Cataract op needed if not interfering with my life?

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Stopping to think now, I believe I may be being rushed into two cataract operations. I responded to a mail shot which offered eye examinations at home through the NHS.

The optician came and said I needed new glasses, which I bought. However at the same time she mentioned I had cataracts in both eyes. I paid of course for new glasses which seem fine and would not have thought about cataracts, and have no difficulty seeing or doing every day tasks, if she had not brought it up.

I've just been to the NHS hospital although the department is actually a company within the hospital and not of the hospital.

I was told I needed both eyes done but nothing was explained. A nurse made me do the usual eye test - I couldn't read the three lowest lines at a distance. The nurse only made me try and read these lines. I could read about three top lines. It was done very quickly and she didn't test my reading. I only spent a few minutes with the doctor. However coming home and reading NHS leaflets on the internet I don't appear to have any symptoms which indicate I need surgery.

My day to day life is not disrupted. I don't have blurry vision. I have also read that I may need new glasses after the operation. I find it rather disturbing that the same woman who prescribed new glasses for me, which are fine, also referred me to have eye surgery when I might have to spend more money on glasses after surgery.

What do people here think?

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  • Posted

    I think in order for cataracts to be detected, your eyes would have to be looked into through special equipment, not via an eye chart.  But I'm not a doctor, so I can't say for sure.  Definitelly a second opinion is in order - from a non-solicitous opthomologist.

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    • Posted

      Hi, It was all very quick. I spent more time on the forms than with him. He made me rest my chin on a chin rest and just looked in the eye manually making me look through whatever was on the chin rest fitting. I was only there a few moments. As far as I can tell looking in the Internet, if it doesn't interfere with your life, they can be monitored but there is no need for surgery. I've also found newspaper stories about unnecessary cataract surgery - Trusts apparently sign contracts with private companies which are given targets to do a certain number of operations

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  • Posted

    You don't sound like you need surgery. If you had cataracts, believe me, you'd

    know it. Someone just wants to make money off you. But, get a second opinion, even a third. I shouldn't have let them do my right eye, it wasn't bad at all. Now everything is way worse than before. So, if you don't have any problems, don't do it.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    If your new glasses do the job and you see well, then why on earth would you even consider cataracts surgery?? When most of us who have had surgery it is because our vision was impaired and very blurry and the surgery was to improve the vision. Some of us have not had good results and after surgery have still had blurry vision which most docs dismiss with hogwash explainations. Basically called BS.

    Even with a second or third visit, don't rush into anything as long as you see well with the new glasses.

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    • Posted

      Yes, this is what I'm thinking. I was told by the optician that I had cataracts and should see a consultant. I thought this was to monitor things. It was all done through the GP and the NHS. But then I got a letter from this company which seems to be based within the NHS hospital. And when I arrived at the hospital the nurse told me to try and read the letters on the chart from the point the I couldn't read them (this was all done in a couple of minutes). Then I was ushered in to the doctor for a couple of minutes. The forms are very peculiar too. Where it asks for my NHS number or 'other number' it isn't my NHS number. Thanks for your response. It seems I am correct to be uneasy about this.

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  • Posted

    Dont have eye tests at home, they are fine for carehomes where residents cant get out or for housebound people, they dont have all the equipment the high Street opticians have. If you are over 60 these eye tests are free every 2 years and every 1 year if necessary. People with glaucoma have eye tests every 6 months.

    If you saw a consultant in an NHS hospital, then it is NHS, this rotten government and many rotten gold digging business sharks such as Virgin, Care UK, Circa, Southern Health have bought up parts of the NHS but must still give treatment free at the point of delivery. 

    If you have a cataract, whch can take years before it interferes with your life, it will have been noted and will be checked on each time you go. When the consultant thinks the operation is necesary it is done within about 4 month.

    If you dont get any DSS benefits and you probably will need glasses post op then you will have to pay for them. When/if you do then just get the lens replaced with the new prescription. 

    Main thing is to ask questions, write them down and give them to the Consultant when you see him/her.The nurse is doing a simple sight test.

    I havee found Vision Express an excellant optician in the local shopping mall. Spec Savers (not in my area), is another good one

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    • Posted

      Hello, Thanks for your response. The optician prescribed new glasses which are fine and told me I had cataracts. I thought I was being sent to a consultant who would discuss matters. Instead I was seen for a few minutes by a nurse who didn't ask me to read the sight chart from the top but to start from where I couldn't read. I then saw the doctor for a few minutes but he just examined my eye ms for a matter of seconds and I was given forms which had another number, not my NHS number. I wasn't given a chance to ask questions and no information was given. If I need new glasses after cataract surgery, the home visit firm will update them free of charge but I don't have clouding or misting and have not complained about my vision and can do everyday things. I am over 80. However I do not use reading glasses now and on the form which is barely filled in the doctor has scribbled on one form that I may need reading glasses after the operation and on the other that I will need reading glasses. And I seem to have been fast tracked to have both eyes done (not at the same time) This is all in a hospital which is part of a major very well known teaching hospital.

      I have also now found a Guardian story from 2014.

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/16/leaked-report-cataract-surgery-revealed

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    • Posted

      Some people dont need glasses following surgery. 

      Your sight must be poor to be fast tracked for surgery. You may not have noticed the deterioration.

      You can always ask to see another surgeon, even at another hospital as I have done changng from RVI Newcastle to Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

      I would sugges that you write a letter asking all your questions and your anxieties to the surgeon. If you phone the hospital they will give you the name of the surgeons secretary.

      That way your fears will be answered before you have surgery

       

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I have not noticed any blurring or mistiness. My sight is really not bad with glasses. I drive as well. Reading up on it all it seems impossible that I would not have noticed a deterioration if I really needed surgery.

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  • Posted

    Totally emphasise with your situation! I consulted optician because I was unable to read with right eye. Referred to NHS clinic in private hospital which confirmed early cataracts in both eyes. Had c removed from right eye at end of May and have just spent the best part of £400 on new varifocal lenses (I have high myopia). Result?  Still can't read with right eye. Very disappointed and disillusioned with the whole process!

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear about your experience. I can still read without glasses and my reading was not tested at the hospital. I was just told to run and read the lines from where I thought I was unable to read lines on a sight chart.
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    • Posted

      This is so simple. It's really a no brainer. Don't put youself thru surgery you don't need. You have no problems seeing with glasses, why put your sight at risk because some Dr. want to put another notch on his belt. With all the horror stories about cataract surgery outcomes, no way would I have it done if I were you. Stick with your glasses. It could be 20 years before you need surgery. Or you may never need it. Doctors & hospital make a lot of money in this manner. Give it a lot of thought. See someone else, ask around for trusted Dr. etc. Good luck to you. Keep your sight, you're lucky you have it. I wish I had my "before" sight.

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    • Posted

      Really sorry to hear about your sight. I guess I feel I was ambushed - what I thought would be a discussion about all the alternatives turned out to be all about cataract surgery so I was taken by surprise, wondering when the discussion would start - and then it was all over!
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    • Posted

      I don't think there are any alternatives. You said your vision is good wearing glasses. That you were told you need surgery, even tho it doesn't sound like you have cataracts, unless you're talking dif eye surgery. I thought the discussion went quite well. I think we were all discussing cataract surgery. Right? You said you were tested at home? Never heard of that. Dr. offices have all kinds of equipment to test eyes for cataract. You don't just read a chart or have him look in your eyes & tell you that you have cataracts. That's a bunch of bull. Its not done that way. You can see, why would you want to spoil that. But it's your decision.

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    • Posted

      I was tested at home by an optician who did bring a whole load of equipment and said I had mild cataracts, prescribed new glasses (which are fine) and said she would be writing to the GP for me to see. The next thing I got was a letter from this private company and rang up to make the appointment. The appointment then proceeded as I described. I feel like I'm rubbing it in unintentionally to those for whom the procedure has gone wrong. I do feel for you. I also know that at the moment I can see without impediment. It jumped from being told I had mild cataracts to getting an appointment but then there was no consultation as such. It seemed to be taken for granted that I would have the operation and I have been taken by surprise about this. Hope this is clearer.

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    • Posted

      I understand what you've been saying. The point is, you have no problem seeing with glasses. As for mild cataracts, that just means you won't need surgery for 10-15 years. My cataracts were mild since 1984. It is now that one eye got worse than the other. Things very blurry. Couldn't get stronger prescription glasses, so I went for surgery. But I was talked into getting the other eye done also, didn't need to ( he heard the money jingling in his bank acc't)

      it was a small cataract. No problem seeing. Things went very wrong with that eye during surgery. If I was in your shoes, no problem seeing, I wouldn't do it. But that's only my opinion.

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    • Posted

      My experience was quite the opposite: the decision on whether to have the surgery was cleary "mine" - the medics were reluctant to make a recommendation either way. Perhaps this is par for the course?

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