Developing cataracts in right eye: slight cloud, new optic ideas, shoot with left eye, what is partical

tkdguy

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solution? Slight cloud in the right eye which interfers with sigting; thinking surgery is 3-5 years out. Doctor suggsted shooting with left eye, but I am right handed and right eye dominate. I do have several lever and several semi-auto but none are magnum calibers for hunting elk. The calibers are 30 30, 44 mag, 308 and 30 06. Age 72.

All of my bolt guns and my semi-autos are scoped and that helps considerably. I thought of purchasing an illuminated dot or reticle and am wondering if any one has that experience. Doctor just ordered bifocal glasses thought to help me see the front sight on a pistol or iron sights on rifle. Any ideas? Any special eye drops that are helpful?
 

bbbass

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IMO you've done really well at 72 and cataract surgery is still 3-5 out. I struggled for years until VA Choice came along and was finally able to get surgery at 63. Both eyes. Before that, my world had become very dark.

I found that scoped or dot optic was very helpful for rifle shooting, but I couldn't remaster iron sights. On shotgun, I used a really bright light pipe fiberoptic to replace the bead front sight. Until I got Mac degeneration. Then I had to use higher magnification on rifles and can't shoot clays any more... haven't even tried Upland Birds.

For pistol, I chose to start using fiberoptic front sights. Red works well at times, but I found the bright green works even better, esp in the morning. I also started to wear my reading glasses for IDPA shooting. I could see the man sized targets plenty well but fuzzy, and the front sight very clear... just like it's supposed to be. I found it less confusing or eye strain than the bifocals, just don't walk around wearing them in between stages.

When my Mac D got bad, I could not see well enough out of my right eye, dominant eye, to be competitive in pistol shooting. So I started retraining my brain to use the left eye. This works plenty well for slow fire bullseye shooting, where one has plenty of time. But I found with action pistol comp, my brain kept wanting to switch back under the fast conditions and switching targets, etc. So I started using tape, then an eye shield, then a crosshatched stick on, to block the vision in my right eye and make it easier to shoot left eye. The stick on works well, because I can still see out of both eyes well enough to have depth perception and be able to run the stage. I often switch to sunglasses in between stages rather than walk around with the crosshatch glasses on.
 
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pigiron

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I struggled with poor vision in my right eye for longer than I should have. I even stopped shooting a rifle much as I had to do so from the left shoulder. Had my cataracts taken care of when I was 70 and burn a lot more ammo nowadays.
 
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tkdguy

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Do doctors wait for the cataracts to reach a maturity level before they are removed or can they be taken out at any time? Or can they be removed prematurely and grow back?
 
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If you're 72 you're on Medicare, right? They might have some standard as to how much loss is req'd before they will pay for it. I had both eyes done in '16 and it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.
"Or can they be removed prematurely and grow back?"
They won't return after lens replacement. The replacement does not cloud up like your natural lenses do.
 
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tkdguy

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If you're 72 you're on Medicare, right? They might have some standard as to how much loss is req'd before they will pay for it. I had both eyes done in '16 and it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.
"Or can they be removed prematurely and grow back?"
They won't return after lens replacement. The replacement does not cloud up like your natural lenses do.
Med Advantage Plan. I will send letter to eye doctor at OHSU and see what she has to say and see what resources are available.
 
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Or can they be removed prematurely and grow back?
The replacement lenses won't cloud up, but it's pretty common for the back side of the pocket that it goes into to cloud up afterward. They just use a laser to zap the tissue to make a hole in it, then good as new.

Just, try and have them zap all the tissue when they cut that hole. My doctor cut a circle out and claimed it would eventually fall the the bottom of my eye and not bother me. He was wrong. To this day, it's still floating around in there, occasionally showing up in my peripheral vision.

Once you have cataracts, you have them. They won't get better, they'll just keep getting worse, although maybe you can get them to slow down a bit depending on what's causing them. You do need to have the surgery done while you can still see through that eye so they can measure the optics of your eye and determine what lens prescription to insert. Other than that, the timing is all down to you, your doctor, and your insurance company. Me, I opted to have them done as soon as I was diagnosed, instead of waiting a few years until my vision was even worse. Absolutely the right decision for me, but YMMV.
 

oldcorpgunny

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I had cataract surgery done on my right eye when I was 32 (got hit in the face with a big rock and a tree limb from a command detonated mine when I was 19.) It's in and out surgery. It will have virtually no effect on your shooting ability. I was shooting competitively before the surgery and after the surgery. In the interim, get yourself a pair of glasses with yellow lenses. It will sharpen your vision and help with the blurred vision that you might now be having. I still target shoot and I'm 73.
 
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Good discussion. I am 70 and have a "small" but growing cataract in my right eye. There is also glaucoma there. Anyway, while I am right handed, and shoot that way, I am rather left eye dominant. So far, the only problem I have seen is using my archery peep sight, in low light. May have to switch to a left-hand bow but because I can look around the cataract the guns may stay right hand as surgery appears t be a year or two out.
 

STEELE

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solution? Slight cloud in the right eye which interfers with sigting; thinking surgery is 3-5 years out. Doctor suggsted shooting with left eye, but I am right handed and right eye dominate. I do have several lever and several semi-auto but none are magnum calibers for hunting elk. The calibers are 30 30, 44 mag, 308 and 30 06. Age 72.

All of my bolt guns and my semi-autos are scoped and that helps considerably. I thought of purchasing an illuminated dot or reticle and am wondering if any one has that experience. Doctor just ordered bifocal glasses thought to help me see the front sight on a pistol or iron sights on rifle. Any ideas? Any special eye drops that are helpful?
Cataract surgery is a breeze. I had both done over a 4 week period and see perfectly. Glasses no longer needed. Don't wait. Change doctors to a specialist and be "cured."
 

bbbass

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For me, surgery depended on when I could get it approved. Not sure how much it would cost w/o insurance authorization, but that was not a good choice for me on a limited income. VA docs put me off for years by saying I had slight or moderate cataracts, then when VA Choice came I was able to see a civilian Opthamologist that said my cataracts were severe and got me approved for VA Choice to authorize surgery.

I got the distance lens and use 2 dozen diff reading glasses stashed everywhere so it's convenient. But the surgery was easy peasy! And afterwards everything looked so colorful and bright instead of dark all the time.

In the meantime, yes, reading glasses and fiberoptics for pistol sights (bifocals for EDC), and optics for rifle sights,. Light pipe if you shoot shotgun. I'm tellin ya!!!
 

ZigZagZeke

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solution? Slight cloud in the right eye which interfers with sigting; thinking surgery is 3-5 years out. Doctor suggsted shooting with left eye, but I am right handed and right eye dominate. I do have several lever and several semi-auto but none are magnum calibers for hunting elk. The calibers are 30 30, 44 mag, 308 and 30 06. Age 72.

All of my bolt guns and my semi-autos are scoped and that helps considerably. I thought of purchasing an illuminated dot or reticle and am wondering if any one has that experience. Doctor just ordered bifocal glasses thought to help me see the front sight on a pistol or iron sights on rifle. Any ideas? Any special eye drops that are helpful?
Get the surgery done NOW! It's a walk-in/walk-out procedure. The problem is not just blurry vision. It's a distinct darkening and color change. I got it done a year ago at 71. After the first eye was done I had a couple weeks to compare the results to what I started with. The untreated eye was like I was wearing dark glasses with a yellow lens. In the treated eye everything looked amazingly blue and bright. Now that I've had both eyes done for a year it looks natural to me. My vision went from R20/40-L20/50 to R20/20-L20/30. I opted for uncorrected far vision implants and reading glasses for up close. The cost doubles if you want bifocal implants.

You are awake for the surgery, just sedated (good stuff :) ). They break up the old lens and suck out the pieces through a small incision in the side of the iris area. They then slip in the rolled up implant and unroll it. The implant has your prescription ground into it. When you walk out you won't even have a bandage on your eye. In a few hours you'll start to see normally through that eye. There may be some very small debris floating around for a few days, but it eventually goes away. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I wear bifocals now mainly so that I don't have to keep putting on and taking off reading glasses, but the correction for the "far" part of the lenses is almost non-existent, just an astigmatism correction.

Go for it! You'll kick yourself for waiting.
 
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tkdguy

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Where have you folks had this work done in Portland. I have BC BS Med Advantage and generally tied into, but not entirely, the OHSU, Legacy System as well as many of the big clinics. Any big names in doctors that do this simple work?
 

ZigZagZeke

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Where have you folks had this work done in Portland. I have BC BS Med Advantage and generally tied into, but not entirely, the OHSU, Legacy System as well as many of the big clinics. Any big names in doctors that do this simple work?
I would go to your optometrist and ask for a referral to a surgeon. I had VSP through my wife's work and a Medicare Supplement plan as a secondary. I think I ended up paying a total of about $300 out of pocket. The surgeon can give you detailed costs and coverages.
 
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I forgot to add that before I had both eyes corrected driving at night was very difficult and extremely dangerous. The cataracts had gotten that bad as they very much sneak up on your. Glare. After the very quick and painless SX plus a few days resting in a darkened room using eye drops I CAN drive at night again ... if I have too. Have not done so routinely here in SW OR. Too many animals to hit.
 
Med Advantage Plan. I will send letter to eye doctor at OHSU and see what she has to say and see what resources are available.
I had Lasik 15 years ago but needed reading glasses. Took up LR shooting and just could not see very well through the scope, the front sight or the targets downrange. My Optomitrist gave me a prescription for 'driving' type lenses. Made all the difference in the world! Pain in the a$$ to change glasses at the bench but I can focus much better now. But I am sorry about the cataracts.
 

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