Saturday, October 3, 2009

A new view

Well, as mentioned in my previous post, I had cataract surgery on my right eye on September 30. The procedure itself was painless, although I liken the level of comfort during the operation to the experience of having your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist - i.e. slightly discomforting.

The result is absolutely astounding, though, and well worth a bit of uneasiness. My right eye can now discern fine detail I haven't seen in decades. Since I'm into astronomy, that result is exactly what I had hoped for.

At the moment, I have to take some care - no heavy lifting, and an interwoven schedule of taking medication in the form of eyedrops - but I'm looking at the world with a new eye (pun intended). Until now, I hadn't realized how much I was really losing, when looking around, and am now aware that my left eye, which was the better eye lately (using glasses) would also benefit from this kind of operation.

So, at the moment, I'm using eyeglasses in which the left part of the frame retains the bifocal lens formulated for my left eye; I have removed the right-eye lens altogether. The result, for distance viewing, is a reasonably close balance between my two eyes, with the right eye outperforming the left one by a noticable margin. It also makes it possible for me to read the newspaper and books (and typing this story on the computer) because, at my age, reading glasses are usually necessary. My reading is done with my left eye, through the "reading section" of the lens. This is no problem for me, because my right eye had deteriorated to the point at which I could not use it for reading anyway.

If and when I finally get my left eye "restored" in the fashion described above, I won't need glasses for distance view (that includes naked-eye astronomy, and watching TV, for instance). For reading, I can purchase some of those inexpensive, off-the-shelf reading glasses available anywhere. I'll then use both eyes for reading and close-up viewing.

In short, from my experience, if you are contemplating cataract surgery, go for it.