Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, and the history of treating them is long and fascinating.
Over 20 million adults 40 and up in the US will develop cataracts, and by the time they reach 80, half of them will. Normally, the lenses in our eyes are filled with transparent protein, but the protein can become clumped together over time and turn opaque, resulting in symptoms such as light sensitivity, glare, dim or clouded vision, halo effects around lights, impaired night vision, double vision in a single eye, faded colors, and more frequent changes to glasses prescriptions.
French Impressionism and Cataract Surgery in the 1920s
No one wants their vision blocked by cataracts, but it’s a particularly intolerable condition for someone who paints for a living. Such was the fate of Claude Monet, perhaps the most famous Impressionist painter. His vision began deteriorating from cataracts in his mid-fifties, which is clear from the increasingly muddy color palette in his paintings from that time.
Monet hesitated to get cataract surgery because it hadn’t gone well for some of his fellow artists. He tried eye drops for a while, but eventually gave in and got the surgery on one eye in 1923. He proved to be a very uncooperative patient, but the combination of surgery and thick glasses did grant him greatly improved vision for the next few years. His paintings during that period look much more like his pre-cataract work.
Cataract Surgery Today
If he lived today, Monet never would have hesitated to get cataract surgery. Thanks to advancements, there’s no need for bulky glasses because the clouded lenses can simply be replaced with artificial ones! Every year, three million Americans undergo cataract surgery, after which they enjoy up to 20/20 vision, even if they haven’t had it in decades. Cataract surgery has an incredibly high success rate, at around 98-99%.
Modern Cataract Treatment Chicago
Have You Noticed Any Cataract Symptoms?
If you’ve been experiencing any changes to your vision that sound like the above, we recommend scheduling an eye exam. In this day and age, there’s no reason to suffer vision loss from something so easily reversible. We have offered Cataract Treatment Chicago and in Northwest Indiana for over 49 years.