About a year ago, my eye doctor said it was time for cataract surgery.   “So,” I asked, “what is involved in that?”   She told me they give me a shot in the eyeball, cut it open, take out the old lens and put in a new one.   I’m thinking “Are you kidding me?  A shot in the eye and then cut it open?  Really?”   I told her my vision was just fine, no thank you!    So a year went by and I realize that my vision is really not what it used to be and again went to the doctor for new glasses.   And, once again, I was told about cataract surgery, and this time, new glasses wouldn’t help my vision.   So here’s what happened.

Photo By Robert Couse-Baker via
Photo By Robert Couse-Baker via

An appointment was scheduled for Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute – about 50 miles from home.   They do cataracts all day long every day.  After a complete eye exam with lots of drops and measuring, I was taken to the nurse anesthetist.   They asked me if I wanted something for anxiety (as if they even had to ask!) and I was given an oral liquid.  Then more numbing drops.   By the time I reached the anesthetist, I was really not feeling anything.   I was laid back in a recliner and he injected my eye below the lower lid.   I was so numb, this did not hurt at all.   Believe me, this is not near as painful as getting an injection for dental work.  My eye was wrapped with a pressure dressing.   Again, I was taken to the waiting area and I began to feel the whole side of my head, face, teeth and tongue get numb.

The nurse showed up and took me into the surgery area where I, once again, met the ophthalmologist.   They removed the pressure dressing and my eye only saw white!   I could not see one thing out of that eye!    They draped my face and went to work.   I felt some minor “tugging” which was painless.    In no time at all, less than 5 minutes, he was done and I was sitting up.   That’s it!   Prescription for drops in hand, I was out the door and headed home.  

After about 5 hours, I could feel my eye again and removed the bandage.    The first thing I realized was that my vision had dramatically improved.   I could see really well in the distance and I was seeing colors like never before.    This was easily demonstrated by looking out of the new eye and then looking out of the old eye.   Blues and whites are bright and vibrant!   The drops were applied as instructed and although there was never any real pain, my eyes were dry and scratchy.   The drops helped a lot.  

After 10 days, I went in for the other eye.   I no longer need glasses for distance viewing and got readers for reading and computer work.    However, I am going back to my progressive lenses so I can see everything in the middle.  In the meantime, I’m doing glasses-on, glasses-off.  

In retrospect:

  1. This is very painless.   Really.  Forget about the gross – it’s worth it.
  2. Drops drops drops.   Steroids for swelling and antibiotics.   After all this, you want the best results possible. 
  3. Wear those big ugly black glasses!    For several days, the lights will bother your eyes.    I even wore them at night watching TV.   They also protect your eyes from any wind, which is drying.  
  4. If I had 3  eyes,  I’d now be waiting for the last one to be done.  I had no idea how bad my vision had become!  It’s the difference between a bright white light and a soft white (yellow) light. 
  5. Ask around for a good surgeon.   Find out where your friends went for their surgery.   If you have any doubts, go someplace else.   I was really happy with Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute.   Happy, caring people. 

If you really are interested, the surgeon gave me a video of the surgery.  Click on the link below.   This is not for the faint of heart, but you might be interested.  Remember, it doesn’t hurt a bit and I didn’t see a thing!                                     Photo By noir imp via


Cheryl and her husband have just recently retired and live in the Pacific Northwest. She has been enjoying her herself by traveling around the world, playing with her grandchildren, and she frequently volunteers in her community. There is certainly never a dull moment with Cheryl. She cheerfully co-founded RetireBook and wants to share her energy, hoping that it inspires her readers to live life at its fullest.