Today at my annual optometrist visit I learned several things:
- My eyes are very healthy.
- My prescription has fluctuated slightly again, but not enough to need new lenses in my glasses, thank goodness.
- There are different kinds of cataract. Some make glare worse.
- A cataract is just a clouding of the lens of the eye, rather than a 'thing' in itself.
- The cataract in my left eye is slightly worse than last year.
- The cataract in my right eye is so slight it's not even on the scale.
- In New Zealand you can't even get on the waiting list in the public health system for a cataract operation until it affects your ability to drive. The waiting list is long.
The lens [of the eye] is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.
But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.
I find driving at night to be not my favourite thing already. Oncoming headlights and bright streetlights are hard for me. If it's raining, everything's super glary and I really try to avoid driving then.
UV radiation is a possible contributing factor for cataracts and New Zealand is notorious for its high levels of UV light in summer. Good sunglasses can help.