We don’t know about you but here at BoomerCafé, we wouldn’t trade places with anybody. We have been the luckiest, most active generation in history. But there’s no denying, we’re getting older and our bodies are beginning to show it. That’s what BoomerCafé’s publisher and co-founder David Henderson writes about. Because his eyes just aren’t what they used to be.
Let’s face it, as baby boomers, things start going wrong with our bodies with age. Take cataracts, for example. They develop for many of us over the years … and give us something to look forward to (pun) in our 60s.
Eventually, we add cataract surgery to a growing list of medical issues in our conversations with friends. Notice how topics of discussion change with age? Such things as Medicare supplement plans, joint replacements, stents, and so on gradually creep into our conversations. Health, aches, and pains take front row. Don’t forget that cabinet of meds.
And now, in my conversations, cataracts. Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. It bends or refracts light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens should be clear, but for many of us as we get older, it gradually turns cloudy. It’s like looking through a foggy or dusty window. Things look blurry, hazy, or less colorful with a cataract. For me, things I’d see started to take on an amber tint.
Driving at night can be particularly aggravating as cataracts develop. Headlights of oncoming vehicles seem brighter than normal, or they look like stars.
I found that cataract removal surgery was no big deal the first time, but then I had my second eye done. Suddenly, I had double vision and life’s routines became tricky. Double vision is no fun.
Was I seeing one or two other vehicles approaching while driving my car? Were there two parallel white stripes marking the lanes on the street … and by the way, where was I? Unnerving! I began driving with one eye closed just to figure out where I was headed. And it wasn’t just while driving; I was seeing double of everything, particularly at distances.
I quickly returned to my ophthalmologist who explained that double vision is a side effect of cataract surgery on both eyes. Happens to roughly ten-percent of patients. It’s called diplopia. Because she had failed to alert me ahead of time, I was learning this for the first time.
So, while cataract surgery in both eyes may help me to see 20/20, an undisclosed downside is that I have diplopia apparently caused by aging eye muscles. Simply said, my aging eye muscles are weaker and don’t help my eyes focus on objects as they once did.
Yes, minor surgery by a specialist might fix the problem, I’m told. But not for me … no more messing with my eyes.
I’ve opted for the least invasive approach to correct double vision: specially ground prisms in the lenses of my glasses. A bit pricey but I suppose, at this point in life, only a small price to pay in the overall scheme of things.
There’s a chance, I’m told, that my eyes may return to normal, that the double vision may go away. Then, again, maybe not. Guess time will tell.