Off The Press

July 13, 2010

By Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

I don’t want to scare anyone, but please take a quick look at my column photo. You will notice that I am pictured wearing eyeglasses.

Well, that is no longer the case.

As of two weeks ago, I have 20-20 vision. With the exception of reading and doing computer work, I no longer have to wear glasses all day. Like many of you with perfect vision, I can wear Foster Grants on sunny days instead of dealing with clip-ons or prescription sunglasses. When I wake up in the morning, I no longer have to fumble around on the nightstand for my eyeglasses. When I get up in the morning, I see a beautiful world without the aid of eyeglasses.

What a world I was missing until last month!

Now, this is not an advertisement for lasik surgery. However, I did undergo surgery on both eyes for cataracts.

I’m not exactly sure when the cataracts started forming. I do recall last summer that when I wanted to do some recreational reading, I would move the book up to the tip of my nose. I thought it was just bad bifocals. Turns out, it was probably the start of bad cataracts. Each week, reading became more of a challenge. Again, I blamed the bifocals.

Last fall, when we had sunny days, I noticed my eyes were becoming very sensitive to light. I started wearing sunglasses more frequently, and often pushed the baseball cap down to cut out extra sunlight. Eventually, I began wearing sunglasses even on cloudy days — and you know how often we get those around here.It was sometime in mid-March when one morning a gray screen kind of appeared as I was driving. I thought it was a dirty windshield. No matter how hard I washed the window, that gray screen didn’t clear up.

Work was becoming more of a challenge, too. I was steadily boosting the type size of my copy so I could read what I was writing. Each week, I was moving closer and closer to the computer in an effort to read e-mail and format the scoreboard page.

When it got to the point where I couldn’t read e-mail or my daily newspaper, I figured it was time to get new glasses. I went to an optometrist thinking that I needed stronger lenses. After examining my eyes, the optometrist suggested I find an ophthalmologist because I had cataracts.

I found a very skilled ophthalmologist. I believe he is the best ophthalmologist in the entire world. After examining my eyes, surgery was recommended on both eyes to remove cataracts and place intraocular lenses in my eyes. I chose lenses for seeing distance, which means I don’t have to wear corrective glasses when driving or covering outdoor sports but have to wear readers for computer work and reading.

Surgery was performed first on my left eye, then after about two weeks, the right eye. The surgeries were painless.

One thing I learned from the recent experience is that a person should have his or her eyes examined frequently. My brother-in-law Chuck has his eyes examined every year. I’m not suggesting that everyone follow his lead. However, until this year, it had been almost five years since I had my eyes examined. The cataracts probably would have formed anyway, but putting off the examination meant I could have had the operation earlier.

So, if any of you have gone several years between eye examinations, I recommend getting to an optometrist. You don’t want to miss out on this beautiful world.

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, or bobtaylor@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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