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Question:
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.

Answer:
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, MDDr. W. Barry Lee

Categories: Cataracts, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Feb 13, 2013

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