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skippydiesel

Eye Sight

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Like many of my "Baby Boomer" piers I have age related diminution of my eyesight performance.

 

In my case I have been very lucky and have managed well, for about the last 15 years, with short vision spectacle correction only.

 

Recently noticed some reduction in long vision clarity, can still see the object, but is it a wedgie or a micro light?

 

Checked with my optometrist - as expected now need multifocals to deal with long distance clarity and short vision reading. Ordered the prescription specs. They do a good job but what a nuisance.

 

I thought I might explore my options -

 

I have quite a few friends/colleagues/relatives who have had prosthetic lenses inserted. Some for cataract damage others, like me, who just want to avoid the wearing of spectacles. The results have been spectacular.

 

Just returned from talking with an ophthalmic surgeon. He informed me my idea for correcting my vision is now a mature & common procedure, not limited to people loosing eyesight due to cataract or similar lens related problems. Options presented:

 

1. Laser - may work in the short term but in my case would speed the likelihood of cataract surgery (not suitable for those over 45).

 

2. Piggyback lenses - (basically small surgically implanted contact lenses) similar outcome to 1.

 

3. Multifocal prosthetic replacement lenses (both eyes) - would correct all of my eyesight problems.

 

4. Mono focal prosthetic replacement lens in one eye - would give me long vision clarity (one eye) and current uncorrected short vision other eye (still need specs for reading etc).

 

5. Mono focal prosthetic replacement lens in both eyes - would give me excellent long vision clarity and very poor short vision (need specs for reading etc).

 

No 4. would seem the way to go - That is until I mentioned I am a flyer. Apparently CASA would ground me if I opted for No.4. My surgeon informed me that: despite many approaches, by his professional body, to CASA, regarding the safety and merits of this procedure, CASA will not let you fly with No 4. (Your comments would be much appreciated).

 

So my remaining options are:

 

· Continue with the inconvenience of multifocal glasses, suitable for flying with headset, at about $1,000 + a set. Would probably have at least two sets on the go at any one time.

 

· As eyesight diminishes further repeat prescriptions every few years (many accumulated $$K).

 

· Mono focal lenses implants one or both eyes.

 

This is irreversible surgery at about $3 + K per eye. The upside is, it appears to be very safe and permanent (the prosthetic lenses will outlast me). It may in the long run be cheaper than spectacles.

I was informed that there is about a 20% dissatisfaction with the one (dominant) eye implant. This is not a failure of the lens or procedure rather the recipient's inability to adjust to the one long one short vision eye set up.

I would be very interested in your experience and comments in this area and your insights (no pun intended) to the CASA position.

 

 

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I have a very good number 5. Left eye has very close focus. Diopter 2. Had to argue with opthalmic surgeon before he would give it. Don't bother with 4, get the second eye done asap after first. I wish I didn't wait the 18 months. But I had monocular vision with contacts for 10 years so my eyes went straight to fantastic vision. It may take 6 weeks to get used to monocular vision. About 1 year for hall effect to go. Eye surgery the least painful surgy I have ever had.

 

Geoff

 

 

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Should be Halo effect, not hall effect

Yeah! took me back for a moment, until I figured you couldn't have a magnet in your eye but then I had piers when it should have been peers - All is forgiven!

 

 

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I have a very good number 5. Left eye has very close focus. Diopter 2. Had to argue with opthalmic surgeon before he would give it. Don't bother with 4, get the second eye done asap after first. I wish I didn't wait the 18 months. But I had monocular vision with contacts for 10 years so my eyes went straight to fantastic vision. It may take 6 weeks to get used to monocular vision. About 1 year for hall effect to go. Eye surgery the least painful surgy I have ever had.Geoff

Hi Geoff - so you have No 5 ? - I would have thought that No 4 would have taken quite a bit of getting used too (one eye long one eye short, so to speak) but speculated that No 5 (both equal long vision) would have taken little or no adjustment.? Perhaps I misunderstand your advice?

 

 

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I wear multi focal glasses that darken in the sun. They took quite a while to get used to but are great now. I can wear them at any time of night and day, inside and outside. I use Bose A20 headset and it works well with whatever frames I've had. Personally I would not risk surgery as the multi focals work brilliantly for me.

 

 

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I wear multi focal glasses that darken in the sun. They took quite a while to get used to but are great now. I can wear them at any time of night and day, inside and outside. I use Bose A20 headset and it works well with whatever frames I've had. Personally I would not risk surgery as the multi focals work brilliantly for me.

Hi Happy - thats great that you are happy with your choice.

 

Before making any decision to submit to the knife, I will take council from several practitioners regarding risk to general health, future eyesight, etc

 

Perhaps I should have mentioned, in my opening message, that I am also an aspiring horse endurance rider. Although there is no prohibition on the wearing of glasses in this sport, it is clearly (no pun intended) contraindicated for a number of reasons, such as rain/dirt impact on vision, potential eye damage from a fall or blow, from the horse, etc etc - probably similar concerns with many outdoor activities. So its not just flying where spectacles are inconvenient

 

 

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Sorry I misunderstood. I have long vision in right. Short in left and have a casa medical. I would rather talk on phone for more info. Let me know and I will email phone number

 

 

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You are being ripped off on your glasses cost.

 

Nothing wrong with bifocals, just get what are called the "executive lenses" which are close vision half way up, all the way across the lense. Optimise the close distance for arm's length which is where most instrument panels are. Get another set of glasses for reading. If your distance vision is Ok just get half glasses for close up instead of bifocals. You'll find you don't spend any time re-focussing when looking out and back in and vice versa. Another tip - if you fly your own aircraft, paint the instrument panel a light colour so the light contrast between in and out is not so great. The Russians do this in their military cockpits. They use a light blue/turquoise but light grey works well too.

 

I use Sunwraps for sun protection. Cheap, simple, easy to put on an off when wearing headset. Thin tinted polycarbonate that goes over the top of glasses on the INSIDE and has bits that curve around to protect from glare from the sides. No frame. Eay to replace when scratched.

 

 

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I use graduated multifocals which darken in the sun. Never had a problem with headsets. A bit expensive at around $700 but way better than the $1000 that you suggest.

 

 

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What I have is called monocular vision meaning one eye only. And only one eye is in focus at any point that you are looking, however while out of sharp focus the other eye is still collecting data and images for the brain. I see things exactly as I did when I had good vision as a youngster. People will say that as you only have one eye sharp then you don't have depth vision. Well you do, maybe not as good as when you have two good young eyes but I can still catch a ball, easily, maybe my depth vision is only 90% of what it was when I had two very good eyes but it is there. The brain uses slightly out of focus information from the second eye and gets it to nearly 100%, it sees the centre of the slightly blurry objects and uses this information. The first 3D movie I saw was a problem for the first 30 minutes, it was 2D, but all of a sudden I realised that I was seeing 3D. Now every 3D movie I see is seen in 3D, the brain remembers what to do, a truly fascinating organ . For flying I have bifocal glasses that correct both eyes so that you see the world as a non monocular person does. CASA demands that I wear glasses when flying. I have one for wearing and one for spare. Never quite understand what their problem is with "monocular vision", maybe they just don't understand.

 

I love my "monocular vision" not as good as young vision, but far far better than glasses. I am so glad that I demanded a diopter 2 in my left eye, it can see really fine detail. I just wish that I had demanded astigma correction in my right eye. I have thought of having the lens replaced.

 

If you are thinking of eye surgery for cataracts or similar I would be pleased to chat over the phone if anyone wishes.

 

Geoff

 

 

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You are being ripped off on your glasses cost.Nothing wrong with bifocals, just get what are called the "executive lenses" which are close vision half way up, all the way across the lense. Optimise the close distance for arm's length which is where most instrument panels are. Get another set of glasses for reading. If your distance vision is Ok just get half glasses for close up instead of bifocals. You'll find you don't spend any time re-focussing when looking out and back in and vice versa. Another tip - if you fly your own aircraft, paint the instrument panel a light colour so the light contrast between in and out is not so great. The Russians do this in their military cockpits. They use a light blue/turquoise but light grey works well too.

 

I use Sunwraps for sun protection. Cheap, simple, easy to put on an off when wearing headset. Thin tinted polycarbonate that goes over the top of glasses on the INSIDE and has bits that curve around to protect from glare from the sides. No frame. Eay to replace when scratched.

Hi Mike - thanks for all the information. I will talk to my optometrist about the executive lenses (they sound a bit like bifocals ?). In my case my short (about arms/computer length) vision diminished some years ago so have been reading & flying quite comfortably with 1/2 glasses, to clearly see the panel read maps/documents etc. Recently my very long distance clarity has started to blur hence, the change to multifocals.

 

The multifocal cost to me was $600 (lenses only) fitted.

 

I was having a bit of a problem finding frames that suited my face/purpose. I like thine (wire) arms, very close to the sides of my face (temples) for minimum disturbance to the headset cushions. For me the frame surrounding the lense should be thin or absent and quite large, so as to maximise lense size & minimise the need to move my head, to keep view inside lense (old fashioned wire framed glasses as per those worn by Radar in Mash). Everything I looked at was in the $600+ bracket and most were too wide for my unfortunately narrow face. Eventually found a good pair (reputable brand) at the local Charity Shop for $2.

 

The first (there will be at least one more) Opthalmic Surgeon I have consulted with, was very scathing regarding CASA's refusal to allow multi focal implants for pilots and professed not to know the reasons behind the ban - any thoughts/comments on the matter??

 

 

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Multifocal implant lens have the eye lens split into a grid that has a different focus in each. It reduces definition. My sister has it and says it's good. I prefer my solution. CASA can't handle anything different.

 

 

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I went through this last year, and suggest that you read the CASA explanatory notes. There is no problem with intra-ocular lens replacement PROVIDED that you don't opt for multi-focal or monocular corrections. In my case, I now have beautiful long vision, and need simple +1 readers for close up work. It was exactly the correction that the surgeon aimed for, and I am very pleased with the results. I had absolutely no issues with my Class 2, a letter from the surgeon providing the surgical details and outcomes was all that was required, and I actually passed the vision test without correction!

 

Go for it, you'll love the results.

 

 

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I would rather wear glasses than have any kind of non essential surgery. There is always a risk with surgery and it may be i in a thousand but do you want to be that no 1000?

 

My local optician told me I have cataracts and I was aware that I was getting slightlly fuzzy at distance. Still passing the eye tests for my licence. I went to the specialist and was thoroughly examined and she said don't have the operation yet as the risk is greater than the reward, or words to that effect, and she robbed herself of several thousand dollars.

 

 

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zennioptical.com

 

I have been buying glases from them for 7 years or so.

 

Latest pair is multi focal, transition (auto darkening), approx $100 including postage(or more, depending upon frame)

 

Load up your prescription on the website, and you're good to go.

 

Work just fine, and I can wear them all the time, inside or out - no problems flying or landing.

 

 

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Glasses won't fix cataracts - I had lost my night vision to the point where I grounded myself from night driving.

 

 

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I would rather wear glasses than have any kind of non essential surgery. There is always a risk with surgery and it may be i in a thousand but do you want to be that no 1000?My local optician told me I have cataracts and I was aware that I was getting slightlly fuzzy at distance. Still passing the eye tests for my licence. I went to the specialist and was thoroughly examined and she said don't have the operation yet as the risk is greater than the reward, or words to that effect, and she robbed herself of several thousand dollars.

Hi Yenn - I understand your position fully, however times have changed from "when I was a lad" - I share your feelings (somewhat) on this matter but really you dont have to put up with failing knees and hips any longer and dont forget time was when a person with failing eyesight got "parked".

 

I am told the Inuit used to take their infirm (mainly older) relos out onto the snow to die - not a bad philosophy in its day. Technology and philosophies change/mature and medical intervention becomes safer (perhaps not quite 100%). Our productive, happy, vigorous lives can be prolonged with the help of a little technology. These days some might even opt for a hair transplant, a "boob job" and a range of other non essential/non life saving surgeries, even I must confess to a number of teeth not fully my own (they not only keep me looking fantastic but help me masticate my food)..

 

Consider the risks you take every time you commit aviation - if you have cataracts they will progress. You will go through a prolonged period of diminishing eyesight. Cataract surgery, much less risky than flying, offers you a way to avoid this right now (think Fred Hollows). Unless you have other medical conditions that influenced your "specialists" advice, I would suggest she may wrong and you should seek at least a second and possibly a third opinion, before accepting "getting slightly fuzzy at distance" which increases yours and others risk when you fly.

 

 

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I do have glasses that counteract the cataract fuzziness slightly, but seldom use them. No doubt I will need surgery at some time, but not yet.

 

I still would not opt for surgery if it is not absolutely necessary.

 

 

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I do have glasses that counteract the cataract fuzziness slightly, but seldom use them. No doubt I will need surgery at some time, but not yet.I still would not opt for surgery if it is not absolutely necessary.

The fuzziness is a blind spot in your pupil; while you can counteract this by constantly scanning, the cataract operation is very simple; a small cut is made under light anaesthetic, the natural lense removed, and a plastic lense inserted. The base procedure is a long distance lense, so you then have 20/20 vision for long distance without the need for glasses.

 

One side effect, is that more light gets in, so you will need to use sunglasses more often.

 

Where you are both short sighted, and are beginning to have problems reading small newsprint photo-chromatic glasses are prescribed and they solve the bright sun issue.

 

They also solve the problem where you have a cataract in one eye only, the lenses being set for each eye.

 

I haven't had any experiences with the more complex lenses mentioned above, but nothing surprises me about how the human body can be trained to do things it never was meant for.

 

 

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as expected now need multifocals to deal with long distance clarity and short vision reading. Ordered the prescription specs. They do a good job but what a nuisance..

Yeah, trifocals are a bit of a nuisance. Takes awhile to get used to them, but it will happen. Many of us have adapted quite well, and now no problem. I've been flying with tri-focals for 20+ years now and don't notice them.

 

But I am talking about true tri-focals, with the three sections, not the gradually changing multifocals which I couldn't get used to.... Some manage to get used to them, but I couldn't find any advantage. For my flying glasses I request my optometrist to set the dividing line between the distance and middle range so that I can view the distance over the panel and the instruments in the mid range without tilting my head. I request reading distance to be set just right for maps on my lap. Works really well.

 

I have had prescription sunnies for flying, but now find clip-on sunnies more convenient than swapping. And can change easily from really dark shades in bright glare to orange tint for hazy conditions.

 

Doesn't need to cost anywhere near $1000. Just choose a pair with slim ear pieces so they fit best under the earpads.

 

By all means stay away from surgery except for a bad cataract, which will give brilliant results, but you'd still need the tri-focals cause that new lens can't focus.......

 

JG

 

 

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I had eye surgery for short sightedness and cataracts and to fix a skin growing over the back inside of one eye, I had to talk the surgeon into it as he said my eyesight wasn't too bad, I knew otherwise however,

 

I could not believe the result after surgery, a couple of years later and I still can't get over how good it is.

 

If you contact me I could tell you the details

 

Regards

 

Mike

 

 

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Have worn glasses for many years. First it was a pair of half frames when I only needed close-up support. Got them as Music reading glasses ( they focus a little further away than normal reading glasses) but map reading was an issue so reverted to normal half-frame reading glasses. Took some time to get used to but worked well. When my longer vision started to deteriorate I ended up getting bi-focals.Took quite a long time to adjust to them though. Not just flying, but everyday things like walking up steps or reaching for a beer (I would spill it!).However, I did adjust and now would not have anything else. Have evaluated multi focals but found they caused a tunnel vision effect which I did not want for flying. I use frames with light wire -like arms on them and do not find headset sealing a problem. My lenses have a coating on them which my optometrist tells me cuts out 90 % of UV light, however does very little for glare. I do not wear sunglasses.

 

So my suggestion would be to try the bi-focals and tolerate them for some time. If you cannot get used to them you can always consider some other option then.

 

Regards,

 

Bob

 

 

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