Complication of cataract surgery--macular edema.

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I don't think I was specific enough in my first post.  So, here's the story.

I had cataract surgery on June 6 iin my left eye.  Initially, I had flickers whenever I was in daylight, flourescent lighting, etc. (I still do) and I was told by my opthamologist to "give it time."  

I noticed a swelling below the lashes in my left eye the day after surgery, which now, almost 3 months later, has not gone away. Then came hundreds of tiny black bugs (floaters) and my eyesight seemed to change every day.  I still do not see well.  I needed new glasses, but the prescription naturally was based on my current eyesight,  and since it keeps changing, the glasses were awful. and did not work. Words were  jumping up and down and I could not read what was put in front of me.

Finally, I actually saw the opthamologist's P.A. since the doctor was not available that day (which might have been a good thing) and when I told him my symptoms he immediately did a test called OCT and found I had macular edema. ...which means swelling and fluid had built up behind my eye.  The test showed that the retina in my right eye was flat as a plain, but the left eye looked like it had a lump over it (fluid that had built up).  So the next step was to give me anti-inflammatory, and steroid drops, and injections in the eye. He  set up and appointment for the doc to give me injections in the eye.  (Not at all painful.)  I am supposed to get six of these shots every six weeks (maybe longer, I was told). I had the first one on Aug. 23. 

I've been reading the posts here in the forum and I didn't see anyone who  has talked about this  particular problem.  Please let me know if any of you were diagnosed with macular edema and how it did or did not work out for you. I would really like to get some more input on this.  I would appreciate it.  Thanks to all of you who have had the patience to read this.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Diane!i am glad you clarified this. I was told about 3 mo after my surgery that I had some residual inflammation, received steroid eye drops. Made no difference. The flickering only got worse for me, actually had some symptoms at 2 months. I developed floaters right before my left eye was done due to vitreous detachment, which has resolved. The floaters are still numerous and there are tiny black dots as well. I do not have macular edema that I know of. I see a eye surgeon in two weeks to ask for a lens exchange since my left eye has terrible vision in any bright environment. Google macular edema and look at articles from ophthalmology steps. Good luck
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    • Posted

      Thank you, Ruth.  I did google it.  Toooo much information but none of it tells you enough about treatment.  I am not going to have my right eye touched by ANY doctor until this, hopefully, clears up. Apparently, the edema is what causes the flickering, but was I told this?....NO!

      I had what is called an OCT test which shows the back of the eye.  This should have been done right away.  It clearly shows how my left eye has a sort of lump over it and the right eye is flat as a pancake.

      Maybe you might want to ask the doc for this test to determine for sure if it is macular edema.  Good luck to you too!

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  • Posted

    I had this. You need to be on non sterodial and sterodial ant inflammation meds . I was on them for 5 months before full vision returned. Injections are fairly aggressive treatment but likely because your edema is large. It should clear up but it takes time. You should also look for another Dr. This is not something that should have been missed. My first Dr also screwed up but my next one saw it immediately. Best of luck.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Glen for your comments.  They were encouraging.  I am on anti-inflam and steroid eye drops.  I agree it is not something that the doctor should have missed. So I assume you did not have the injections?
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    • Posted

      No, they were discussed but we did not get to that stage.  They would have been the next course of action had regular drops not worked.  I would find a retina specialist that agrees you have CME and get a second opinion on dosage for your drops.  If CME does not clear up in 6-9 months it can become perminent so you want to be agreesive with this.   
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    • Posted

      I did go to a retina specialist.  He was just as bad as my doctor.  I think they are in cahoots since the retina spec. sends patients who need cataract surgery to my doctor.

       Wow!  That's scary what you said about CME.. If it doesn't clear up in 6-9 months it could become permanent.  Where did you get that info?

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    • Posted

      Dr. Google.  I am not sure how your healthcare system works.  If you can, find some opthamalogists (Retina specialists) who are not working with either of the two you went to see.  Again, Dr. google is great for that.  Have your family doctor send you to one for a second opinion.  I had a similar issue where my first doctor referred me to a colleague for a second opion which was useless.  It was not until i did my own research online that lead me to thinking i had this condition based on facts around my surgery and symptoms and then i asked for referrals to a doctor that had nothing to do with my original surgeon.  You are in a different situation as you have a diagnosis (I assume it is correct but this is where a second opinion comes in) and are getting treatment for it.  The drops are the key in this situtaion which you are now getting. My treatment consisted of Lotemax (3 to 4 times daily) and ilevro (1 to 2 times daily).  These were different than drops prescribed by my first doctor for post surgical care.  These drops did the trick.
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    • Posted

      Hi Glen,

      Interesting how many different drops are being used.  I am using Durezol and Prolenza.  I am a senior and on an HMO plan (Optimum)

      where I have limited doctors I can use, which is complicated.  I had to get special permission (which took forever) to be allowed to see a retina specialist and when I did, it turned out the whole thing was absolutely useless.

      Can you tell me what you pay for each of your drops?  I am paying $120  for both of them.  I live in Fl.  Where do you live?

      I am going to check out Dr. Google. Thanks!  

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    • Posted

      i am in Toronto Canada.  The doctor who actually first mentioned CME to me is in Florida.  I basically emailed 10 different doctors and he got back to me and told me that is what i likely have via email.  He was correct. 

      I am not sure what the price of the drugs are as i have a very good insurer that pays for it.  My guess is it would be a similar number that you are paying.  I would not change course on what you are doing based on my post but i would find another doctor and talk about this.

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