Oh crap - shooters after cataract surgury - please chime in


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Flame Red
July 28, 2009, 08:35 AM
A bit of bad news. I noticed some problems with my vision lately and the eye doctor said I have a cataract in one (better) eye. Not my dominant eye. Kind of young for this crap - just 50. He says that my steriodol allegry nasal spray caused it.

Well, now at least I have a excuse for my crappy aim!

He recommended surgery, and I got to admit although it sucks my vision now is suckier.

Anyway, please chime in if you are still able to shoot well after cataract surgery. Can you shoot as well as before? Any problems using red dots, scopes, or iron sights? What limitations did you find as a result?

Perhaps your experience will help cheer me up.

Thanks in advance.

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Joemyxplyx
July 28, 2009, 09:14 AM
I had cataract surgery about a year ago. I've got nothing but good to report. I used to wear fairly strong glasses to correct nearsightedness. Now I don't wear glasses. The new lenses corrected my vision.

I used to have to wear contact lenses to shoot shotguns because the prism in my glasses caused me to shoot low. I was once an avid skeet shooter. One day I tried to shoot with my glasses because I was having trouble with the contacts. I was about a yard low at 15 yards. I saw the pattern nicely centered below the bird a couple of times. Now I'd like to take up clay bird shooting again as soon as I can accumulate enough surplus money to get a nice gun with 20, 28 & 410 inserts.

For my rifles, I don't have to crank the sights up to compensate for the prism in the glasses. I can sight a gun in so that anyone else with normal vision can also use it. This is a nice thing.

I had some concern about heavy recoil dislodging the new lenses but with time the eye tissue grows around the implants making the lenses more secure. Also I don't plan to shoot any recoil beasts anyway. My tolerance for recoil has ebbed in the past few decades.

I've also noticed my M-1 kicks more and is nosier than than it was 50 years ago in basic training. I used to be able to hit a reactive silhouette all day at 175 meters offhand. Now 175 meters is much farther away than it used to be. Same for a .45 at 50 yards. I used to shoot within the 9 ring all day. Now I have difficulty keeping the shots on the target. I think the guns may have gotten less accurate than they were when the government was buying my ammunition. :)

oneounceload
July 28, 2009, 09:20 AM
I have not had it done, but I have a friend who did - his vision is now 20/20 and he wears his glasses with the lens for that eye removed. He'll be having the other one done shortly. BTW, he's about 67 or 68 if that matters.

highlander 5
July 28, 2009, 09:26 AM
I had cataract surgery at 5 yrs old it was quite traumatic.
6 years ago I had surgery done to repair the damage done by the first surgery and lens implants done. Happy with the results,no more coke bottle glasses. Your doctor shuold be able to tell you what to expect for vision. Fair warning the surgery is done while your awake.

Joemyxplyx
July 28, 2009, 09:50 AM
Ach Highlander Fair warning the surgery is done while your awake. .
Maybe you shouldn't have mentioned that; it'll just scare people.

It's true I was awake and looked up and down when the surgeon told me to but they gave me a nice load of Dontgiveadamnium before the surgery so I didn't mind too much.

In fact with the proper amount of Dontgiveadamnium even thinking about Barack Obama wouldn't bother me.

7X57chilmau
July 28, 2009, 10:23 AM
My stepfather, once a hell of a shooter, developed cataracts in the last few years. He had his surguries done about 8 months ago.

Before he had his done, he needed glasses for any distance work, and held that to be a royal PITA. Now, after, he needs 'em for close in work. Says he preferred it the other way 'round....

He's also gained a number of "floaters" in his field of vision, to the point where figuring out which dot is the model aircraft and which is a floater is a challenge, but this has been improving with time.

All said, 8 or 10 months in, he's rather ambivalent about the results. He's not done significant shooting since, so can't offer insight there.

Hard choice to make, but the stepfather is less than totally pleased with the result, but I'm certain that the result is better than a couple more years of cataract growth would have been....

J

mbdolfin
July 28, 2009, 10:24 AM
I had mine done in 1999. I have to wear reading glasses to see up close but i have great distance vision now. It is a real pain for me to try and focus on my front sight, very blurry. It is just something that i have learned to live with. Good luck with the surgury.

Tommygunn
July 28, 2009, 11:02 AM
I'm about your age and had cataracts removed five or six years ago.
I still shoot. Haven't really noticed a lot of difference ... except it's a LOT easier to see now that I have those plastic bionic lenses than through milky cataracts!!!!

Joemyxplyx
July 28, 2009, 12:05 PM
I have to wear reading glasses to see up close but i have great distance vision now. It is a real pain for me to try and focus on my front sight, very blurry.

They have focusable lenses now. Flexible lenses that your eye muscles can control just like your natural lenses. I think the brand name is "Crystal" or "Crystalline". They cost an extra $5,000 for both eyes, but I can see to read well enough in bright light. I use reading glasses for dim light.

But, my eyes are getting better and better at focusing. When I first got the lenses, I couldn't read the speedometer or the GPS. Now I can see them. It's just a matter of the eye muscles bulking up after 15 years of being dormant.

KarenTOC
July 28, 2009, 04:47 PM
The surgery is not bad. You're awake, but you feel absolutely nothing. If you're lucky, you can watch the show. Some patients can't see anything but others can. I could - I saw swirling colors. It was interesting. Couldn't see any of the surgical instruments or anything scary, though. It was much less traumatic than having a root canal!!

My opthamologist said it would take 6 weeks for my eyes were back to seeing normally, and he was right. It takes that long for them to completely heal. I was told not to bend over or lift anything more than a few pounds until they were healed. Shooting too soon might not be a good idea - be sure you ask specifically.

I also had a cataract "come back" on one eye (well, not exactly - it affected the bit of lens they leave behind to hook the replacement lens to). My doc says it happens in about 20% of cases. All that was required to fix it was an in-office laser blast. It was about as painful as having someone shine a flashlight in your eye for a second and I had a "flash bulb" spot in my line of vision for maybe a half hour.

I got a bunch of new floaters after surgery that really were annoying. But now I think my brain filters them out - they're still there.. I just don't notice them most of the time.

Good luck!

rjmckee
July 28, 2009, 08:16 PM
I'm 66 and had both eye cataracts done in January. For decades I was right handed - left eye dominant and so spent a lot of time improving my shooting as well as I could. Each eye was done one week apart. Now the are 20/15 & 20/20. I can see a country mile clearly, after the first 20" so I use my cheap reading glasses (simple 1 power) for pistol shooting. All my rifles (except my M4) have scopes which were sorely needed before surgery. I even changed a 3-9x40 to a 6-24x50 on my Savage .243 for deer hunting. I think I'll put a simple 4x back on it. I thought the plastic lenses were great technology as my right eye had degraded to 20/400 and with a large cataract. The better news was I could clearly see my beautiful bride of many years.

rjmckee
July 28, 2009, 08:21 PM
I'm 66 and had both eye cataracts done in January. For decades I was right handed - left eye dominant and so spent a lot of time improving my shooting as well as I could. Each eye was done one week apart. Now they are 20/15 & 20/20. I can see a country mile clearly, after the first 20" so I use my cheap reading glasses (simple 1 power) for pistol shooting. All my rifles (except my M4) have scopes which were sorely needed before surgery. I even changed a 3-9x40 to a 6-24x50 on my Savage .243 for deer hunting. I think I'll put a simple 4x back on it. I thought the plastic lenses were great technology as my right eye had degraded to 20/400 and with a large cataract. The better news was I could clearly see my beautiful bride of many years.
It was the easiest surgery I have ever had (and I have had a lot!). I say go for it.

Flame Red
July 29, 2009, 10:10 AM
All,

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. Seems like it is possible that my shooting will improve as a result of this. Hope that is the case.

One follow up question - after the thing is well healed, anyone have problems with BIG Blasts? I shoot 50 BMG our of my AR-50 and S&W 500. I'll ask the doc, but I doubt they know what that means. And not until I am well healed of course.

larry_minn
July 29, 2009, 03:43 PM
Had Cataract surgury. It took a few months for vision to stabailze. I also have limited reading of small print without $10 cheater glasses. I got some safety glasses with 1.5 bifocals for $12. They are great.
Talk to your Dr. I would think the 50bmg rd you should wait a long time. The pistol not as much a issue.

Hk91-762mm
July 29, 2009, 09:12 PM
A little off topic -!
Its amazing what science can do-Cut out a bad part of your eyes and replace it with a plastic lens. Resulting in 20 /20 vision. Tack a retina back in place with a laser. Use a laser to burn off the outer surface of the lens resulting in 20/20 vision -for people who always wore strong glasses,
Ill keep wearing the jelly lenses called contacts that allow me to see 20/15 from legally blind with no correction..
Immagine -20--30 years down the road== I hope I can see that someday!!

Cougfan2
July 30, 2009, 12:20 PM
I have had cataract surgery on both eyes. I too am in my mid 50's and it has changed my life. For the better I might add. I had worn glasses since I was 10 years old. Now I don't wear any glasses for distance vision and only reading glasses for close up. I had to wait for about 6 mos between surgeries, but I would encourage you to get the surgery if you needed it. While you are awake when they do the surgery, there is no pain and it is quick. The prep time was more than the actual surgery time.

ezypikns
July 30, 2009, 01:35 PM
I had catarct surgery last year on my right eye (my good eye, I had lost some vision due to glaucaoma in my left eye). Amazing results. I don't need glasses for distance at all anymore. Cheapie reading glassies are pretty much a necessity now though. Shooting has improved too as you would expect. My surgery was done under a "twilight" anesthetic. In other words, you're not completely under.

I experienced absolutely no pain at all either during or after the surgery.

I was off work the day of the surgery and the day after. No need for any other down time.

If you're going to have surgery, cataract surgery is the one to have. Almost a non-event.

dogrunner
July 30, 2009, 02:43 PM
Had it done YESTERDAY AM at Shands at UF surgical center, Gainsville.............and mine was somewhat complicated as I've a torn retina............my vision is now very near perfect..........in fact, on arriving home I picked up my BAR and found the reticle so blurry I could not really even determine the reticle intersection..........I backed those adjustments off to the zero point on the diopter and the thing is as clear as crystal.........I am more than glad I had it done but I'll really be glad when I can dispense with these blasted eyedrops.

Pain: nonexistent. Discomfort: more from the protective eyepiece and tape than anything else.

Yeah, you are awake (they knock you out to give you the shot that numbs the area being worked on), you are aware, you can converse, but all you can see during the procedure is light in the eye being worked on.....

My prognosis was only about the 85th percentile for success due the tear and previous damage.......most folks I'm told are in the high 90's.

Mine was on my "shootin" eye, my dominate one, and I was at the point that I was most seriously considering just how rough it was gonna be to learn to shoot as a lefty at 68!

Go for it!


Forgot to mention: Red dot/green dot sights were so diffuse to me that I could not discern an aiming point, it appeard as tho a child had thrown a blob of ink on a wall leaving a constellation of spackles and globs!...........Both the red/green dot scopes I own are now pin point clear! Hope this helps....good luck!!

Glockman17366
July 30, 2009, 06:00 PM
I've had both of my eyes done. Don't go for a bargain basement doctor and you'll be very impressed.
I can see better now then when I was 35 (59 now). I still wear glasses (knew that going into the surgeries) but the vision is much much better. You probably won't get 20-20 if your eyesight was poor before the cataracts, so don't expect miracles.

Dogrunner!! I know you're tempted, but don't go shooting for a few weeks or when your doctor says it's safe to do so.

TCB in TN
July 30, 2009, 06:57 PM
Had a major injury to my left eye back in Mar. immediately formed a cataract was completely blind in it till the end of may when I had surgery to correct. Amazing how fast it came back. Was 20/15 in eye before injury, and back to almost 20-20 after. I have had no real trouble with it since, and mine was far from the common variety of problem. Like any surgery it is scary, but seeing after wards, is priceless!

Zeke/PA
July 30, 2009, 07:16 PM
Before my cataract surgury last year I had trouble shooting even with optics.
I also opted for implants to correct astigmatism while the eye surgeon was at it.
I now wear no glasses except for reading and I'm back to seeing the iron sights well.
Actually the surgury is a snap, the prep time taking longer than the surgury itself.
Go for it!

Bill of Ojai
July 31, 2009, 02:09 AM
Had lens implants done 1 1/2 years ago when the cataracts got so bad I could no longer correct my near-sightedness with eyeglasses. Better than 20-20 in both eyes. No pain, healed fast, able to see almost immediately.

My near vision is now limited so I have to wear store-bought reading glasses.
I just had 1.25 diopter shooting glasses made by my optician and can't wait to try them out on iron sights.

By the way, the implants will enhance the way you see colors in the world. It's a pretty place now! Good luck!

dogrunner
July 31, 2009, 09:38 AM
Thanks Glockerman!.......Yeah, I AM tempted but I know I can't. I am really curious as to how much better my paper punchin' might be!

Far as color perception goes thats for sure.....those beige walls are surprisingly WHITE!

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