Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
My prescription in both eyes is -7. After cataract removal in one eye, would I be experiencing nausea and dizziness until the other one is done? Could both be done at the same time?

Answer:
The issue you raise has to do with the opportunity to improve your myopic prescription at the time of cataract surgery when a new artificial lens is implanted. If the operated eye improved to (–) 0.5 for example, then it would be difficult to wear glasses long term with that much difference in the two prescriptions. If you already wear contact lenses, then it would work to wear the contact in the un-operated eye; you would not need the contact lens in the newly operated eye.

If you are planning to have cataract surgery in both eyes, then doing them sequentially one after the other makes sense. Many patients might choose to space them two weeks apart. This allows time for the first eye to recover, and for the ophthalmologist to assess the refractive outcome of the first eye (e.g. what is the resulting new prescription). Although it feels odd at first (and sometimes patients remove one lens from their spectacles), after a few days, the difference becomes much more tolerable. However, that is why most patients choose to have their second eye done relatively soon after the first. Your ophthalmologist can help you with this decision.

Answered by: David F. Chang, MD Dr. David F. Chang

Categories: Cataracts, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Jan 23, 2014

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