Cataract surgery for jewelers

In October I searched the archives for about cataract
surgery for jewelers, and communicated off-list with a couple of
folks (thanks Marianne and Del!) Based on the I got from
my doctors I chose the Restor multifocal lens and had them implanted
in both eyes in December.

I’m curious whether anyone else in the group has experience with this
lens–or other types of replacement lenses for that matter. I
emphasized that small shiny things are my life, but I’m wondering
whether the focusing rings of the lens are what now makes it so hard
to close a jump ring or put a silver wire into a hole.

Thanks! Ellen Crosby


Not sure that is the problem. I opted for mono-vision, left one
close, right one far. The brain adjusts, so there is no obvious
visual clue. I have been happy from the beginning. Biggest problem
is getting an Optivisor or similar offering an appropriate variable
lens. To this date, I have not resolved that.


Ellen, it iimay be possible that even with the multi focus lens you
do not have the same ability to see up close as you had before.

Hi Ellen,

My eyes are still changing. The reflective halos have almost
disappeared. I do have really disturbing “floaters” in one eye which
my ophthalmologist says is not a result of the surgical procedures.
The floaters were driving me nuts, but 2 days ago, I got one contact
lens for that eye and feel much more at ease. Will probably have
lasik for that eye to fine tune. Nothing can be done re the floaters
that is not way too risky in relation to the problem. Work is fine.
Be patient with adjustments, but ask questions!

All the best, Marianne
Marianne Hunter

Hi Teresa and all

Got new life cycle series going on with my eyes now. I now have
Cataracts as well as Macular Degeneration.

Ain’t life fun, eh?

No surgery is planned yet for the Cataracts, just can’t wait till
the time is “ripe” as the doctor says…Just bought $250.00 sunglasses
for the intense blinding sun and car lights at night.

When one of the senses are ailing, it’s really the pits. Hate driving
around the city with one eye closed…both eyes closed is not
good…:>) LOL ! Almost given up setting at the bench because of
this. Even the intense fluorescent lights are now too bright. Just
thinking of the options, ouch!


I have not had to have cataract surgery yet (my left eye is dimming

I do have years of experience with varifocal lenses.

They will not enable you to get good correction far and near. They
can work for many who never do detailed work.

I would never recommend them for those who need correction far and
want to see small details close up.

A permanent varifocal implant will probably be a disaster. I would
fix for far and wear cheap drugstore glasses for closer up. you will
need a range of these - 1 computer vision, 2 reading, 3 close up

I am near sited but my correction required for far is growing to be
much less than it was.

my correction ideas meet my eye doctor approval but I do not think
all would agree-- it is YOUR vision.


Ah, Gerald

I, too, have received the word that I have macular degeneration +
cataracts in both eyes. The thought of living in Southern California,
and, worst-case scenario, not being able to drive my car, is enough
to give me insomnia.

I plan to soldier through as well as I can but I have taken my piano
out of storage. If the eyes fail, I can still make beautiful music.



I happen to be an Optometrist that enjoys jewelry making as a hobby,
so your question is right up my alley.

The trouble you are experiencing at near may be due to several
reasons. One, you may have some residual refractive error.

Although your cataract surgeon does try to hit your RX on the money,
most folks end up needing a little correction following their
surgery. When you are trying to work on a task requiring detailed
near vision like closing jump rings, you need to have your best
corrected vision. In other words, you may need to wear glasses when
you are working. Two, the surgery corrects for everyday vision
related tasks. I really would not expect you to be able to see
something like the gaps in jump rings without some extra
magnification. In other words, I expect you to still need some
additional correction when you are jewelry making. You may just need
to pick up some low powered over the counter reading glasses, use an
optivisor, prescription readers, etc. Ask your doctor about this. He
or she can let you know what may work best for you based on the
outcome of your surgery. Third, the ReStor lens does, unfortunately,
suffer from optical aberrations especially in low light situations.
You may perceive this as glare. Using brighter lights when working on
your jewelry may help with the glare. If I can answer any questions,
please ask me! I hope my explanations made sense. :slight_smile:

Got new life cycle series going on with my eyes now. I now have
Cataracts as well as Macular Degeneration. 

Gerry, I’m so sorry to hear this! I’m sure this is true for all of
us-- these are right up there as the worst fears, short of going
blind altogether. I hope you find workable solutions. Sorry to say, I
have nothing to offer except my sincere sympathy and best hopes and

And, of course, the good news is that, anyway, it won’t kill you! ;>)


I recently had lens replacements in both eyes because of cataracts.
Previously, I had terrible vision. Distance vision has been bad since
the 4th grade. Quite a few years ago, I had to get bi-focals because
my near vision was going, then, I needed tri-focals because my middle
vision became an issue when I started using the computer more often.
The computer did not cause it, just made the deficiency noticeable. I
have seen an eye specialist for years because of a macular problem
and more recently, glaucoma. My doctor did not advise the multi-focal
lens. Her personal opinion was that they still needed improvement. At
this stage of multi-focal lens development, she felt they were too
problematic. That is just one doctors opinion though. I t will be
curious to see what other people have to say about it. With my new
lens implants, I have 20/25 distance vision, but had to buy over the
counter reading glasses to be able to see any thing up close. After
about a month of trying different strengths, I found that I needed to
get a pair of prescription eye glasses in bi-focal for close and
middle vision. They work fine for reading, computer work and jewelry
making. I can thread a needle when I am wearing the glasses and I can
otherwise get around without wearing glasses, so I’m happy.This
cataract thing is kind of a Catch 22. With my old worn out eyes, I
could squint and move in close to get a better look at something, but
with my new lenses, squinting or getting closer to your work does not
do a thing. Sometimes I wish I would have tried the multi-focal
implants, but it’s not like you can go out and get a new pair if you
don’t like them.

Linda Lankford

No surgery is planned yet for the Cataracts, just can't wait till
the time is "ripe" as the doctor says..Just bought $250.00
sunglasses for the intense blinding sun and car lights at night. 

So sorry to hear of your vision troubles. Though I’ve been out of
the field for over 15 years, I worked in the OR and outpatient
centers where we did much cataract surgery. My understanding from
those days is that your cataracts do not need to “ripen” before
surgery. That term was appropriate 40 years ago when the lens was
(hopefully) removed intact and the “ripening” allowed it to become
somewhat hardened and thus less likely to rupture during the
procedure. Now phaco-emulsification is used for the procedure. The
lens is broken up (emulsified) by ultrasonic waves and suctioned
from the capsule.

Here in the US, the deciding factor of when to operate is usually
based on the patient’s impairment in regular activities. Whoa! That’s
YOU! You report that you are daily impacted by the effects of your
cataracts - it has impacted your business as well as your comfort and
driving safety. Of course I do not know at what stage of impairment
the doctor may deem the surgery “necessary” so as to satisfy the
requirements for scheduling/coverage by Canada’s health care. Your
report to him of how much the cataracts limit/prevent your work and
daily activites should carry some weight.

Hope this helps.

I’ve had cataract surgery on both eyes, one month apart. My surgery
was at Mass General in Boston. Its a very routine procedure. Fifteen
of us showed up on the agreed date. We were escorted into a large
room with 15 big, comfortable dentist-type chairs all with curtain
partitions. I had a little IV in the arm, lots of nice chatter with
assistants and fell asleep. An hour later I woke up with a bandage
on my eye. Mass General at that time required everyone stay for two
hours after surgery, drink a glass of juice, eats a couple of
cookies, and demonstrate you can walk a straight line for ten yards.
Then, they page the driver who will take you home. Same thing a
month later. Really very routine.

Mary A

Best thing I ever had done was my cataract surgeries. Mine were 2
years apart and I couldn’t wait for the second. I opted for both
eyes corrected for my distance issue so I wear cheap readers for
close. With an optivisor it gives me better close vision than I had
when I was a young buck. My day job I work about 5 hours/day with a
binocular microscope. Couldn’t be happier with my vision now.


My story about eye surgery is similar. I had corrective surgery for
long distance vision about ten years ago… At the time they used a
scalpel to cut through two thirds of the cornea then flipped it up
and then used a laser to correct my vision. It was a bit nerve
reckoning but insurance covered it and I was going to loose all
insurance in a year so I went for it… It was the best thing I ever

My understanding from those days is that your cataracts do not need
to “ripen” before surgery.

Pam, you’re right. And nagging your ophthamologist by detailing how
inconvenient cataracts are for you, is the answer. Like so many
others have said, it is a routine operation, and the results are
wonderful. A few months later, I started to get the film which often
grows over the back of the new lens (my “silicone implants” –
teehee), but less than 15 minutes with a special laser machine fixes
that permanently.

I have always been very near-sighted – now I’m somewhat less so,
because of the lenses which were implanted. My ophthamologist did
not want to go too far and make me far-sighted, because I’m used to
being near-sighted. Apparently, gauging what “strength” lens to put
into your eye is not a very exact science.

I used to be able to focus on things very close to my eyes – once I
hit menopause (many years before the cataracts), I could no longer do
that. I have tri-focals (this works well for me, but I must use the
large eyeglass frames, not those smaller ones that are in fashion
now; this is fine for me. I always liked the big frames anyway). The
variable, no-line lenses were useless for me. Nothing is really in
focus except in a narrow segment down the middle of the lens.

What I hear of that Lasik-type surgery is that, too often, it works
well for awhile, and then things go wrong. That was my
ophthamologist’s experience on his own eyes.

Judy Bjorkman