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Cataracts

Moments after I sat down for the preliminary tests at my optometrist’s office, I realized something was terribly wrong.

I hadn’t even been due for my regular eye check-up—I’d been going every two years—when my husband urged me to schedule one anyway. 

At worst, I thought maybe I needed a new prescription for reading glasses.

I set my chin down on the machine, which blocked my left eye. And instead of the graphic of the little car on the road, all I could see was a blur of colour.

How could this have happened without my noticing? Hadn’t I ever closed my ‘good’ eye and wondered what was going on? 

I don’t know. And no, apparently not. 

In the roughly 18 months that had elapsed since my previous check-up, a cataract had developed in my right eye. That means the natural lens, which is normally clear, had become clouded. 

And despite the fact I’m a health and medical writer who’d written several stories about cataracts, I never realized that I could no longer read print with that eye. Or that I was seeing a lot more glare around streetlights and headlights while driving at night. 

Sure, cataracts become increasingly common with age, but surely, I wouldn’t have to worry about them until I reached my 80s. 

Wrong. 

I am very fortunate. Today, surgery to remove the faulty lens and replace it with an artificial one, is routine, safe, and very effective. It’s also covered by provincial and territorial health plans in Canada. So apart from the cost of prescription eye drops needed for after care, I didn’t have to pay a penny out of pocket. 

And I can’t say enough good things about my eye surgeon, and her care team. 

You can learn more about cataract surgery, and the different artificial lens options that are now available, by reading my most recent story for Post Media Content Works: ‘You Didn’t Choose Cataracts, But You Still Have Choices’

You can also check out these two pieces I wrote for the retirement magazine Good Times

Image by hysw001 from Pixabay