Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO)

I just had cataract surgery on my right eye and next week I am scheduled to have my left eye done, but I am not seeing any better in my right eye because I have some dark tissue under the area where my cataract was.  My doctor said that my cells underneath where she performed my cataract surgery have grown over the back (posterior) of the capsule (thin membrane around my eye’s natural lens), forming a cloudy layer of scar tissue behind my lens implant, causing it to thicken and become slightly opaque (cloudy).  This means that light is less able to travel through to the retina at the back of my eye.  The vision problems caused by PCO can make it seem as though my cataract has returned, but it can be easily treated with a quick, painless, outpatient laser procedure to make my vision clear again, which is supposed to be very low risk, quick, and painless, carried out in the outpatient clinic.  Once I have had the laser treatment, PCO shouldn’t normally cause any long-term problems with my sight.

PCO is the most common complication of cataract surgery occurring in 20-50% of patients within 2 to 5 years of cataract surgery and it is often referred to as a secondary cataract, but it is really is not a cataract, as once a cataract is removed, it does not come back.  The ophthalmologist focuses the laser exactly onto the back of the lens capsule in order to cut away a small circle-shaped area.  The laser uses a wavelength of light that cannot be seen, and each laser pulse is over in a fraction of a second and this procedure should take about 5-10 minutes.

To me the worst part of this cataract surgery has been the eye shield that I have to wear at night for one week after the cataract surgery.  The tape they gave me to hold the eye shield in place is very gooey and I hate having my face feel sticky.  I have three different drops and two of them I have to use four times a day.  They gave me a check off chart to keep track of all the drops I am using, but I often miss my eye and the drops run down my face.  Sometimes I drip three drops on my face, before I can get one in my eye.  I am excited about being able to see without the use of glasses, but I will have to wait till September to schedule my PCO laser treatment as my eye needs time to heal.

On another note, I am experiencing some carpal tunnel symptoms in my right hand from being on the computer too much and my doctor told me to get a Wrist Splint to wear at night.  The splint should hold my wrist joint in a neutral position, so that my hand is less likely to bend while I am sleeping, thus relieving pressure on my median nerve.  I also ordered Dragon speech recognition software that will turn my voice into text and I figure this will allow me not to type so much, once I learn how to use it.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #72 which asks, “What is the one thing in life that you are most excited about right now? Why?”

30 thoughts on “Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO)

  1. Gosh, I remember using Dragon software back in the Nineties – it was rubbish but it was 20 years ago. I am blown away with how much Google understands today. In theory I can speak to things like Outlook, though I have never tried it. I don’t know if I can talk to Firefox/WordPress. You just prompted me to find out!

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      1. Actually it was easy and very good. It didn’t get [unctuation. On Windows 10, the Windows key plus H, if that is useful to anybody. I guess I need to say things like “comma” and “full stop”. I might try writing my next post that way.

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  2. Best of luck on completing all the necessary steps. I had RK surgery back in 1996 before laser surgery. Much to my chagrin, my eye doc told me 20 years is as long as it usually lasts. I don’t know what comes next.


      1. It is not used any more. My eyesight is getting worse. My astigmatism was so bad I had to see an eye surgeon that did eye transplants and severe cases. I had coke bottle lenses that were so thick that they always dented my nose. I have progressive trifocals right now. The glasses are stronger than they have been. I will wait and see what comes next.

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  3. Sorry the surgery didn’t fully address the problem, but it sounds like an easy fix. I can dictate into my iPhone and it will “print” my words on the screen, but I don’t use it for my blog because it usually needs a lot of editing, so it doesn’t save me much time.

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  4. Sorry to hear there were complicating factors with your cataract and sight improvement and also about the carpal tunnel. At least one sounds easy to correct. Hoping Dragon works for you.

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  5. I have bouts of iritis (an Ankylosing Spondylitis side effect) and I’m currently on hypromilose eye-drops.
    Normally I get a free eye-test once a year at the opticians in the high street but I have been referred to the eye clinic at the hospital on numerous occasions.

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