Prescription glasses make everything wavy pre-op

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I am aged 64 and have been mildly shortsighted all my life. , In September 2016 I first noticed that I couldn't see very clearly in the far distance, unless I pushed my glasses further out on my nose. "Time to get a new prescription", I thought to myself. "Your eyes have improved", I was told. "You've got what's referred to as second sight, as you get older". I was now 1D better than the glasses I had used for 10 years previously: -1.25 instead of the older prescription of -2.25  Great!  But it was not great. I could see perfectly in the brightly lit optician's room, but outside I still couldn't see any clearer than before. I returned to complain and a supervisor checked my prescription and said it was indeed correct, but that I had the beginnings of a cataract in both eyes and to return in a year.    In Sep. 2017 the prescription hadn't changed and the cataracts were only slightly bigger, but I cannot bare using my glasses as they make everything wavy. It's easier to drive without them. 

Question:. Did anyone else have this problem as their cataracts grew - Seeing better without the optician's prescription glasses than with them? I have another peculiarity where my night vision is much better than day time with my glasses, but I intend to start a new discussion under a new heading so as to attract answers from people who might have the same reaction.

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  • Posted

    Hi Mary67362 - I suspect you’lol get a variety of responses.  Everyone experiences cataracts differently.  The type I had progressed very quickly from one optometrist appointment to the next.  I did have a few years like you were my distance vision got slightly better (0.50 diopter) and I didn’t need readers.  But Jan 2017 was told my eyes could no longer be corrected with glasses.  At that time daytime vision was blurry to the point I couldn’t read the license plate on the car ahead of me stopped at a red light.  Highway signs were next to impossible to see.  Night vision for me had a lot of glare and loss of contrast.   My best corrected vision at the time was 20/60 in RE and 20/50 in LE - definitely candidate for cataract surgery where the Canadian Medicare system paid for the surgeries.  I was 53.

    Has your optometrist referred you to an opthamologist tegarding your cataracts?  Normally if the optometrist can’t correct your vision with glasses or contact lenses they do refer you to one.

    Best of luck to you Mary.  If you do end up needing the surgeries- do lots of reading and research.  Post your questions here as there are many of us who’ve gone through it.

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  • Posted

    mary67362, I am surprised that your optometrist after diagnosing you have cataracts, asked you to come back in another year .  Mine would have given me a referral to an ophthalmologist for a thorough eye examination.  Age-related eye problems are common, such as straight lines appearing wavy, etc. Take care and best wishes,
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    • Posted

      Thanks Sue.An and jantje 32476.

      As far as the optician is concerned they have corrected my eyesight with -1.25 prescription glasses because they work in the optician's room and I can read the chart fine.  I went to a second optician's and got the same result. But the glasses won't work outside for me. 

      I'm sorry but I don't understand the 20/50 etc measurements mentioned in your posts. I can only tell you the strength of my prescription glasses.

      I don't see wavy lines without glasses. It only happens when I wear the glasses - as if they were the wrong prescription. I can see fine without them, except for far distance and I can't really enjoy watching our local football team on the pitch because I can't recognise the  footballers at the far end of the field.

      I have referred myself privately to an opthamologist for a thorough eye examination at the end of this month.  But I was hoping someone on this forum could explain why I can read chart perfectly inside and glasses won't work outside.

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    • Posted

      Hi Marysmile

      The 20/50 measurement means that an individual can see something clearly at 20 feet that most people with good vision can see from 50 feet away. Hence 20/20 means "perfectly good vision".

      Wavy lines may be the result of astigmatism, as others mention. But wavy lines can also be a sign of retinal detachment/\. When you mention this to your opthalmologist, s/he may send you to a retinal specialist , just to be sure.

      Yes, do lots of research and probably consult more than one surgeon, if available in your area. In the US, they all charge different rates for premium lenses and have different recommendations for optimal results. You ultimately will have to decide which aspects of vision are most important for you, then choose your surgeon and lens accordingly. The good nes in the US is that the basic monofocal lens is covered by Medicare and people can achieve very good results with those, avoiding the thousands of dollars required for premium lenses (Synfony and others).

      Best of luck to you!

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  • Posted

    How cataracts affect vision varies with each person. In my case early on the cataract made my right eye more and more near sighted and I needed a stronger eyeglasses Rx, until after a year or two even eyeglasses couldn't correct enough anymore and I was worse than 20/40 with eyeglasses - so thats when I decided to go for the surgery.

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  • Posted

    In answer to your questions:

    1. The cataracts always affect the prescription because those affect the natural lens shape. Those also cause blurriness due to the irregular astigmatism caused by the cataract.

    Thus, the best vision you can get with glasses will get worse with a cataract, but the vision without glasses at a specific distance (such as far distance) may improve. Similarly, as in your case, the eye glasses power may go down to see the best at distance (but still the vision with the best glasses prescription will become worse).

    2. I am only guessing, but it is possible that due to the cataract, the central part of your eye has slightly different effective prescription than the outer part. During an eye examination (which is often done with dilated eyes), your vision is being evaluated while your pupil is much bigger. During the day light, your pupil is smaller. Thus, it is possible that the overall benefit provided by the correction for a large pupil (for night use) does not carry on the day light conditions.

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    • Posted

      Thanks at201, for sharing your insights.

      I had problems with bright light during the day and from the computer only after the cataract in my good eye had developed into an advanced cataract (in 2017), not when the eye-doctor first noticed that it was there in 2010 and then in 2012 respectively. It got so bad that I was watching TV programs without my Rx glasses (around -9D), and changed my computer setting to black background and darker color fonts, high contrast, +150% magnifier.

      @mary67362, Two years ago (circa 2016 September), Optician told you that you had early cataracts in both eyes. And your appointment with your Ophthalmologist will be end of this month. Am keeping fingers crossed for you that it is nothing more than the cataracts. 

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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Yes going to the oprthamologist at end of August will set my mind at rest I hope
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