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I would never have guessed...

…that a transition from mature age to old age may be so sudden. This morning, as I went to our AMC for a renewal of my class 1 medical, my eyes refused to see the optotypes properly. A jury of three ophthalmologists studied me for over an hour and found me unfit to fly. Early stage of cataract in both eyes, operation in five weeks, reassessment three months after surgery. If nothing bad is found, I get my class 1 back. They say the surgery is trivial and the artificial lens has an unlimited service life. As a physicist by degree and an engineer by experience, I find the latter hard to believe. Does anyone have any secret knowledge on that?

Last Edited by Ultranomad at 16 Sep 15:47
LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

Ultranomad wrote:

Does anyone have any secret knowledge on that?

My mother had it done (years ago). I can only confirm what they said. The operation is routine and trivial indeed and the result usually astonishing. My mother got told after the OP “Now if you go home, DON’T START CLEANING!!” as they pretty much expected her to have a pretty hefty experience. She was quite happy with her regained vision she never realized she had lost. That was in the 1980ties.

I know several people who have had this done, most are happy.

What is needed is absolute discipline in the first 2-3 weeks after surgery (they will tell you just how long). Any strain you put onto yourself can make the lens pop out and ruin the eyes. One neighbour of mine lost an eye because of this. (he went shopping right after the op and carried a 20 lb bag home…. ) Other than that, if you listen to what they say, it should be an improvement in life. Expect to need sunglasses in places you did not need them before for a while.

LSZH, Switzerland

Ultranomad wrote:

eyes refused to see the optotypes properly

What is your each eye uncorrected vision in the scale of 20/20 ?
If you allready correct with glasses,then, does it give you better numbers?
Age,diabetes,glaucoma or any macular oedema or degeneration ?

LGGG

Ultranomad wrote:

They say the surgery is trivial and the artificial lens has an unlimited service life. As a physicist by degree and an engineer by experience, I find the latter hard to believe

Rememeber in this context, unlimited service life just means the artificial lenses have a greater service life than the remaining service life of your body…

Andreas IOM

I know someone who got both eyes done. Done privately, UK, £2.5k each eye. Top surgeon.

A very good solution. Low risk. Need to protect the eye(s) from dust and liquid spray etc for a number of weeks, so no gardening, and no washing up the dishes

The risk is proportional to the incision length; this guy does ~2mm only. The lens unrolls in-situ, like making a ship inside a bottle. The old ~5mm incisions were a lot more risky.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I had cataracts in both eyes at a young age which were removed using 1970s technology. At age 25 I had artificial lenses sewn in using a rare technique that results in the eye doctor having all his/her colleagues look at my eyes in wonder every time I go. 20 years later my vision is unchanged and the lenses remain in their original location. For normal people with modern tech the procedure takes minutes and is indeed routine with predictable outcomes. Just don’t get multifocal lenses or one near and one distant. This will disqualify you from ever holding a medical!

EHRD, Netherlands

MedFlyer wrote:

What is your each eye uncorrected vision in the scale of 20/20 ?
If you allready correct with glasses,then, does it give you better numbers?
Age,diabetes,glaucoma or any macular oedema or degeneration ?

On the day of examination, I had an uncorrected far vision of 20/35 in the dominant eye, 20/40 in the non-dominant one, 20/35 binocular. Corrected 20/25 all three.
No other pathologies of any sort, in fact quite healthy and well-preserved for my age of 56.

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

alioth wrote:

Rememeber in this context, unlimited service life just means the artificial lenses have a greater service life than the remaining service life of your body…

That much I understand, but judging by my relatives, I have all the chances to live well past 90…

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

Bummer! At least there is a simple and clear path forwards.

Does it cause you any practical short term concern not being able to fly for the next four months? ( ie you need to fly for business or something) Or is it more of a personal inconvenience and the sobering realization of age?

Antonio
LESB, Spain

dutch_flyer wrote:

Just don’t get multifocal lenses or one near and one distant. This will disqualify you from ever holding a medical!

Interesting. My mum had multifocals inserted 20 years ago and has lived happily ever after since. Why would multifocals disqualify? Distant will mean a perennial need for near glasses.

Antonio
LESB, Spain
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