Among the final tests they did on me — after the fancy arterial testing, mental testing and a lot of stuff I barely remember, they ran an eye test. You know: holding up the card and asking you to read the letters? It turned out I saw it twice with my left eye, but only once with my right one.
They peered into my eyes, but couldn’t see anything in the left one. It was murky.
“CATARACTS!” they exclaimed, looking and sounding relieved. By then, we were ALL relieved. The seizures weren’t seizures — they were narcolepsy which is in my records, but no one ever looks at your records. They do everything except check to see if you have by some odd chance another condition which could account for the current problem. Why do they bother to keep records since no one reads them anyway?
Remarkably, it is exactly like the folks in customer service who never look to see if someone left notes in your records. It’s probably part of the onrushing of stupid that makes the world such a dandy place for all of us.
Suddenly, all was (sorry for the pun) made clear. Double and/or fuzzy, depending on which way you looked at it, or more to the point, depending on which angle I am looking at it.
I only have double vision peripherally and only on the left. Looking straight ahead, it’s a single image but fuzzy. The left side of my right eye is also murky. Who said everything has to grow evenly?
Just for a statistical explanation for you number-minded folks, at age 75, you either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. They expect to do more than 30 million such surgeries this coming year — worldwide (only about 3 million in the U.S.). There might be more because cataracts are inevitable. There would be even more except for poor countries which don’t have the facilities or doctors to perform the surgery.
Someone at some institute is working on eye-drops that will make cataracts disappear, but it hasn’t happened yet. This would be great because it might be a way for all the people worldwide who don’t have facilities for eye surgery to have their cataracts corrected. But drops would mean you won’t get those corrective lenses that give you perfect vision (for a few years, anyway). You probably haven’t seen that well since you were a toddler. I really want that perfect vision.
Warning: You will absolutely need reading glasses! But the good news? You can get the cheap ones from Target or Walmart.
What a great idea, to be able to open my eyes in the morning and see clearly! Without fumbling for my glasses. Totally cool!
So. This old lady has cataracts. How utterly normal.
Note for photographers of a certain age
If you are a photographer, one of the signs of cataracts is that the colors in your pictures seem dull. If you find you have to keep turning up the saturation and sharpness, you might have cataracts. You don’t need to be old, either. They can occur at any age, though more likely when you’ve passed 60.