Cataract and Symfony Toric Multifocal EDOF experience

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Had cataract surgery last week and wanted to capture my experiences so far.

I’m 47 and my prescription prior to cataract was mild astigmatism and a little long sighted (started having to hold my phone at arms length) but otherwise vision acceptable all day without correction. In fact I didn’t bother wearing my glasses unless watching something on HD TV or cinema that looked worthwhile. Had floater only vitrectomy 10 years ago and some laser treatment for lattice degeneration of optic nerve. So I expected a cataract, which grew over last year and had made me extremely short sighted.

Went private and went with suggestion of Symfony Toric EDOF Multifocal ZXT. Not sure what these numbers mean but the detail I’ve been given says:

Model ZXT150. ØT 13mm ØB 6mm

diopter +22.0D SE 1.50D CYL

Operation was completely painless and I couldn’t see anything but white and some darkish shapes. I asked for sedation so had diazepam which relaxed me. Only discomfort was the pre-op eyeball injection (!!) for nerve block, but it was actually over before I knew it and I had had anaesthetic drops prior. I think surgeon used sonic to break up cataract and scalpel to open eye up. Sounds horrible but it was easy and I was quite relaxed throughout. Eyepatch on after the 15 min surgery and quickly discharged to go home.

A few hours later the block wore off and pain and discomfort was actually quite significant. Much more than I expected. Also my eye was constantly watering and I couldn’t keep it open or closed comfortably. Paracetamol helped though. A sneak peak under the patch showed yellowish vision, very blurry. Not able to focus/align both eyes on anything. Slept ok

Day 1 post op. Pain and discomfort reduced but still an achy pain. Bloodshot eye. Very Watery. Vision is blurry and out of focus. But can align both eyes on any subject. Blue/purple tint to white objects, walls etc. A few small floaters. Exaggerated 3D effect when looking at objects at various depths, but like objects in binoculars. Diagonal streaks with bright lights on dark background. Especially white text on black background on TV.

Day 2/3 Jittery peripheral movement when moving eye. Vision like 80s soft focus TV shows. Achy pain gone. Still bloodshot.

Street lights at night have large starburst with a single huge diagonal streak. This streak is on every light source, including TV. White on black text has white glow around all text.

Day 4 started work with VDU, had to turn brightness right down, office lighting too bright, headaches after VDU usage. Jittery/Shimmering right side possibly worse. No really sign of concentric rings on night lights, maybe if I concentrate I think i can make them out? but starburst effect predominant. Still violet tint to whites.

Day 5 started day worse with dry eyes, feeling like something in my eye, headache, still bloodshot. Still sleeping with eye patch.

Floaters are completely gone.

Starting to see distance more clearly - can read small text at a distance clearer than left eye that has mild astigmatism.

Day 6. Same as day 5 really. Eye starts day a bit sore and blurry and gets better throughout day. Still have violet tint and shimmering effect to my right peripheral. I have the fuzziness around white on black writing, which is common, but the text is crisp. Bit like this fig 5

Thoughts so far. I’m really surprised how long the recovery has taken. Mainly because a younger coworker had a cataract op with a basic lens and had absolutely no post op symptoms!! After day 4 when my vision started to get sharp and lose some of the fuzziness I started to feel happy with the result. Yes there’s still some fuzziness under some conditions and I get starbursts (not halos) on street lights and cars but they don’t bother me. I can easily see myself adapting to these artefacts over time. The only thing annoying me at moment is the single diagonal streak across all light sources including bright areas on TV.

So on the whole happy at this stage, but having to realign expectations for a slower recovery.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi James, I believe we messaged before my cataract surgery. I had mine done on my left eye on Tuesday 7th Jan. I too found that the worst thing was the injection and although i was given numbing drops beforehand the injection was given immediately afterwards and I feel that they maybe should have waited a minute or two for the drops to take effect. I have not been too bad since then. The blood shot eye is beginning to lessen but eye is still very achy. I am having trouble reading with my glasses on because obviously the left lens in the glasses is of no use at all now . I find I need to read without glasses and cover the "poor" eye and that does help. I have the 2 different types of eye drops which I am using religiously as instructed. I have driven a short distance today and I could see quite clearly. I will be glad when I get the other eye done now to even things out. Lets hope our sight begins to get better. Good luck

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  • Posted

    The diagonal streak sounds like a fold in the capsule. Ask your doctor about it when you go for your checkup. If there is a fold, it will be perpendicular to the light streak. You can google Maddox Rod effect after cataract surgery to learn more about it. If it doesn't go away on it's own, then you'll need a posterior capsulotomy if you want it corrected. Be sure you are happy with the IOL before undergoing this procedure as it makes an IOL exchange more complicated. The flickering from quick eye movements is not uncommon. Not sure if it's one of those side effects that goes away by neuroadaptation, but the more you ignore it, the sooner it goes away. Best of luck to you!

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  • Posted

    rode motorbike today, 7 days post op and eye is working fantastically. Amazing depth of vision and crisp distance focus. Starting to see some concentric rings in bright red brake lights and starbursts from oncoming traffic in the dim dusk light. But not bothersome.

    The diagonal streak on bright light sources has mostly gone now. And shimmering is less noticeable today. Still a bit blood shot with yellow tint to my eyeball, and my vision is still slightly violet. No headache today.

    One week on and I'm really happy with my new lens. Feels like vision is better than pre-cataract already.

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    • Posted

      James, glad to see you are happy with your lens. May I know how bight the rings and starbusrts are compared to the light source? Will they block your view to the objects behind them?

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    • Posted

      Interestingly they've gotten far more distinct in this 2nd week post op. Looking at certain brake lights at a distance I get 10 or so distinct concentric circles around the source, that is about 1-2 inches at arms length (hold your arm out and about half length of your thumb).

      Same with the starbursts and yes they're quite distinct now.

      They don't block vision though. And although a bit trippy, I can't say they bother me.

      However "glow" does. I'm getting a soft glow around all light sources at moment. So looking at my laptop now with white screen and in dim afternoon light, there is a glow that's about the same size as the half inch bezel around the screen.

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    • Posted

      the concentric rings started very faint immediately after the surgery. i could barely notice them and they were very sharp and thin. at 3 weeks they got smudgy which i attribute to PCO.

      i also see the glow you are talking about but i could live with it.

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