Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive
I have/had cataracts in both eyes. I had -6 diopter nearsightedness in each eye. I had surgery to replace the lens in the left eye and it was corrected to -2 diopters. So the bottom line is I am functioning with a 4 diopter split between the eyes. It is a challenge. I have an early stage cataract in the right eye and had hoped to delay the surgery in that eye, but the refractive difference in the two eyes makes me think I should do the right eye now. How likely am I to adapt to this "split" in correction? The lens replacement in the left eye was only three weeks ago.
This "split" in correction is known as anisometropia. In your case you have 4 diopters of anisometropia (-6D to -2D) = 4D difference. Most people cannot tolerate greater than 3D so it makes sense that you have trouble tolerating this difference. A contact lens may be worn to minimize the anisometropia as glasses will likely not be tolerated. If this cannot be achieved, I think your best option would be to plan for cataract removal in the other eye and target that eye slightly nearsighted to match the -2D eye.
Answered by: W. Barry Lee, MD
Have a question that hasn't been answered yet? Ask it!
Search for Questions & Answers
Meet Our Experts
- Your questions are answered by more than two dozen members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology who volunteer their time with EyeSmart.