A Quick Solution for Cataract Sufferers
Cataracts are clouds in the lens of the eye. This condition occurs typically in people over 40, but often it is found in young people as well. A person with cataracts cannot see details when looking into bright light. For example if you have cataracts and are talking with a person who is standing in front of window while the sun is shining, it is difficult to see the person’s face. Also, if the sun is in front of you, you will have trouble seeing into shadows.
I’ve suffered cataracts all my life. I know, because I thought it was normal to be limited in visual acuity while the conditions I described above exist. My first hub about cataracts describes my problems in more detail, and shows a comparison of what I saw before and after my cataract operations (see the link to it below).
Before my operations, while I didn’t realize the severity of my acuity problems, I did realize that I had trouble seeing into shadows and seeing road signs while driving cars. Because of the degree of my visual limitations, I knew it was unsafe for me to drive while looking into the sun. So one day I came up with an idea to help me deal with the problem.
I’ll describe my solution to you, but this should only be considered a temporary fix until you can get an operation. My solution - I suppose - could be damaging to the eye if used for prolonged periods of time, as you’ll understand after you read about it:
I found an old pair of sun glasses that nobody else wanted, took them and a marking pen outside, and got into my car. I then found a safe place to park where I could look at a road sign, the kind you find along the highway that gives directions or shows what’s coming up. While in a “driving stance” (and by that I mean your hands are on the steering wheel, you’re sitting up straight, and you’re looking more or less straight ahead), I moved my eyes and very slightly my head to look at the sign I was testing. With the marking pen, I put a dot on the rightmost lens of the sun glasses exactly where I was focussed on the sign. In other words, the dot was directly on the line of sight between my right eye and the sign I was looking at. I did the same thing for the left lens.
Next, without lowering my head, I looked at my speedometer, and made dots on that line of sight. Cataract sufferers will not only have trouble looking at signs, but at their dashboard, too, as it is in the shade of a strong light during the day.
I then went into the house and with a sharp bit, made holes in the lenses. I say “sharp” because I didn’t want to melt the plastic; just cut a clean hole. When I was done, I took my new device and tested it. When I looked at the speedometer, I was pleased to see it clearly. I could see those road signs. When I lowered my head slightly, I could see into shadows that were cast onto the road. It looked like someone was shining a bright spotlight onto the area I was looking at, and I could see details that I’d never seen before under these conditions - even the tar repair lines! Because the holes were not in my normal line of sight for general watch-out of the road or in my mirrors, there was no glare from them, nor any other distraction.
The picture at the top of this article shows this pair of sun glasses. Note that the holes near the bottom of the lenses are closer together. This is due to the fact that when you’re looking at your dashboard, your eyes are crossed more, because the focal distance is much shorter. Figure 1 shows a before-and-after comparison after putting on the “holy” sun glasses. Behind each sign the glow of the sun is shown, which tends to make the sign dark, or sometimes completely black or featureless.
As you probably know or suspect, I’m thinking that the reason this may be ultimately damaging to the eyes is because the darkness of the sunglasses may tend to dilate the iris, and thus make the retina or macula too unprotected for when I use the holes and let in a sudden burst of light. Perhaps using yellow lenses could reduce that danger, if there ever was such.
At least I knew - at the time - I could see much better, and I could relax more while driving. I also didn’t slow down to a near stop when I entered shadows on the road. But it was only a temporary fix until I had my cataract operations. Then, I was able to throw away my “holy” sunglasses.