What you need to know about preparation, surgery and recovery
Restored Vision: Cataract Patient Story
" The best part of having the surgery is that I can see clearly!!"
Cheryl is 78-year-old retired school teacher, a mother of three daughters and has four grandchildren. While family life is very important to her and her husband, Cheryl also enjoys an active social life and has many interests. Aside from being an avid reader, Cheryl is involved with U3A, she completes a cryptic crossword every day, plays bridge regularly and has a life-long interest in music and singing. Being short-sighted, in order for Cheryl to see clearly and persue her hobbies, Cheryl had worn glasses and contact lenses for most of her life. However, with the development of cataracts in more recent years, Cheryl’s vision had deteriorated progressively over time.
Living with cataracts
“A cataract began to develop in one eye a few years ago but in the last couple of years, my vision was definitely deteriorating, particularly when watching TV and driving. I also found reading music to be quite difficult at times. I was not happy with my last pair of glasses and went back to the optician twice to get them to check that everything was right – they assured me I had the right prescription.
I watch a lot of tennis on TV and I was finding it very difficult to read the scores at the bottom of the screen. I was also concerned with my ability to see clearly when driving and reading music and any small print.”
“I went to another optician for a “second opinion” on the script for my latest glasses. He confirmed there was a cataract in one eye and an emerging one in the other eye. He suggested I wait a couple of years before any surgery. I remember thinking that that was a very odd thing to say – heavens, at 78 why wait!!”
How was the patient experience with Auckland Eye?
I found Auckland Eye staff to be helpful and pleasant at all times. Dr Shenton Chew was extremely personable and my husband and I warmed to him immediately. Also, the staff and technicians who performed the other the various tests prior to seeing Dr Chew were all very kind and reassuring.
How was the surgery itself? Was there any pain?
I had been told by friends who had already had cataract surgery of one kind or another that there was “nothing to it” but of course I didn’t believe them! I admit to feeling apprehensive and nervous but the staff at the hospital and Dr Chew himself were very re-assuring and kind. No, there was no pain, maybe a little discomfort, but certainly no actual pain.
The time lapse between the two surgeries was a little uncomfortable as I felt my treated eye was doing all the work and the un-treated eye was compromising my sight. With only one eye done the halos around lights at night were of some concern, but this improved dramatically once both eyes had been done.
Life after cataract surgery
The best part of having had the surgery is that I can see clearly!! I can see detail, I can see the tennis scores! Colours are all much brighter, the sky is now very blue! I can now see my piano music clearly so have no excuse for wrong notes! I must say though, that I can also see the lines on my face and the bags under my eyes which have been mostly covered up for years by larger glasses frames!! The freedom of not having glasses perched on my nose far out-weighs this concern.
*Cheryl has had lens replacement surgery performed under no needle topical anaesthesia with extended depth of focus (EDOF) intraocular lens (IOL) technology allowing her to enjoy spectacle freedom for distance, intermediate and near tasks.