Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Eyes Have It
As people spend more and more time out doors, and as the atmosphere allows more and more UV light to reach the planet, we are seeing more and more cataracts occur at younger and younger ages. Go out on the water where the reflection gives you an additional dose of the rays, and you have an even worse scenario.
This disorder is due to changes in the lens of the eye from repeated UV dosing. The usually clear structure becomes irregularly clouded and, although the person seldom realizes it, there is a subtle shift in color perception. The diagnosis is easy to make by inspection.
Most paddlers are conscientious about using sun screen (although they often don't replenish frequently enough...but I digress), however, some are still not adequately protecting their eyes. It is essential that our glasses block UV light. It is desirable that the lenses be polarized in order to reduce glare and allow seeing down into the water.
Fortunately, cataract surgery has evolved to a high and surprisingly simple art. The clouded lens is replaced by an artificial one which has been made specifically for the patient. Many who have this procedure enjoy 20/20 vision without glasses.

Paddle safe...

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