Welcome to my Eyeballs

Jan 31, 2008 | Uncategorized

I went to the doctor for my pre-operation eye appointment yesterday. It was kind of of a letdown, to say the least.

1.) I have to go back again in 2 weeks because I wasn’t properly informed on the protocal for the surgery. Not a huge deal, but a pain in my ass.

2.) After doctor numero uno told me a monofocal lens would be my best option, he referred me to this other specialist, who I went and saw the first time about a month ago. He was in agreement that the monofocal lens would be my best option, despite my dependency on reading glasses. I though, “I’ve had glasses since I was 8. Reading glasses aren’t a huge deal. Plus, I can still play “sexy librarian” if the mood strikes.” (Kidding!)

But then yesterday, the doc got kinda wishy-washy on me, and said that maybe I should consider the multi-focal lens. “Lots of people are happy with it, and you wouldn’t have your dependency on glasses.” Well, that’s all great and well, I thought, but I don’t mind my glasses. It’s the being a driving hazard because I can’t see street signs, stop signs, and even the license plate on the car in front of me that I’m worried about. Oh, and the not being able to see people’s faces clearly when I pass them in the hallway. And the having to squint with any small writing, regardless of if it’s right in front of me or 10 feet away.

H o w e v e r….

The multi-focal lens is considered a “luxury” cataract surgery of sorts (because it sounds SO MUCH like a nose job to me, too) the insurance company doesn’t cover it. And, it’s a whopping $4,500 for a pair of multifocal lenses as opposed to a nice, friendly insurance deductible cost for the monofocal pair. Wishy-washy guy even said the first visit a month ago while discussing the pros and cons of each, that the “monofocal lens means he makes no money” or something to that effect. Trying to be funny, but, a sad miss.

So, here are my options, based solely on facts:

Option(s) number one –
Fixed Focus Monofocal IOLs are used in the majority of cataract procedures. These lenses have the advantage of excellent quality distance vision under a variety of lighting conditions. Since these lenses have a fixed focal point which is generally set for distance vision, reading glasses are typically required for good near vision. For patients willing to use reading glasses for near tasks, these IOLs are an excellent choice.

Accommodating Monofocal IOLs are used in situations where both good distance and good near vision are desired without the use of spectacles. These IOLs have a single focal point, however, the focal point can shift position in space so that objects at distance are clear when the eye focuses on them, but when the eye looks at a near object the IOL will shift its focal point to bring the near object into focus. Accommodating Monofocal IOLs achieve this by physically moving inside the eye in response to the focusing action of the muscles of the eye. Patients implanted with the Crystalens™ IOL generally enjoy near vision without glasses that is much better than those implanted with Fixed Focus Monofocal IOLs. In fact, results of the FDA trial for the Crystalens™ demonstrated that 98% of patients could see well enough to pass the driver’s test and read a newspaper without glasses. Vision at the intermediate (computer screen) distance is superb with the Crystalens™, making this an excellent IOL for those who spend a great deal of time on a computer. (Sweet! I’m on the computer a freakishly unhealthy amount.)

Option number two –
Multifocal IOLs use a different strategy to achieve good distance and near vision without glasses. These lenses have highly specialized optical properties that can divide light to bring it into focus at more than one point at the same time. This allows the eye to see both near and far, usually without glasses. Excellent results for distance and near vision have been achieved by both of the FDA approved lenses of this type. The ReZoom™ multifocal IOL has several zones of optical power that are designed to provide good vision at varying distances, under varying lighting conditions. Another multifocal IOL is the ReSTOR™. This IOL uses a patented diffractive optical design to divide light into two focal zones so that near and distance objects can both be seen without glasses. (Note that I received information on ReZoom and ReSTOR, but nothing really on the monofocal. Hmm…)

Multifocal IOLs have a slightly greater tendency to cause night vision complaints than other IOLs, so those who drive a great deal at night may wish to consider a different IOL. – Um, this definitely sounds like me. I would be the one poor sap that would be worse off driving at night after corrective surgery. Sheesh.

So, do I pay less than $500 total for both eyes and have a dependency on reading glasses and still be pretty happy overall with my new vision?

Or, do I have $4,500 for a lens that boasts glasses aren’t necessary, have a pretty successful surgery and eyesight, possibly without the night vision I desperately need, but then eventually need them again at my mid-life crisis years?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I’m super-pumped for the surgery regardless, but I’m upset that the night of my 2nd eye surgery is the Wilhelm Scream / Shai Hulud double show I was going to try to make at the Masquerade. Seeing A Wilhelm Scream play is probably right up there with “getting married” and “having children,” and I’m not excited about the fact that I’ll miss their show. I even considered going anyway, but I know that it really wouldn’t be a good idea, despite my attempts to make it seem like a good idea.

For such a young person, I’m such an old lady.

But, I still think farts are funny. And I eat entirely too much macaroni and cheese. Is that something?