Cataract Surgery for MCI?

This article is a follow up to the earlier posting “Eye Opening“.

Well what a surprise! I can see now. I didn’t realize I was half blind.

Actually it wasn’t that bad before, because I was still able to drive quite safely (though my partner disagrees with me). That being said, the difference the surgeries have made is just astounding. The first thing I noticed only a day after the first surgery was the vividness of colors. Everything I saw was so vivid and bright that it was like living in a different world. Last year, I bought a 4K TV that was supposed to provide superior definition. I wasn’t too impressed at the time, and wondered if I had wasted my money. After the surgery however, the TV came alive, with images so vivid and crisp that it was like a totally different TV set.

Even after just the one eye was operated on, my eyesight improved so much that I could read small text without any glasses. In fact, it was so different that I was not able to use my glasses any more.

I then received a second operation two weeks after the first one. For some reason, I did not experience same degree of amazement at the results. I guessed that I was so impressed by the first one that the second one didn’t make as much of an impression.

There is one drawback to the drastically improved vision… suddenly I found myself looking older in the mirror! The nice smooth skin I thought I had turned out to be full of small wrinkles and blemishes. I even found some hair on my face I never knew existed! Of course, I am also seeing similar features on other people, but I am not going to elaborate so as to keep the peace. Another thing is that it now takes a lot longer to clean everything. Even wiping down a table takes a lot more effort. It doesn’t matter how many times I wipe it, there are still small specs remaining that I would have never noticed before! In all seriousness, I will happily take this improved crisp vision over my previously fuzzy wishy-washy vision any day. It is a blessing to be able to get this new lease on life.

A technical aspect of the procedure that I didn’t know before was that the first lens that the ophthalmologist gave me was designed for reading and the second one for distance. In this combination, I will be able to clearly see objects that are not only up-close, but also far away without the need for glasses. In reality, it is necessary to have a new set of eye glasses, one side for reading and the other side for distance. Without these glasses, I find my eyes get tired easily because one of the eyes is always trying to see objects that it is not designed to.

So, now that I have received much better eyesight, an important question is how it is going to affect my cognition. According to this article I mentioned in my last post, poor vision without any corrective eye surgery increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 5-fold. So now I wonder whether ophthalmological intervention will not just delay the development of Alzheimer disease, but actually improve cognitive function. At least one study showed that, over a five year period, 60% of participants had improved cognitive capacity, while 30% showed no improvement. This is really significant and gives me a lot of hope. However, it took five years to show the results, so I guess I will have to be very patient. Nonetheless I am hopeful that my cataract surgery would help to reduce my MCI (mild cognitive impairment) – I can’t yet say for sure, but time will tell!

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