Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
I had cataract surgery on both eyes in the past two years. For each eye, I've developed the same problem about two months after surgery. When switching from near to far distance, a blur is present for less than a second, like a curtain opening from side to side. This is extremely annoying when driving and looking at the rearview mirror and then the road ahead. I've been checked out and all is fine. I'm 65 years old. Will this condition ever go away?

Answer:
I have not heard of this exact problem previously. It may be related to the physics of the optics of the intraocular lens (IOL) and a process of your neural adaptation to the lens. The multifocal IOL provides distance and near vision through its concentric circles of distance and near focus. This IOL does not change focus. Both the distance focus and the near focus are present on your retina all of the time. A person's brain usually adapts to the "double focus" and your brain selects which focus to ignore and which one to accept. If you think about your wrist watch, you will feel it on your wrist, but likely were totally unaware of it until I drew your attention to it. This is neural adaptation. I would expect your neural adaptation to occur within weeks to a few months of your cataract surgery. Since that has not completely occurred, I suspect your symptoms may last forever. I think you need to see your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) to determine if any other eye or IOL conditions might be accentuating your difficulty.

Answered by: Wayne Bizer, DODr. Wayne Bizer

Categories: Cataracts

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Answered: Mar 12, 2013

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