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Eye and Vision Care

Vitrectomy and Scleral Buckle/Dilated Eye

12/11/2009

Question:

My husband had the surgery on 9/21/09. The doctor told him to stop taking the prednisolone about 2 weeks ago. His eye is still dilated. Is this normal? Also, it seems that his vision is reversed now. His reading glasses he now uses to see distance and his other glasses he needs to see close. It is very hard to find an answer to these surgeries online.

Answer:

I obviously cannot give any specific explanations since I have not examined your husband. But, I would say that in general, the effects of all surgical dilating drops would have worn off by now; so it is possible that his dilated pupil is a permanent result from the surgery. This can happen when iris nerves and muscles are traumatized during intraocular surgical procedures.

As far as his change in focus is concerned, it is common for the length of the eyeball to change slightly following a retinal procedure. This change may only be a fraction of a millimeter; but it is enough to change the eye's natural (ie, pre-surgical) focusing ability. When an eyeball gets longer, it becomes less hyperopic (farsighted) or more myopic (nearsighted). This probably explains why his previous reading glasses now work better for his distance vision.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University