A little over a year and a half ago I went to an optometrist for a prescription for new eyeglasses. The optometrist told me I had the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. She said my left eye was quite a bit worse than the right. The right eye would probably need surgery in 6 or 7 years, she said, but the left eye would require surgery sooner than that. She told me to take vitamins C and E, since this combination was thought to slow down the progress of cataracts. I started adding C and E to my daily multivitamin.

Prior to that appointment I'd begun to suspect that something was going on with my left eye. I frequently had the sensation--not a physical sensation but an optical one--that there was lotion smeared across my eyeball. When I sat in my boss's office the window was behind him, and the smeared bright light from the window distracted me. After getting the diagnosis I studied this phenomenon more, now thinking "hunh, so this is a cataract." If I lit a match or a candle and looked at the flame with only my left eye, the flame had an irregular aura that was broken and diffused.

Right after Christmas I went back to the optometrist again, this time for computer glasses. Although I went to the same office, more than one optometrist works there, and this time I saw a different doctor--the man whose name is on the office door. He did all the same tests and said "everything looks good--no cataracts." I told him I'd been diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes a year and a half earlier. He said there was only a slight yellowing of the lens, normal for my age. (I hate hearing that expression: "normal for your age". I also have hearing loss that is "normal for my age.") He checked my records and confirmed that the doctor I'd seen previously had diagnosed cataracts. He didn't make anything of it, just said she must have referred to the yellowing of the lens as cataracts, but he doesn't, since there is no clouding.

I put it out of my mind until last night, when I burned a stick of incense that wouldn't stay lit. I lit several matches during the evening. At one point, as I held a burning match, I closed my right eye and stared at the flame with the left--something I hadn't done for a long time. The smeared aura was gone. Since then I've been testing this on every bright light I see, having trouble believing it's true. The broken aura around bright lights is no longer there--the cataract in my left eye is gone.

July 2012

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