I had no idea I had cataracts until about 2 years ago when my optometrist informed me that they were starting to show up. Since, for most people, cataracts grow slowly, he told me I'd have nothing to worry about for several years. However, I am not most people, and mine responded like Creeping Buttercup on MiracleGro. My surgeries were done in July.
Let me say again that I hadn't a clue that my eyesight was impaired more than needing distance glasses and reading glasses . . . and computer glasses (that also doubled as my "cooking glasses" for chopping and measuring, etc.). But after the first surgery (on the particularly bad left eye), trite or not, a whole new world opened up! My eyes became a kind of toy: I'd go around covering up one eye and then switching. The difference was stunning! My "new" left eye beheld a bright--almost too bright--world with whites whiter than I remembered. Colors popped, especially pinks, reds, and blues. When I changed and looked through my right eye alone it was as if a dull, brownish haze had settled over everything. I walked around shifting hands and eyes and laughing like some sort of demented eye-chart patient.
For this blog, I'd wanted to find images for before-and-after examples of my pre- and post-surgical light and color vision, but that wasn't really possible. Although I shoot a lot of my macro pictures in manual, I still rely on at least some exposure information from my camera. And later, when I did post-processing in Lightroom, the Histogram (a graph display of brightness levels) kept me from blowing out (over-exposing and washing out) the whites when I tried to increase the exposure of images that looked awfully dark to me. As for color, I guess I mostly just accepted what I saw.
What I've done here is use images I took between the two surgeries (yes, I had to go back and forth between my eyes) to attempt to give you an idea of the change. A little extreme, maybe, but not too terribly far off the mark.
As mentioned above, blues and reds, pinks and purples all popped. Greens didn't change that much. But everything was brighter, MUCH brighter.
While I am ecstatic about the almost psychedelic world I'm now seeing (I really do walk around saying "oh wow, like wow"), I'd opted for vision correction in addition to cataract removal. So one less pair of glasses is one or two more procedures away, and, right now, none of my glasses work. The world is bright, colorful, but not as clear as it will be.
Something more to look forward to.
I'm so glad the surgeries went well, Emily.ReplyDelete
Also, I LOVE the bike shot. :)
Thanks Kevin! That garden had very little actual "garden" space, but more than made up for it in really cool garden art.Delete
Congratulations! You remind me of when I was 11 years old and got my first pair of glasses. I was amazed at how clear and sharp everything was. Enjoy your improved eyesight.ReplyDelete
Thank you Jason! I will.Delete
I remember the same sort of effect Jason does with my first glasses.ReplyDelete
My Mom had a similar happiness with her vision after cataract surgery. It's GREAT that they can give people back good sight, and sometimes better than before. It's just so, so great!
Hey Jan, thanks. Apparently it's one of the most common surgical procedures. And probably the fastest. The prep took about an hour: information confirmed and reconfirmed, blood pressure taken several times, IV inserted, marking the eye to be worked on, etc.. But the surgery itself took 5 minutes! (including my surgeon's singing along with the music she was playing). Amazing stuff.ReplyDelete
Being able to see clearly is a wonderful thing, indeed. I'm so glad you had these surgeries done. I had LASIK several years ago and it was such a pleasure not to have to wear glasses anymore. Good luck with your other surgeries. :o)ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Tammy. Fingers crossed for the next step(s).Delete
Your before and after photographs give a good sense of the difference you've experienced... a brighter world, indeed! An interesting post, and something for all of us to keep in mind as we age.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Pat! Absolutely, everyone who can should keep up with their eye doctor visits, if only because it's sometimes difficult to notice the changes our own eyes are going through.Delete
I've missed you, and am so glad that you are back in our technicolor world...wow, what a difference that makes in your life. My Uncle who is a artist had the surgery done, and he couldn't believe how dark he was painting.ReplyDelete
And those bikes...sigh..are they yours? I see a few bikes in my future.
Hope it's OK to pin them.
Jen, that's so nice to hear! Thank you. I can imagine the shock he had when he looked at his pre-surgery paintings. wow. The bikes aren't mine, unfortunately (the photo is, though). I saw them in a local garden tour. The house didn't have a lot of space for planting, but the owners made the most of it with wonderful garden art. I don't know what pinning is, but if you're doing it, I assume it's a good thing. ;- )Delete
Wow, it is good you had the surgery. Vision loss in any form is bad for a photographer. I need to get my eyes checked too.ReplyDelete
I'm still grateful the doctors caught it so soon--it came on unusually fast. Definitely get your eyes checked. You are too wonderful a photographer to ignore your most valuable piece of equipment.Delete