Four wheel drive adventure in the Sahara Desert, Mauritania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Chinguetti, Mauritania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to Morocco on January 31st.

Friday, December 18, 2020

The eye doctor visit didn't go exactly as planned...

Yesterday morning we had our eye doctor appointments here in Antalya. 

Turkey is known as one of the cheaper places in the world to have corrective eye surgery performed. They even have a (normally) booming medical tourism industry related to that fact. But in trying to research it, I had a really difficult time coming up with actual prices. We figured that since we are already here, we would look into doing away with our glasses!

The eye hospital we chose is the Dünyagöz clinic. They are a complete hospital facility for anything related to your vision.

Our appointment was at 10:00am. It was only a 4.5 km (2.8 mile) walk and it was a beautiful day so we set out just after 9:00am.

This is the place.

At reception, we were asked for our passports and then paid 807 lira ($133 CAD, $105 USD) each for the exam.

This was more than I thought it was going to be, but only because I had read reports online that it was less. I admit that I did not ask when we made the appointment how much it was going to cost. They did explain that the cost of the exam was deducted from the surgery cost if we decided to go ahead with it.

We were then brought to another level where they performed a variety of tests. It was definitely a more detailed exam than any eye exam we have had when being tested for glasses. Lots of high tech equipment, and full color computer printouts.

These tests were all done by assistants. Then the surgeon himself did some more tests.

Ruth, getting tested by the eye surgeon.

Then they put some drops in to enlarge the pupil, and did some more tests.

Then we sat with the surgeon in a conference room and he explained the problems with our eyes. All very detailed, and showing us with models and everything. 

Here's the short version... the eye prescription I had done a year and a half ago hasn't changed. That is good news. But laser surgery can only correct the near vision problem. I would still need glasses for distance. Or, they could correct the distance, but I would still need glasses for reading and computer work. The only way to totally get rid of the glasses is with Intraocular Lens Replacement surgery using multifocal lenses.

With Ruth, she has the beginnings of cataracts. He said this is normal for a lot of people our age, and it won't be a problem for many years. But, she has the same problem as I do with regards to the vision itself. The only fix is the same as for me.

Then we were brought to the lady who deals with costs and scheduling.

The surgery we need in order to totally get rid of glasses is the most expensive one to perform. It's the exact same surgery that people have done for cataracts, but with the most expensive lenses. Most people who have cataract surgery done have it done with the cheaper monofocus lenses.

It was going to cost 30,000 lira ($5,000 CAD, $3,900 USD) per person for both eyes.

Once again, this is more than I thought it was going to be. We were prepared to spend a maximum of $3,000 CAD each, but not $5,000. We simply can't justify it.

So while the entire experience was interesting and we learned a lot, we are not going to get it done at this time. We will continue to live with glasses. Too bad it cost $266 to learn this, but at least we will not be spending the $3,000 each either! And given that we have an expensive three months ahead of us in the first place, it's probably for the best.

(Edit: Tune in tomorrow to read an interesting twist to this story!)

Good thing I didn't drive to the appointment... we walked outside and were blinded by the sunlight. The drops that had opened our pupils really did a number. It was actually difficult to walk, even in the shade! No way would I have been able to drive. 

Somehow, we made our way to the weekly market and bought our fruits and veggies.

Buying some greenery.

We ended up walking 12 kms (7.4 miles) yesterday.

We have now walked 404.7 kms (250.9 miles) since we arrived in Turkey October 13th.

Another beautiful day today... we are headed out for a walk at the Antalya waterfront.

Nice price drop on this Hamilton Beach Food Processor

And in Canada...


  1. I had lasik eye surgery in my early 40's and have been happy with the results. I was near sighted and need glasses for distance vision and did not need reading glasses at the time. After surgery I had good distance vision and could see reasonably well close up if the light was good. Now at age 60, I do use reading glasses for computer work, but I don't mind. When we are outside I always wear sunglasses with a very minor distance enhancement. The big thing that I noticed, is that my low light vision is not as good and I am not as confident or don't see as well when driving in the dark, which I hardly ever do. I do seem much better when the lighting is good. Good Luck on whatever process you decide and keep us posted as you usually do. Thanks. Hans

    1. We thought about the lasik eye surgery but we really want to be able to totally do away with glasses and of course the lasik eye surgery won't do this, you have to pick between near or farsightedness and then wear glasses for which ever procedure you didn't pick. We were also told that if we did decide on the full multi-focal lens replacement that we may have issues with driving at night as well but that is something that Kevin rarely does to begin with so like you it is pretty much a none issue.

      Since doing this post yesterday morning, things could have possibly changed for us, as to getting the full multi-focal lens replacement done, more on this in today's blog post!

  2. Surprised they didn’t give you sunglasses to wear. My eye do has cheap roll up ones he gives out. I usually have two layers of sunglasses after my eyes are dilated. Painful if you don’t have them!

    1. For the price that they charge for the preliminary exam, you would think so too but they didn't! :-(

      If we have to go through this again, we will know for the next time.

  3. Mine was $2000 USD for one eye. Only corrected left eye for distance. My close vision is still really good at 65. I would have thought follow up visits would have been a bit dicey for you, as I continued to see my doctor for a year, mostly monthly, no additional fees. I did have a slight double vision problem that hindered the recovery. This was performed in Reno, Nevada. Best of luck.

    1. But you don't say exactly how they corrected your left eye distance vision for $2,000 USD. Was it a laser treatment? Was it a lens implant? Was in mono or multi focal?

    2. I was reading that follow up appointments are very important as well . Was wondering how you were going to do this since you would not be in the country for very long. Maybe a good decision !

    3. It looks like they would do at least one follow-up exam after the surgery. We didn't think to ask further ahead of that but we did ask about flying on January 10th and about hiking up Kilimanjaro at the end of January or early February and the doctor said that this would not be a problem.

    4. Ah, that's what I figured. Just wanted to make sure we were comparing apples to apples.

  4. Lots of Clinics try to sell up their products as a way of adding to their bottom line. The Dual mode implants like they are trying to sell you don't always work our and are much more costly. You can buy a lot of readers for that difference.

    Back in 98 I was basically going blind and when I asked about having Laser done my Optometrist said I had nothing to lose. Getting rid of my Pop-Bottle Glasses was a godsend. Twenty years later Cataracts became an issue for the both of us. Living in Ontario the surgery and Mono Lens were covered by OHIP. We were given the choice of seeing near or far and we both chose distance so we no longer need Glasses for driving or seeing at a distance. When we lived in the Park in our RV after the cataract Surgery Kathy was shocked to see a Farm across the field that had always been there. We do require glasses for small print but simple Dollar Store Glasses take care of that.

    Another word of warning that a lot of people don't realize. After the surgery you cannot bend over to look down for Two Weeks. You are mot allowed to lift more then Ten Pounds or exert yourself for a Month as the pressure will affect the implants. We were warned against Flying for Two Months after the procedures.

    I found that the intermittent effect of Florescent Lighting bothered me for nearly Two Years. I had to wear Sunglasses in most Stores during that period.
    Hoping that gives you more to think about and helps in your future decisions involving that.
    Be Safe and Enjoy you adventures.

    It's about time.

    1. From our research beforehand and from talking to the doctor, say that the multi-focal (these are not dual mode) lens are actually very effective in the majority of patients. The main problem that people have is in low light situations such as watching TV or a computer in a dimly lit room or driving at night. As we rarely ever drive at night this wouldn't be an issue for us and as for watching TV/computer we will just have to make sure that we have the lights on.

      The lasik surgery will not solve our issues, especially mine as I have the beginnings of a cataract in one eye so eventually I will have to get the cataract surgery done anyways, so if I am going to get anything done is will be the lens replacement but not at $5,000 CAD!

      Again, maybe things have changed at bit but nowhere do I see anything about not flying for two months. I do see where it says not to bend or overexert yourself for the first 10 days or so.

      Thank you for your feedback though and it does give us more questions to ask when we go to see another doctor on Monday.

  5. My eye specialist also never warned me about the effects of dilation - now I know to bring sunglasses (and hope that it's overcast).

    1. Yeah, we never even thought anything of it until we opened the door to go outside and we were totally blinded by the light, it was so painful. We will keep this in mind when we head out to see another doctor on Monday!

  6. I can understand wanting to get it done. The reading glasses are a real PIA.

    1. For both Kevin and I, it is just wanting to get away from wearing glasses altogether. We are past the reading glasses stage and have to wear progressive glasses all the time now.

  7. I recently had my eye test. About 40 minutes. Numbing drops. Pressure testing. Whole lot. My eyes aren't suited for surgery. I wear multifocals. I am also expecting cataracts. My full eye exam cost? Zero. We get one free eye exam per year! I have picked up good frames whilst travelling that are much cheaper than here. Then just get lenses when needed.
    An interesting experience for you. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yep, we had all that done when went to the appointment yesterday. We both wear multi-focal/progressive glasses and they are able to do the multi-focal lens replacement for us, so that we don't need glasses at all but we aren't willing to fork over $5,000 CAD each for the procedure.

      In Canada you don't get a free eye exam until you are 65 years old, we will have a few years to go before then.

      We will let you know what happens with our "second" opinion doctor's visit on Monday. This one is sounding very promising. You will need to read today's blog post to see how this came about!

    2. Surgery doesn't always go as expected I ended up being on the surgery table 3 weeks bin a row and about 8 weeks of treatment. My eye leaked and they added a stitch then the next week 3 more stitches and it still leaked. Slept with a metal eye cover for several weeks. It all ended do well but was quite a trip. I don't see the big problem with reading glasses. I haven't had the second implant yet. And someone I know had the same surgeon and he basically told him he had never had any patients have issues.

    3. You are correct, things don't always go as planned. I am glad that you ended up with no lasting problems but it was a bit of a pain for you to get there. I do think that the vast majority of cases go well. Anyways, it will be interesting to get this doctor's opinion and also ask a few more questions that we didn't think to ask the first time around. They always say it is good to get a second opinion! :-)

  8. I have been wearing progressive glasses for years now and also get them with the darkening Transitions so that they become sunglasses outdoors. I honestly don't mind wearing glasses. Sure, occasionally they fog up (especially when wearing a mask in cold temps, I'm finding, but that won't be forever, one hopes!) but overall, I'll stick with them rather than the expense and risks of surgery. I am sure I'll eventually have to have cataract surgery, as my grandmother and mother both did, so I'll just wait for that time. Good luck with whatever you decide!

    1. Emily I hated wearing glasses, however I don't really mind reading glasses however since I had the cataract in one eye repaired with an implant that didn't go as advertised but ended up ok I basically have one eye that is corrected for distance but fixed focus. The other eye is still near sighted with a cataract So I do pretty well with out glasses. I am typing this without any glasses and the left eye is doing the work. When I drive the right does the work. I do wish I would have paid the extra and had the astigmatism corrected with the implant. But being able to function without glasses is a wonderful thing.. ZI still have some cheap ZENI progressive that I use when I feel I really need them. 39.00 delivered for a pair of Progressive glasses is so cheap I keep a few pair scattered around.

    2. Kevin and I have both been wearing progressive glasses now for a number of years and we just find them a pain. They constantly get dirty, sometimes when we are hiking down a rocky trail or steps, we have to remove the glasses because they distort our depth perception somewhat. I also have the transition glasses and at times I like them and other times I find they are dark enough or coming into a building after being out in the bright sunlight I have to take them off because they are just too dark. I also find that I am constantly having to push my glasses up on my nose, especially when we are out hiking and then of course they also fog up when we have our masks on and we are out doing a fairly fast paced walk and we are in a built up area. And, as Kevin mentioned I already have a cataract starting in one eye so it will just be a matter of time before I have to have the surgery done anyways.

      We still haven't decided that we will go through with surgery but it will be good to get a second opinion and also we have a few more questions to ask this new doctor. We will have a better idea after our appointment later today as to what we will decide to do.


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