To See or Not To See with Today’s Technology

Over the last century the advancements to improve and restore eyesight has progressed further than most people could imagine. When you have the slightest issue with your vision you can pick up the phone and call your optometrist or doctor. We continue to read articles that tell us more rest helps our bodies. But what happens when your glasses and contacts no longer work to correct your blurred or cloudy vision?

You wake up and your vision is blurred, you put on your prescription glasses. You extend your arm and you can’t focus or possibly see your hand. You call for an uber or have a family member drive you to the optometrist or doctor to resolve your issues. But the amenities that we have today were not always available.

Now imagine you are a Farmer or a hunter back in 600 B.C..  Would you consider going to the doctor if you could not see?  What was the medical field like back centuries ago? We have all heard stories of people having to go thru a tremendous amount of pain to get something fixed or corrected. But not many stories about eye sight. There was a physician and teacher named Sushruta who was living around 600 B.C. and he performed cataract surgery back in the sixth century B.C.. “The patient had to look at the tip of their nose while the surgeon, holding the eyelids apart with thumb and index finger, used a needle-like instrument to pierce the eye from the side. It was then sprinkled with breast milk and the outside of the eye bathed with an herbal medicine. The surgeon used the instrument to scrape out the clouded lens until the eye “assumed the glossiness of a resplendent cloudless sun”. During recovery it was important for the patient to avoid coughing, sneezing, burping or anything else that might cause pressure in the eye. If the operation were a success, the patient would regain some useful vision, albeit unfocused.” (

Today, Cataract Surgery is an outpatient surgery taking 20-30 minutes with little to no pain. The surgeon will place anesthetic eye drop in the eyes . The cloudy lens is broken up using a small blunt vibrating needle. The lens pieces are removed and a new lens is put in place. Typically, there is no bleeding and no sutures.  Most patients can see right after surgery. Restrictions after surgery are not like they were in the past and in most cases, patients can resume their regular activities the same day.

If you are skeptical about cataract surgery, talk to your doctor as most insurances cover these procedures. Weigh your options, is better to see or not to see?