Negative Dysphotopsia After Cataract Surgery

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I had cataract surgery two weeks ago with complications and a second surgery on the same eye.

A few days ago I noticed a dark shadow in my vision the left side of my left eye that would come and go. Any time I tried to look at it by shifting my eyes to the left it dissipated. I saw my Opthtamologist today and he thought it might be a retinal tear and referred me to a Retinologist.

My symptoms don't seem to fill the bill for a retinal tear but does for a negative dysphotopsia. I am getting the sense that my Opthtamologist is giving me the business

My symptoms are a dark shadow appears from the left in the outer edge limiting my perherial vision on my left eye. It goes as fast as it appears. No pain.

I think it is a negative dysphotopsia. Comments appreciated, thanks.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Seems like a retina doc would know immediately if there was a tear or not. But you describe my symptoms of a shadow, or line, limiting the outside peripheral vision in my right eye, and the clear sense that my visual field was reduced. In place of the soft, gradual dimunition of the peripheral field was a stark cut-off, particularly when looking to the left (for you it would be the right). Typically we're not conscious of the far periphery, but the brain knows if a car is approaching from the side you are looking away from, for instance. In the same way, we DO know if that vision is simply not there. For me, I could actually see the crescent edge of the lens. In low light situations, it represented the stark edge of my visual field. Very unsettling. In bright daylight, it would be only a line, accompanied by the feeling that there was a foreign object/blur in my periphery. With eye movements, light sources to my right would ripple in the periphery. We did an exchange after four months and it resolved that situation to my great relief. There's always a trade off it seems, and I did not achieve the immediate razor sharp 20/15 distance acuity (albeit in a reduced field) I had with the first lens, although I'm 20/25 two weeks after the exchange. I also have some night glare issues now. For those of us who are inclined to dysphotopsias for whatever reason, cataract surgery is not the simple, trouble free procedure it is for most people. Or maybe more people have trouble than what we would be led to believe and they're just too intimidated to articulate the problems and push for solutions. Who knows. I do know that if I had known about all the possible complications I definitely would have waited longer to do the eye. Everybody I knew said it would be a 15 minute deal and a day or so recovery and boom! I'd love the results. Balderdash. Anyway, best of luck to you.

  • Posted

    This IS a negative dysphotopsia and is not uncommon. Eugenes comments are spot on as I doubt this is a retinal tear. Many good articles on line. This is a late symptom for me and very unsettling. I would give yourself more time to heal and then pursue it if it interferes with driving or daily tasks. Good luck!
  • Posted

    Thanks for your posts.

    Bad news. Met with a Retinologist today who told me I have a small area of my retina detached. I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow.

    I did not expect all these complications from a cataract surgery. This will be my third surgery on the same eye. I expect that eye to be very sore and a long time healing. My greatest hope is that I don't lose my vision.

  • Posted

    I had a cataract removed from my left eye on 18th November and after a few days noticed the same symptoms as you.   I am aware of the dark strip at the left when I look right but it disappears when I look left.    There is a feeling of something in the corner of my left eye.   There is no pain and my distance vision is vastly improved.      The A & E Dept told me that I am seeing the edge of the IOL and my brain will adjust to it.   So I was grateful to you for the suggestion it is probably Negative Dysphotopsia and hope I will get used to it in time.  I would prefer not to have a further 'op' as I have Macular Degeneration in that eye and am having ongoing injections for that.   The follow-up consultant said the implant is fine and foolishly I did not ask him to explain the reason for the dark shadow.   He did say he would not advise me to have the cataract operation on my right eye as due to scarring from previous untreated macula problems 20 years ago there would not be much benefit.  

    However on the 20th of this month I shall be seeing my Macula consultant who is very approachable and always explains everything fully.


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