Disorientated after cataract replacement in 1 eye wit... - NRAS

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Disorientated after cataract replacement in 1 eye with multifocal lens

Rosie_rabbit profile image

Very off topic here but hoping to find some shared experiences/ help please…

I had a multifocal lens replacement 4 weeks ago in my right eye. The left eye has the starts of a cataract but isn’t impairing my vision right now so the surgeon said that as I’m young for a cataract replacement, 53yrs, it increases the risk so recommended replacing just the right eye.

I went back to the optometrist for a check up 11 days post surgery and he referred me back to the consultant as I was experiencing issues. I got to see the consultant yesterday and explained to him that whilst my distance vision is good I feel disorientated and also my near vision isn’t very good (a multifocal lens should give you good all round vision and reduce the need for glasses rather than a mono focal will give you either near or distance vision). He checked my eye and it has healed well from the actual surgery. He asked me to describe the disorientation and I said it was a bit like vertigo, I feel almost like I need to hold onto something when I’m out, disassociated a bit like when you’ve had a bit too much to drink, which I’ve obviously never experienced 😜. He said I have a film at the back of my lens which may be affecting my near vision and he can remove this with laser surgery which may fix it. He said he could change the lens for a monofocal. However, if I had the laser surgery to remove the film, I then could not have the lens changed if it didn’t work. Also removing the film might not help. The only way I can currently see to read is put my old reading glasses on which blurs out the new lens 🤦‍♀️. I asked if changing the lens would sort out my disorientation and he said he didn’t know. He then said he didn’t really understand the ‘disorientation’ I was describing so couldn’t say which was the best option. I came out upset as I didn’t feel listened to or have my concerns taken seriously. Just because he says he’s never had a patient be disorientated doesn’t mean it can’t happen. I have found some references to it online. He said to go back in 6 weeks to discuss further, which is the only bit that makes sense as I do realise that it may take longer to settle.

What I’m struggling with is getting him to understand what I mean as I think he should be trying to find out why I’m experiencing the problems so that he can offer the best solution and he doesn’t seem to be doing this. So I thought I’d ask if anyone else has experienced anything similar. Or even if anyone has just had a single lens replacement and what their experiences are. Sorry for the long post and thank you, feeling really fed up

15 Replies

Hi Rosie. I know you normally post on this NRAS forum but I'm wondering if maybe you might be better off posting this on the Macular Society forum as there may be more info on there as it's relating to cataracts - just a suggestion.

Thanks I’ll give it a try, I wasn’t sure where to post so thought I’d start here 😁

I hope you get some joy on there. 🤞 x

Your problem has given me food for thought - my surgeon offered me the multi focal lense because l used to wear compensating contact lenses very successfully….but I have vertigo already……& I,m much older than you….. so I think I might thank him nicely …& when/if I do have it done….I’ll just have a regular run-of-the-mill lens.But four weeks isn’t long is it…..I do know people who have taken longer than that to get used to a regular lens..,.. let’s hope your eye settles soon.

It’s definitely worth discussing in more detail with him. The research I’ve managed to do shows it’s certainly not a common problem but it’s you have a predisposition to vertigo or other issues this should definitely be taken into account. Good luck with whatever you decide 😊

Thank you…I have been thinking about it & I honestly don’t mind wearing glasses …either long distance or reading ….so I think when the time comes I will stick with the straight forward option.I do hope you get some good news soon.

Sorry to hear about your disorientation, sorry I can't help with that but I have had both cataracts done with a mono lens, so now I wear glasses for reading. They did film over and they were lasered.

I'm wondering if the disorientation is because you are still adapting to the new lens. whether a multi lens takes longer to adjust to. Frustrating not to get an answer. Could you make an appointment with an optician to see if they might be able to help. I hope it will soon settle for you.

Thanks sunny week, I have considered ringing my optician who are very good. I’m not sure if it’s just adjusting to the new lens or maybe just having 1 eye done but it’s very annoying!!!

I have a cataract that needs doing and i have pre-op clinic this Saturday adternoon. Sorry i can't answer your question. xxxx

Rosie_rabbit profile image
Rosie_rabbit in reply to sylvi

Good luck with it Sylvi

sylvi profile image
sylvi in reply to Rosie_rabbit

Thank you darling. xxxx

I had my cataract surgery 2 years ago (aged 46) and have struggled since. It made my eyesight worse both near and distance but colour is much brighter. I struggled at the beginning with disorientation and it took me a couple of months to get used to it. It still catches me unawares sometimes if I move my head quickly or stand up to quickly. I only had my right eye done even though they offered to do the other but I'm too scared I won't be able to see a thing if I have the other done. Good luck and I hope you get used to it quickly.

Rosie_rabbit profile image
Rosie_rabbit in reply to Juliesb

Thanks Julie, did you have a multifocal lens replacement and what did your surgeon say when you reported this to him at follow ups? It really is horrible and I’m so sorry you’ve had a bad time of it. At least my distance is OK!! It’s also good to hear that you did adjust to the disorientation

Hi Rosie, I haven't had lens replacement but your disorientation sounds a bit like the "visually induced" vertigo which plagued me for many years, as no-one could explain it until I saw a neurologist who referred me to a specialist physiotherapist. Mine was helped enormously by doing a series of exercises, although it still seems to kick in a bit when I am really tired. Is it worth looking to see if you have a vertigo specialist locally? It may just be that your eyes, ears and brain need to learn to work together again

I did say to the consultant before the op … will my small brain be able to cope with just 1 lens being replaced 😂😂Yes I had seen visual vertigo being a thing, it’s just so frustrating that the consultant is so unhelpful. I’ll wait and see how things settle but certainly will consider your advice if it doesn’t after time thank you

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