The annual eye check, and cataracts

Today at my annual optometrist visit I learned several things:

  1. My eyes are very healthy.
  2. My prescription has fluctuated slightly again, but not enough to need new lenses in my glasses, thank goodness.
  3. There are different kinds of cataract. Some make glare worse.
  4. A cataract is just a clouding of the lens of the eye, rather than a 'thing' in itself.
  5. The cataract in my left eye is slightly worse than last year.
  6. The cataract in my right eye is so slight it's not even on the scale.
  7. 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.

Miraz Jordan @Miraz

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