Benchwork Between & After Cataract Surgeries

I’ve a cataract in my right eye that rather quickly (inside 6 months) went from stable bleb to double vision. My left eye isn’t great either where glare comes in. I’m scheduled for cataract surgery on the first eye March 2. I’m trying to figure out what distance lenses and I’m concerned about working after and between the surgeries. I wear trifocals because of the close benchwork and computer. I’m near sighted as you can get. If my glasses were actually glass, they’d be too heavy to stay on my nose.

Advice, questions to ask before commitments are made, what do i do with my glasses in the between? I’m concerned about dust. I work for a small jewelry manufacturing company and there’s lots of polishing, ultrasonic cleaning, plating, laser welding and work at the bench. I’m kind of worried about how long it might take my eyes to get settled into a new normal. I know eventually it should all be good, but the next couple months have me worried with some of the projects I’m slated to do. I just can’t put off this surgery, I can’t see clearly right now and it makes my job very difficult.




You beat me to posting about this subject and I look forward to what others who have been there say about it as I need this surgery too. My wife recently had both eyes done in a two week period. The surgery went well and her distance vision is perfect. Up close is a temporary problem as she has to wait a bit for her eyes to settle before they will prescribe proper reading and near vision glasses. This is the vision distance where we all work and I am especially concerned that they get it right when I have my eyes done. Thanks for posting…Rob


I lost the sight in my right eye to macular degeneration and can only see vague shapes however I did have a cataract removed from my left one. As idrive I had a long distance lens put in and rely on reading glasses and optiviser for close work. Having cataracts removed means that you get a new lens so what ever lens you had before is no longer relevant. Mynew lens made distance very clear and the colours more vibrant. My problem with only one working eye is when working close I have problems gauging distance and keeping track of where my blade is sawing. I’ve learnt to get the aim of my torch day watching the glow on the soldering block and moving it to the work, initially I melted quite a lot so I went to my collage notes and work pieces and re learned again from square one after over 35years at the bench. I’m still improving but not too bad. Those who have two “new eyes” wont have this problem. Only having one has mad me a bit paranoid regarding the use of eye protection - safety goggles on at the door as I go in - optivisors and normal glasses dont give a lot of protection Please take care of your eyes.


I had both cataracts removed, two weeks apart, in November and December. Next week I have a final checkup with the surgeon and can then get new glasses, I hope. Colors are now true instead of being shades of brown. The world is much brighter as well.
Unlike most jewelers, I’m extremely far sighted. I chose to continue to wear glasses. They don’t bother me and provide some protection in the studio.
For all contemplating this surgery, get the best possible surgeon. The first surgeon that examined my eyes left me feeling like all he was interested in was to get the fanciest lenses located with the most expensive lasers (now standard and no extra cost) and charge an arm and a leg. I felt like I was dealing with a snake oil salesman.
I then went to the University of Colorado research hospital and had a very experienced doctor who had no financial interest in the outcome do the surgeries. All this after a long discussion with him on best practice and best outcome for my jewelry business. And a laser to locate the lens is standard practice, not an option. I can’t emphasize enough that you don’t have to buy the most expensive options. A good friend got the fancy astigmatism correction lenses and has had unhappy results. This is your eyes folks. Talk to at least two doctors. Check out how many surgeries they have done. Research, research.
And to answer the question about working right after. You have about 4 days after each one where you won’t want to work. You will likely have to put drops in your eye every 4 hours. It really takes a while to get settled. If you have health benefits, this should give you some time off for recovery.


I have macular degeneration for 9 years in both eyes - one wet and one dry. The wet is treated (an injection into the eye) with Eylea every 6 weeks and so far I’ve not lost vision. Cataract removal was successful as I’ve noted in another post. What I didn’t say was advice from my surgeon - when you find you have them, do not wait. Age makes a big difference in how you heal.

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I have wet in one eye and you are correct about not waiting. I was on holiday when I noticed a distortion but left it until I got home a d it was too late to have I ejection therapy so I’ve lost it hor good. There are tests hoping on in the uk for dry where the inject stem cells and once the new macular has grown the old is removed by laser. Looks hopeful. I’ve been following you for a long time on orchid back to hanoman. Take care. Xx

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When I was in my 70s I had the cataracts in both eyes removed, making the world much brighter! The only problem was getting over the amount of anaesthetic I got the first time. Otherwise, it was a short recovery period. I was very near-sighted and still am. My surgeon was loathe to put in “new” lenses that might have corrected it, because he said that people who have always been near-sighted do not react well to suddenly being far-sighted. So I wear tri-focals, and all is well. --Judy Bjorkman (who also recalls the good old Hanuman days)

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What a lot to consider! I doubt my employer wants me taking several days off after each surgery. However, if I can’t work, I can’t work.

I go for pre-op tomorrow. Loads of questions. If I feel like I’m being railroaded, I’ll put on the brakes. My eye doctor has said he has favorable feedback about the practice I’m going to. I might need to call him and get his advice. He’s been my eye doctor for 20 years and he knows well how picky I am where my sight is concerned.

Thanks for the feedback.

Had the right eye done a week ago. Color through that eye is bright and saturated again. I’m still seeing blurry and it’s like a film over my left eye (there is!). My depth of field is really messed up. I had a very hard time setting up our new DADO welder. The eyes are about 6” difference in depth of field. I’m a little concerned that my focus in the new lense is farther away than I wanted. I feel like medical people never listen to what I’m actually saying, no matter how specific I am. At least both eyes will be the same. The rest will have to be glasses and optivisor. I may end up with that on my head a lot more. I may need to get another in different magnification.

If you possibly can, get the other eye done too. It is absolute magic with both. Great colors and a remarkable uptick in vision - now 20/20, both eyes, even with AMD. It took several weeks for it to settle. I chose lenses with no correction.
judy h

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My other one is scheduled in a few days. They wait 2 weeks between eye surgeries. I had a conversation with one of the doctors yesterday about depth of focus concerns. He said when both eyes are complete, it will move closer to my eyes. I opted for near vision and will continue to need corrective lenses for distance. I will either need a bifocal or trifocal probably. I currently wear a trifocal. The new lense I have is good for the computer, I’m hoping I will only need a bifocal again.

I’m looking at good quality binocular magnifiers for bench work. I like the optivisor, but I think I could get better optics with something more high quality. I am PARTICULAR and always have complained about readers, optivisors, etc. My employer buys my optivisors, but I’m willing to purchase my own good quality magnifiers, if I decide that’s what I need. That way I can use them at my own studio bench and not just at work.

Update- So both eyes done, I’m about a week out from 2nd eye surgery. Not there with the sharp vision closer than my computer screen yet. Dr. said it will take several weeks to “land”. If it’s still not right, he said there were a few options. I’m glad he said that because the first few days, I was holding my kindle at arms length to read and even at that I had to increase font size. That was really worrying to me.

Otherwise things are certainly much brighter, especially color! Also, my distance vision is improved now I’m in the wrong prescription. I wear a trifocal and now I can see the television perfectly through that part of my glasses (about 6-8 feet away). That part of my glasses isn’t perfect for distance and driving, but is better than the upper part of my lenses.

As the swelling goes down, I’ve been able to put on a pair of readers and can see pretty well at the bench. I’m also able to use the laser welder again. I was having problems when the depth of field between the 2 eyes was so different.

I’ve been very careful about the polishing dust we have on the line. We use an excellent system from BOFA for dust collection, but even at that there is very fine lint particulate in the air. I’ve been using chemical goggles when I polish. We have enclosures with plexiglass windows, but you still find dust everywhere. I also use copious eye drops after I’m finished. My bigger problem has been trying to focus and make sure I’ve polished completely.

Certainly challenges and it’s not fast to recover from in terms of final eyesight. I’m sure it is all going to be great in the end.

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I had cataract surgery at 38 in my left eye. I went from hard to see to blind in 3 months. I had a start of a cataract in my right eye then and am just now getting to the point 10 years later of them talking about doing surgery on it. I never understood why they put a 20/40 lens in. Why not just do 20/20, maybe for you it was different. I still couldn’t see with the new lens although things were much brighter. I had other eye issues at the time. One being a stroke in my occipital lobe caused by Lupus and also finding out I had optic pappilitis from my body producing too much spinal fluid and building pressure in my brain. I have been wearing bifocals since the surgery with the best correction they can get they tell me. I am far sighted so I depend on my glasses for everything. Thankful for optivisors for sure or I wouldn’t be able to do anything with my jewelry.
I surely hope your eyes heal great for you.

Well eyes are healed, but my focal distance is not at all where I wanted it to be. If I worked on big stuff in my lap or on the computer all day, I’d be fine. I work at chest level as you all know. I need to see smaller things. I’ve been told of several surgical options- surgery to put in a different lense, surgery to put in a “piggy back” lense on top of the current, lasik. No guarantees with any. Alternatives are use glasses (that means 2 pair), which is NOT working at all or get contacts and then have my one pair for distance.

I’m not happy although colors are brighter and overall vision is greatly improved. I’ve been using the mid-range on my trifocal for distance. It’s blurry, but not as bad as the distance portion. I know the 2 glasses thing is not working for me. I am going to try contacts, but don’t like wearing them in the studio due to the dry air, dust, etc. If none of that works I will look further into surgical corrections. I have to go to a specialist and risks for a second surgery are higher.

(Add this to severe pain in my back and leg due to a fall and I am generally disgruntled about it all!) Other than that, life is good. :wink:


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I had long distance lens pit in for driving etc and wear reading glasses however i don’t wear my glasses with my optisior as it becomes blured at normal working distance or I have to put the work too close. I found it was wearing both was my problem. Hope you get it sorted soon.

Hello Ruthannie,
I’m sorry that I missed your original post, but I hope my answer will be helpful to others. I have been extremely nearsighted all my life, and have worn glasses for distance as long as I can remember. I have always valued my great closeup vision because I really didn’t need any magnification for closeup work. When the time came to have cataract surgery I joined a few online forums to see what people had to say about the surgery and in particular to see if folks were happy with the more expensive “accommodating lenses”. These were the lenses my ophthalmologist was suggesting and were supposed to help you see at different focal lengths. But I couldn’t find any positive comments about them in the forums. I did take into consideration that most folks don’t post unless they’ve had a bad outcome. The next thing I did was try out mono vision using contact lenses (one eye set for close up and one eye set for distance). This gave me a approximation of what my vision would be with cataract surgery. I found my acuity of vision wasn’t great with this solution. So, I went with what I was familiar with. I had my non-dominant eye set for closeup vision and my dominant eye set for medium closeup. This was an improvement over my natural vision, but still gave me excellent closeup vision. I still wear my glasses for distance and glasses with an optivisor for extreme closeup work. It’s a solution that worked out well for me and I’m happy with the results.

My surgeon and eye doctor warned against multi-focal lenses due to the lack of acuity. So at this point if I want a different focal distance I will have to have surgery again with no guarantees of any better outcome. Wearing glasses for near is not an option as I’ve been doing that for weeks and find it very annoying and frustrating. Bifocals don’t work well at the bench, the field of view is too small. Unless I go for surgery, my only other option is contacts. I can’t function the way I am. I can’t even see well enough to trim my fingernails, let alone do any work. I tried to put the cap back on the G-S Hypo yesterday and had to hand it to someone else! That’s just unacceptable.

Hi Dianne,
What are the focal distances in inches for “closeup” and “medium closeup” lenses? How did you decide that your dominant eye would get the medium closeup lens and why two different focal distances instead of closeup in both eyes?

How was this an improvement over your natural vision? Better depth of field perception? Increased crispness? Better color perception? Better vision in different lighting situations? No halos or glare issues? Any clarifications/explanations would be greatly appreciated. Best, Donna

My non dominant eye can read very small print on bottles at between 6-8 inches,
My dominant eye was set to see a computer screen while sitting at a normal working distance. The suggestion for which eye should be set at a particular distance came from my ophthalmologist.

The vision improvements after surgery felt miraculous! In my previous life (pre-jewelry) I was a film editor. Visual acuity was essential for my job. The cataracts had created a yellow haze, making it very difficult to color correct anything I was working on. After surgery colors became bright and vivid, no more yellow haze. Details were also sharper. For me and my job at the time it was a real game changer. Please keep in mind that my dramatic change might be because I had waited a little too long to have the surgery. The most helpful thing for me was asking my eye doctor to help me simulate some of the vision options that were available using contact lenses.This didn’t clear up the hazy vision, but it did help me decide between getting 20/20 vision for both eyes versus mono vision (one eye close-up, one eye for distance). Test driving these options helped me land on keeping what I was most familiar with, being nearsighted with glasses for distance. There was nothing new to adapt to, and honestly it would have made me nuts to be constantly putting on and taking off glasses for reading and closeup work. The one thing that did not improve for me was halos around headlights at night. Please let me know if I didn’t answer all your questions to your satisfaction. It a very big decision. I’m happy to share my experience.


Update: Both my eye surgeon and eye doctor recommended against different lenses in each eye. I tend to get my glasses prescription tweaked often since I must be very picky. My eye doctor says me and his patients who are engineers are the fussy ones. Anyway since the lense I was given is for reading a book or magazine in my lap, I’ve had to adapt. It’s been very frustrating since NO ONE listened to me when I showed where my focal depth needed to be.

So, a bit more than one year out from the surgery and I’ve adapted to some degree. I had to have the YAG Laser Capsulotomy done on both eyes this year. My astigmatism requires glasses no matter what so I continue to wear a trifocal.

At the bench, my optivisor is essential for just about every task. I have 2 with different powers. I’ve worn the optivisor more and more over the years anyway, but now I have to have it for almost anything. At the lathe, my glasses are off which is more comfortable with the safety glasses anyway and I’ve done that for years. The difference is that I have to have the optivisor to inspect anything. Formerly I could see detail naked eye.

One of the most frustrating things about an IOL is that it doesn’t flex and focus so the depth of field is very shallow. You loose a LOT of flexibility in your vision when you have the cataract surgery. This would be true no matter what configuration of lense you have.

Your eyes will never be the same, just like my artificial knee joints aren’t at flexible or forgiving of certain things compared to a natural joint. I guess it’s the price of getting older. My diabetes, though well controlled, certainly played a role in the cataract formation. I started have them at about 55, which is somewhat young. My A1C has been below 7 since I was diagnosed and below 6 for the past 4 years. Even so diabetes affects your body no matter how good your control is.

I’ve adapted, as we all do, I can do my job. I get frustrated at times, but so it goes.


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