Here's lookin at you, kid... sort of

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D Lewis
D Lewis Member Posts: 1,581 Member
Ah, radiation and chemo; the gifts that keep on giving. My ophthalmologist told me Friday that I have 'radiation-induced' cataracts...

After a peek at the eyes, he noted that my cancer had most likely been base-of-tongue (correct) and he was seeing the result of radiation scatter. I was a stage 4, with multiple lymph node involvement on both sides of my neck, so I can imagine the radiation was scattered just about everywhere.

A pre-existing medical condition with my eyes makes me a 'high risk' cataract-surgery patient, so his recommendation is that we wait for six months before taking any action. That is, unless it gets really bad before then. Not sure what that means. And, how does one know what to look for, if one already isn't seeing all that clearly?

On a more positive note, he told me that he could substantially improve my dry-eyes issue by inserting little plugs into my 'eye drains.' This apparently, will allow tears to remain in my eyes longer, rather than draining out throught the bottom.

I'll be going ahead with that one next week. Anyone else have this done?

Deb

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  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    I can see you
    Hi Deb,

    I am glad you are doing well but sorry about the cataract problem. I am also stage IVa with both sides of my neck treated (even though only the left side had cancer). Hopefully, unintended parts of me did not receive to much scatter radiation.

    My wife had the plugs when she was preparing for laser eye surgery (to get rid of contacts). No big deal (I am guessing).

    Best,

    Matt
  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
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    cataracts....and dry eyes
    Deb,
    I know that if you get the surgery too soon that it causes complications. They have to wait until a certain portion is covered (eye) before they do the procedure. Eye plugs hunh ? Never heard of those...I use plain eye drops (oc) and seem to work well. Also rads. really do a number on our bodies. Good luck, keep us posted. Katie
  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103
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    Sorry to hear
    Sorry to hear about the gift that keeps on giving but thank you for posting. I have been having horrible vision problems for the last few weeks, getting a little nervous. Had seen my eye doctor in June and new glasses in July, problems started about a month after the new glasses. I have some appointments in the next week for other gifts, peridontal tooth extraction on Friday and hearing test on Monday--two weeks for the eye doctor. I should have been done with this in July but doctors had cancelled appointments, now I get to plan for subs.

    BTW, did you stay up in Sonora for the appt. or go down to the big town?
  • D Lewis
    D Lewis Member Posts: 1,581 Member
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    KTeacher said:

    Sorry to hear
    Sorry to hear about the gift that keeps on giving but thank you for posting. I have been having horrible vision problems for the last few weeks, getting a little nervous. Had seen my eye doctor in June and new glasses in July, problems started about a month after the new glasses. I have some appointments in the next week for other gifts, peridontal tooth extraction on Friday and hearing test on Monday--two weeks for the eye doctor. I should have been done with this in July but doctors had cancelled appointments, now I get to plan for subs.

    BTW, did you stay up in Sonora for the appt. or go down to the big town?

    KT so sorry to hear of your issues
    Bummer. Sounds like we're heading down the same path. I was able to see a very good Board certified Ophthalmologist up here - he's part of the Adventist Health System and our kids actually went to school together.

    Deb
  • George_Baltimore
    George_Baltimore Member Posts: 303
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    D Lewis said:

    KT so sorry to hear of your issues
    Bummer. Sounds like we're heading down the same path. I was able to see a very good Board certified Ophthalmologist up here - he's part of the Adventist Health System and our kids actually went to school together.

    Deb

    Hhhmmmm
    I had cataract surgery the next year after my cancer treatments. I was never told there could be a correlation between the two. I was scared to death about somebody coming at my eyes with a scalpel. I am SO glad I had the surgery. I went from wearing glasses to not needing them. Two days ago, I had an eye exam so I could renew my driver's license by mail. I passed with flying colors still not needing glasses. Thank God for lens implants.
  • Pam M
    Pam M Member Posts: 2,196
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    Bleep
    I had never heard of radiation-induced cataracts. I'm sorry that you have now.

    I have no experience with eye plugs, but have heard good things.

    What is the doc hoping will happen in the next six months? I'm sure you must be frightened and frustrated - hate that you've got this flavor icing on your cancer cake.
  • Greend
    Greend Member Posts: 678
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    Cataracts
    I'm having right eye surgery on Oct 4th. HMMMMMMMM Didn't have anything else to do that day so I may as well go back to a hospital. :>)
  • D Lewis
    D Lewis Member Posts: 1,581 Member
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    Greend said:

    Cataracts
    I'm having right eye surgery on Oct 4th. HMMMMMMMM Didn't have anything else to do that day so I may as well go back to a hospital. :>)

    Hey Greend
    Let me know how the eye surgery turns out for you. I have unstable retinas, hence the doctor's concerns.

    Deb (with plugs impending)
  • hawk711
    hawk711 Member Posts: 566
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    D Lewis said:

    Hey Greend
    Let me know how the eye surgery turns out for you. I have unstable retinas, hence the doctor's concerns.

    Deb (with plugs impending)

    Hey Deb
    I had to have eye surgery for a torm retina right when I was ending treatment. Dr said it probably tore from the pressure of my vomiting so much during Chemo and rads. Nice thought don't you think?
    Anyway, I also have tons of "floaties" in both eyes. Never had them before rads so I'm calling foul on the rads. I think they cause alot of eye problems for us H&N people. I'm not a dr. but I have heard many stories to show that it is more than coincidence.
    good luck
    Steve
  • Greend
    Greend Member Posts: 678
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    D Lewis said:

    Hey Greend
    Let me know how the eye surgery turns out for you. I have unstable retinas, hence the doctor's concerns.

    Deb (with plugs impending)

    Will do
    I will let you know but don't anticipate (fingers crossed and knock on wood) any problems.

    Denny