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One eye surgery but 2 eyes needed

johnjosef
johnjosef Member Posts: 8 Connected

Hi

I am booked in for cataract surgery, but they are only doing one eye at the moment and the other one can take up to 12 to 18 months to get done.

I am very worried about this as i live extremely rural, doctors 30miles away, nearest hospital 60miles nearest large supermarket 50 miles, also a carer and have other health conditions which make me immunosuppressed. So driving is very important to me.

I heard horror stories about people not being able to see properly or even drive with one eye done and one not, apparently the brain rejects it even if you get prescription glasses from the optician. i covered one eye up and i would not be able to drive just with one eye and i kept on bumping into things.

Any opinions or experiences would be appreciated.


Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,344 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    I am blind in one eye I don't drive now but that's because my other eye is severely vision impaired ad well 

    You can drive with sight in only one eye and this is allowed by dvla as long as you have sufficient sight to pass the vision tests 

    Hopefully the surgery will help at least one eye 

    As far as I know they do only treat one eye at a time as normal practice 

    I am hoping to have cataract surgery too in the future once other treatments are completed 

    Once you have had one eye done book for vision test 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,295 Disability Gamechanger
    One eye at a time is absolutely normal practice unless an emergency arises.

    Whilst you will be impaired to some degree by having one eye repaired before the other you cannot assume you will lose all depth perception etc. That is one of the great myths around vision.

    If you are unable to drive you will be advised accordingly by the medical profession and can ask in advance anyway.  
  • johnjosef
    johnjosef Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Sadly not driving can not be an option, there used to be only a delay of 2 months which is fine, but at the moment it looks 12 to 18 months, i would need guarantees otherwise no go with op. i can not cope with monovision and tried that.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,295 Disability Gamechanger
    Covering one eye up tells you literally nothing about the experience of using one eye. 

    Otherwise, whilst I’m sure we all hear what you’re saying, the reality here is that your sight even post surgery may not be what you wish it to be so I’d be thinking carefully about whether your current location is sustainable.
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,298 Pioneering
    johnjosef said:
    Sadly not driving can not be an option, there used to be only a delay of 2 months which is fine, but at the moment it looks 12 to 18 months, i would need guarantees otherwise no go with op. i can not cope with monovision and tried that.
    Do you mean guarantees that you will be able to drive or guarantee that the second eye will be done quickly? 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,344 Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately there are no guarantees with any surgery including eye surgery 

    If you dont have it done it could affect your ability to drive anyway long term 

    As before being blind in one eye doesn't always stop you driving and I presume you have vision in both eyes? 

    You adjust very quickly to  hanges thrown at you 
  • johnjosef
    johnjosef Member Posts: 8 Connected
    MarkM88 said:
    johnjosef said:
    Sadly not driving can not be an option, there used to be only a delay of 2 months which is fine, but at the moment it looks 12 to 18 months, i would need guarantees otherwise no go with op. i can not cope with monovision and tried that.
    Do you mean guarantees that you will be able to drive or guarantee that the second eye will be done quickly? 
    No opinion from people who have experience or an optician who can reassure that with correcting glasses eg special prescription the impact will be very small and it is possible otherwise i got to wait until waiting times for 2 eyes are back to maximum 4 months.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,295 Disability Gamechanger
    What makes you think posters have “no experience”. At least two posters on this thread with visual impairments. I certainly have direct experience of eye surgery and direct knowledge of cataract surgery. The reality is that no experience is going to help you directly. There is simply no guarantee your first surgery will work or that your second will or what your vision will be like in the interim. 
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,298 Pioneering
    johnjosef said:
    No opinion from people who have experience or an optician who can reassure that with correcting glasses eg special prescription the impact will be very small and it is possible otherwise i got to wait until waiting times for 2 eyes are back to maximum 4 months.
    There is never going to be a guarantee though. Even when waiting times between each eye reduce. Your second operation could get cancelled and delayed and therefore increase the waiting time further. It’s the NHS. There will be priorities and emergencies to deal with. Never going to get a guarantee on time I’m afraid. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,344 Disability Gamechanger
    As I said I do have personal experience of vision impairment 

    You could consider going private 

    Nobody can give you any guarantees speak to your specialist about recovery times and your concerns over driving 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 796

    Scope community team

    Hi @johnjosef it's understandable you're feeling anxious, driving is a great boost to a person's independence, and a great support for day to day life too. A lot of people feel quite helpless when that might be at risk. When is your cataract surgery booked in for?

    Perhaps you could have a chat with your GP about your concerns, and run through potential options for some extra support, if that would help you feel better? As our members have advised, nothing can be guaranteed one way or the other, and you should be able to book a vision test to find out whether driving would be safe moving forward. 

    You mention you're a carer? Can I ask, do you have any support in taking up that role? Do let us know if you think we could offer any additional support, and keep us updated with how the surgery goes. We wish you all the best for it, and hopefully not too long a wait for the second eye as well!

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • johnjosef
    johnjosef Member Posts: 8 Connected
    What makes you think posters have “no experience”. At least two posters on this thread with visual impairments. I certainly have direct experience of eye surgery and direct knowledge of cataract surgery. The reality is that no experience is going to help you directly. There is simply no guarantee your first surgery will work or that your second will or what your vision will be like in the interim. 
    Sadly you misunderstood me, you have not given any wisdom of your experience, have you? you have not said things like, o i went to the option after i had my first i surgery they then give me a new set of glasses that corrected my imbalance so i could drive and live again without any great problems? or did they give you contact lens for unoperated eye??? So no real experience passed on by you.
    And the lady who is partially blind, who i feel for, has lived with it by the sound of it for all of her life, me i just get very tired and dizzy with eye problems.

  • johnjosef
    johnjosef Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Hi @johnjosef it's understandable you're feeling anxious, driving is a great boost to a person's independence, and a great support for day to day life too. A lot of people feel quite helpless when that might be at risk. When is your cataract surgery booked in for?

    Perhaps you could have a chat with your GP about your concerns, and run through potential options for some extra support, if that would help you feel better? As our members have advised, nothing can be guaranteed one way or the other, and you should be able to book a vision test to find out whether driving would be safe moving forward. 

    You mention you're a carer? Can I ask, do you have any support in taking up that role? Do let us know if you think we could offer any additional support, and keep us updated with how the surgery goes. We wish you all the best for it, and hopefully not too long a wait for the second eye as well!

    Alex
    Hi
    I am not looking for guarantees re the op, but after the one eye operation, nobody is saying how they coped with one eye good and one bad, nobody is saying the An optometrist can and has successfully fixed their eye imbalance with glasses or contact lenses until the next operation.I have Crohn's disease and Ankylosing Spondylitis, those cause eye problems as well and stress causes flares, so i just need concrete advice of experiences or from an 
    optometrist and have my wife to consider who i care for and who rejects any other carer



  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,295 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2021
    One of the perils of having a VI is that it’s incredibly easy to misunderstand what’s been said or written. Your post comes across as rude. Hopefully that was not the intent. I certainly haven’t misunderstood anything you’ve posted. Not at all. You’ve been very clear what the issue is.

    I suggest you go back to the top pf this thread and read it at your own pace as best you can. Plenty of experience here but our experience is that there is nothing we can say to help. That seems logical to me. 

    No-one can say what the outcome of your first surgery will be. No-one can say whether or not you will be able to see clearer let alone drive. Similarly no-one can predict the outcome of any subsequent surgery. The reality is you may be able to drive after one or both or… you may never drive again. You now need to start planning for both outcomes. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,344 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi again 

    I have not lived with vision impairment for long 

    I lost sight in one eye 2 years ago and just the year before lost my leg 

    The sight in my other eye has deteriorated in the last 2 years and last year I surrender my driving licence 

    I would still be driving if I had good vision in 1 eye 

    My mum had cataract surgery in both eyes and her vision was not affected significantly post op 

    It all depends how much your vision is affected by the cataract pre op as well if your sight is good enough to drive now

    I am not aware of any glasses or lens for post op that's something you should discuss with your ophthalmologist 

    You may also get some good advice from social services sensory team who support people to manage and live with visual impairment 

    Personally I havent any knowledge of people i know not being able to drive while waiting for 2nd eye surgery but I'm not saying that wouldn't be a possibility 

    Have you considered going private when I research it was pretty expensive around 2.5k per eye 

    I know you are trying to find other people's experiences and hope others can help as I know other members who have had this 

    Good luck as my experience doesn't appear to be helping I won't comment further 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,295 Disability Gamechanger
    A relative had surgery on first and was able to drive. Another relative had the sane surgery in the same month in the same hospital and was unable to drive. You gain little from knowing that both are possible. 

    I’m not sure I see any advantage in going private. You could theoretically persuade them to do the surgeries closer together but that’s unlikely as they know the risks and they certainly won’t do it if the practical consequence is that you’re left with no usable vision at all for a period. 
  • johnjosef
    johnjosef Member Posts: 8 Connected
    One of the perils of having a VI is that it’s incredibly easy to misunderstand what’s been said or written. Your post comes across as rude. Hopefully that was not the intent. I certainly haven’t misunderstood anything you’ve posted. Not at all. You’ve been very clear what the issue is.

    I suggest you go back to the top pf this thread and read it at your own pace as best you can. Plenty of experience here but our experience is that there is nothing we can say to help. That seems logical to me. 

    No-one can say what the outcome of your first surgery will be. No-one can say whether or not you will be able to see clearer let alone drive. Similarly no-one can predict the outcome of any subsequent surgery. The reality is you may be able to drive after one or both or… you may never drive again. You now need to start planning for both outcomes. 
    Sorry, you are rude and blunt you still have not answered this just repeating your self you have not said things like, o i went to the option after i had my first i surgery they then give me a new set of glasses that corrected my imbalance so i could drive and live again without any great problems? or did they give you contact lens for unoperated eye??? just a waist of time you are
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,295 Disability Gamechanger
    I don’t drive so it’s not something I can comment on but I have given you two examples which illustrate why your question is pointless. It has been pointed out to you that covering one eye tells you nothing about your vision with one eye and the reality remains that everyone’s experience is different. That remains true of my lag surgery. Nothing anyone told me in advance could have prepared me for the pain and no-ones description of the experience matched mine, which was compleyeky different.

    I make no apologies for being blunt. This is a black and white issue. You have asked a question that no-one can answer. I certainly won’t apologies for being rude as I see no evidence that I have been. 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,363

    Scope community team

    This is clearly an emotional and worrying time for @johnjosef. While logically we all know every case is different and the experience and outcome of one person won't be the same as another, many people like reading about other people's experiences and that's often the reason people join communities and online forums. 

    @johnjosef, I haven't personally had cataract surgery but two of my close family have and both had very different outcomes. 
    One had the first eye done nearly two years ago and sadly complications have meant they still can't drive and aren't able to have the second done yet. The other had similar fears to your own but recovered very quickly and was able to drive with just one eye done and had the second eye done 10 months later and recovered quickly that time too. 

    If you're able to drive at the moment, what makes you worry you won't be once you've had one eye done? Have you spoken about your fears and were they able to give you any advice at all? 
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