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Cataract Lens Selection?

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Cataract Lens Selection?

Old 24th Jan 2024, 02:15
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Cataract Lens Selection?

Many PPRuNers have had cataract ops and I would like to hear their experiences from a pilot's view.

My ophthalmologist has been muttering about cataracts for the last decade and lately oncoming headlights on two lane roads at night are showing starburst patterns. I'm off for preop ocular measurements in a couple days.

Multifocal intraocular lenses are frowned upon by aviation authorities because of halos and other effects. I'm perfectly happy to continue with eyeglasses and single focus IOLs.

​​​​​For distance, my eyes are correctable to 20/20 & 20/30. Hopefully afterwards my vision could be correctable to 20/15 in both eyes.

For around the house and reading music an arm's length away, I'd be happy with IOLs that let me do that without glasses. Presently I use glasses with a reduced correction.

Likely I'll need readers for close up work. Today I do without glasses for this.
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Old 24th Jan 2024, 20:13
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I had cataract surgery about 18 months ago. The lens used were Johnson and Johnson eyehance. Prior to surgery eyes were deteriorating rapidly and over the course of 6 months I had about 3 different glasses made up but none could deal with the problems of focusing on intermediate and far distance.
You are right about the multi focal IOL,s..... after investigation I found these lenses are classified as monofocal IOL (while classed as monofocal manufacturer has done some magic with them and they act more like a multifocal) and after some arguments with CASA they were accepted as such (they were new to Australia and I found a surgeon that had previously used them on a Qantas pilot so that obviously strengthened my case) and 1 month after the second eye had been done I had my class 1 medical back. On doing my eyetests with the CASA DAME - he was pretty amazed at my results and said he wanted these lenses for himself.
Eye test results by surgeon post surgery after 3 weeks -
Vision RE (unaided) 6/6
Vision LE (unaided) 6/6;
Vision Both eyes open 6/5 (unaided)
Near vison both eyes N5 (unaided)
So, I am very pleased with them.
Far distance - great. Intermediate great. And for the first time in 10 years I don't need to wear glasses for reading in bright light anyway.... i do chose to still wear reading glasses when on computer.
Obviously risks as always with surgery - i believe these lenses also had reduced risk of halo at night, certainly I have had no issue.It would probably be sensible to contact your authorities to make sure acceptable for pilot certification.
As you are in Canada find attached
Johnson & Johnson Vision Launches TECNIS Synergy and TECNIS Eyhance Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) for the Treatment of Cataracts in Canada (jjvision.com)
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Old 4th May 2024, 20:57
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Just an elderly PPL on self-declared medical, who hasn't yet flown since operations.
I've had both eyes done. Left eye on 5 December was quickly very successful. Right eye 19 January took longer to settle, but very happy with both. Old glasses are useless but I can read print, computer, and distance without them. Wear sunglasses but no problems 10 hours out in sunshine now.
The big problem which I wasn't expecting is due to avoiding exercise - at 83 I'm still not back to my exercise fitness of 3 December.
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Old 5th May 2024, 16:30
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As always choose your surgeon carefully..... I spent a long time on this before having IOLs myself and ended up very happy. I ruled out multifocal early on. We discussed correcting one eye for near vision and one for distant vision but just went for best correction on the worse eye and let it settle before having a comprehensive reassessment and discussion about the second eye. I havent worn glasses since. No halo, but I do notice I need light to read and also wear sunglasses more. Results far better than those necessary for a Class 1

Maoraigh1 I dont understand your comment about exercise fitness - I presume the operation was undertaken awake with a local anaesthetic block so it would be unusual to have any effect on general health. both my procedures were totally painless and hassle free - doctors are the worst patients but I see absolutely no need for any sedation.
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Old 5th May 2024, 19:39
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I was told to avoid heavy exercise. As I live on a clifftop near a headland, strong winds restricted my walking, to avoid blowing dust/sand etc.. I got unfit, and when I restarted exercise I damaged bits.
Now getting back to exercise without pain. At 83 fitness is quickly lost.
PS Lenses Johnson & Johnson.
I just accepted surgeon without research, not cheap and a guy I know was happy with his work.
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Old 6th May 2024, 20:51
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I had it some years ago, all worked out well for me
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Old 8th May 2024, 09:38
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Again, Pprune at it's best.Comforting stuff. I was diagnosed with Diabetic Odeama. Pandemic issues delayed treatment for one year. Discovered that it is very common and private guys are making a fortune. I qualified for NHS. Terrifying injection treatment direct into eyes. Proof that "cheaper" medicine was working (E400 a pop) before "expensive" drug (E800 a pop) and initial mess up means I have now endured 11 jabs.

Fabbo local Surgeon now going for three Laser blasts before progressing to cataract ops. Just his way & seems concerned with the cataract ops leading to liquid build up.

Interesting to read other's, specially Radgirl's experiences.

Totally unable to watch my fave Alien Abduction movies though. Also ditched the awful varifoculs after I kept tripping over, bumping into things and then peeing all over the guy's shoes beside me at the Taverna loo !

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Old 17th May 2024, 17:56
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80 now and wore bifocals while flying since about age 40, certainly needed glasses for reading. Optometrist sent me for cataract op prior to it making any impact on my vision two years ago, op was so simple I couldn't believe. One week between optometrist visit and first eye being done. About 20 minutes with the anethertist, put drops in the eye, when numb a needle into the eye to drain fluid, then into surgery, which took all of 5 minutes. No pain what so ever at any stage, one week between the two eyes ops, $3,000 each eye in Oz on private health. No need for glasses now, though I do use them for reading as it makes it just a little easier, not absolutely necessary though, no need for the computer either.
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Old 18th May 2024, 08:23
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Luvley stuff Meg. Much more confident as a result of yours and other posts.. Still at the Laser stage but happier to proceed.
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Old 18th May 2024, 08:43
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Having been blessed with excellent eyesight in my youth, I needed reading glasses after the age of 45 then suffered the “early” but sudden onset of cataracts in my late 50s (possibly genetic, my mother and my elder sister both had the same thing at a similar age).

After many years of sailing through the class 1 pilot medical eyesight test, between one six monthly exam and the next I struggled with the bottom line of the chart and was advised by the AME to visit my optician, who referred me to my GP. After further tests I was told I had little option but to have new lenses in both eyes. I was given a choice of the focal length of the lenses, I opted for good distance vision rather than near, which meant using reading glasses. As I already wore them, it was an easy decision.

The most worrying thing about the ops was knowing that if they went wrong, my career was done for. Done by the NHS, it was a total success. I suffered little pain, but found the bright light used by the surgeon very uncomfortable. I think this was because I was suddenly no longer looking through “dirty” lenses!

In conclusion, I say if you need cataract surgery, go for it and you will be amazed what a difference it makes and you will realise how poor your eyesight had been!

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