A Typographer's Medical Question

Scott-Martin Kosofsky's picture

Yesterday, during an ophthalmological exam, I learned that I had an incipient cataract on my left lens. It wasn't visible through the usual instruments, but could be detected empirically by shining very bright light to the retina, after which I could achieve 20/20 vision. Without the light, the eye could only be corrected to 20-30. Lens replacement surgery can correct the problem, but nowadays there are a number of choices of lenses, with at least four types used widely in the U.S., one of which was approved as recently as last year.

As a community of type designers and typographers, we all make similar demands on our eyes. I wonder if any you have had recent experiences of this kind and might have advice you're willing to share. I should add that my eyes are in general good health, the only quirk being a shifting astigmatism in the left eye.

With best wishes to you all,

JamesM's picture

I've known several people who've had cataract surgery and it went well in each case. It's a pretty routine procedure these days. The surgery only takes about 25 minutes and they don't even need to put you to sleep, they just give you medication to put you in a state of deep relaxation, and you go home a few hours later.

Be aware that if your cataract is so slight that it currently doesn't create a serious problem, your insurance may not cover it yet. It may be necessary to wait until it progresses a bit further.

And speaking as someone who has two doctors in the family, my general advice is to rely on the advice of medical professionals regarding choice of lenses and so forth. Make sure you've got a good doctor, of course, get a 2nd opinion, and do some research in respected medical journals if you wish.

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