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Do you really need surgery for your cataracts?


Cataracts, the progressive clouding or opacity of the eye's lens, occur in an estimated 75 percent of Americans older than 60. Cataracts may develop so slowly that surgery, the only effective treatment, is required in less than 15 percent of cases.

If you have cataracts that have not yet forced you to give up driving, reading, or other activities, you may find the following tips useful for improving your vision without resorting to surgery:

When outdoors, reduce glare with yellow-tinted lenses and stay in the shade as much as possible-or make your own shade with wide-brim hats or an umbrella. Indoors, use plenty of incandescent light, which is usually better than fluorescent. Use dimmer controls to regulate light, and keep light sources below eye level when possible (e.g., choose table lamps over ceiling fixtures).

Large-print books are useful for reading, as is a magnifying glass. Reading lamps should have an adjustable arm and opaque reflector shade; the light should shine over your shoulder. Find the most comfortable distance from the lamp. If glare is a problem, try covering the top or bottom half of the page with nonreflective black cardboard.

When reading in bed, use a diffuse source of light instead of a clip-on or halogen lamp that produces a bright spot of light, which causes your pupils to contract. When watching television, have a light behind-not in frontof you.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Medical Update
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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