On Wednesday my optician said that sooner or later I will need a cataract operation. It's not imminent, but he said I should have yearly inspections from now on so that he can keep an eye (!) on the rate of deterioration. Unfortunately it didn't occur to me at the time to ask the optician so ............ how long after a cataract operation do you normally have to wait before you can drive again?
I've had both eyes done. The last was 1991 but from memory I had to wait till a post-op checkup some 6 weeks later. The surgeon gave the ok but nowadays may be obliged to inform DVLA, or give a signed form for you to inform them and your insurer will want to know too.
(1) If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road while his eyesight is such (whether through a defect which cannot be or one which is not for the time being sufficiently corrected) that he cannot comply with any requirement as to eyesight prescribed under this Part of this Act for the purposes of tests of competence to drive, he is guilty of an offence.
(2) A constable having reason to suspect that a person driving a motor vehicle may be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above may require him to submit to a test for the purpose of ascertaining whether, using no other means of correction than he used at the time of driving, he can comply with the requirement concerned.
My father went back to driving at night after his were done.
Thanks Mapmaker, I feel a lot better for knowing that. I guess that, as an interim measure until the second eye has been done, I would either have to take the lens out of the appropriate side of my glasses or have a clear lens fitted.
SWMBO had both her eyes treated last year (in France) and the OK was given at a check-up three weeks after the second op.
She only waited three weeks between ops but felt so disorientated at the time by having one eye right and one not that she didn't even consider driving.
When in the UK she was given the 'come back every year and we'll operate when it's bad enough' spiel; the specialist here asked why she had waited so long. I guess that means if anyone is worried enough they should push for action sooner rather than later.
I had one eye done 3 years ago (and was safe to drive 2 days later) the other eye was done 4 months after the first . I have had slight laser treatment to both eyes since the original operations to eradicate membranes that sometime grow over the new lenses. I hardly felt a thing at any of the treatments, believe me its a lot lot worse having to go to the dentist. Before I had the treatment I was down to the legal limit to be allowed to drive (25 yards to read a number plate) 30 of my paces now, I can read a number plate out at between 60/70 paces (50 yards or more) without spectacles. Not bad for a 75 year old. You can say I am over the moon.
look on the visual disorders page, it is quite technical, but in essence once your eyesight (corrected or uncorrected) returns to the required standard you are okay to drive.
If you are only have one eye done, and your remaining eye meets the required standard you could be okay straightaway, however you need to allow for some disorientation, and I wouldn't recommend driving for a day or two after this kind of surgery as I think you need to allow your body time to recover.
Nowadays cataract extraction is a fairly straightforward procedure, although like all surgery it is not without risks. It is usually done under local aneasthesia as a day case. The most usual technique is known as phakoemulsification. A 2mm incision is made at the edge of the cornea, a probe is entered to cut up and aspirate the lens, and a folding replacement lens (known as an intra-ocular lens) is insterted and folded out and put into position, much like putting a ship in a bottle.
Modern surgical techniques and intra-ocular lens developments mean most people have good uncorrected vision quite soon after surgery.
As you don't have a permanent medical condition, I can't see that you would have to notify DVLA or your insurance company anymore than you would if you became shortsighted and were prescribed spectacles to correct the problem - but I would stand to be corrected on that if someone knew differently.
Thanks Chuffer. It's starting to sound so good I'm almost (but not totally!) looking forward to eventually needing it done. I know already that some surgeons use painless eyedrops intead of a painful injection for a local anaesthetic.
Just recentlly had my left eye seen to. Was given ok to drive at final check (21days after)
Now just waiting till 04/08 to have right eye done. Am currently using old spectacles with left lense removed. No real problems. Looking forward to not wearing any specs at all by mid Sept.
You'll be chuffed to little meat balls when you have had the op.
I had both my eyes done, here in Spain, at The Hospital Costa del Sol (Marbella - Andalucian Health Service, NOT private) - reputedly the home of the best ophthalmic team in Spain - it's the lifestyle which attracts good medicos here!
The waiting time was short, the pre-op preparation was exactly the same as for a major operation, (ECG, X Rays, blood test etc!). The operations (a year apart) were absolutely painless and faultless. I was driving again after the check up, which was the next day!
I can only say how delighted I am to have eyesight 20/20 for distance, with only a cheap pair of Boots Opticians glasses needed for reading!
Do remember, though, that you will need to protect your eyes with good quality sunglasses as there's nothing worse than sunshine for degrading plastic, which is what your new lenses are!
Go for it, sooner rather than later, if you can!
I went to Specsavers for some new spectacles and was surprised to learn that I had a cataract on my left eye,they notified my doctor who arranged for me to visit my local Eye infirmary in Sunderland which I believe is a centre of excellence for this kind of operation.
I visited them for an asessment where both eyes were examined and numerous drops were put into both eyes and I was advised not to drive for 24 hours.
I was fortunate to get a cancellation and had the operation 2 weeks later. My appointment was at 2.00pm I left home at 1.45 and was back home at 2.55 and was able to drive the following day. The whole experience was first class,completely painless and a big success I hope you have the same experience that I had.