Last updated: 24 October 2007

Subject:	Guard your precious eyesight!
Sent:	Tuesday, October 23, 2007 14:32:21
From:	Benjamin Waranowitz (
Advice to those who DO NOT HAVE CATARACTS.

Guard your precious eyesight!  Find out if getting cataracts runs in the
family. It does in mine.

Fluorescent tube lamps need UV shielding. You need to avoid 40CW types
at home and work. Not only can unshielded UV cause headaches, they can
trigger cataracts. The decorative plastic cover on the 40CW overhead
lighting is NOT rated to filter UV. The long tubes are the ones which
emit UV that can cause problems. Also avoid the compact under counter

Now we are starting to convert to the energy efficient screw in types
with a twisted tube on top. I don't think you can trust the
manufacturers to consider the UV emission. There is no mention of UV on
my GGE lamp package. I called the number 800-435-4448 on the 15W (60W
light equivalent package. It did not take very long to get a Mr. Dudley
who seemed to have a lot of information at hand.  but the screw in types
are not supposed to. Note that the ends of the coiled screw-in lamp are
covered with a ceramic base. The long tubes are not.  I hade worked in
data centers for most of my career as customer engineer in brightly
lighted overhead lighting, all the four tube type. I suspect this had
contributed to the eventual cataracts.

To be safe, I recommend that you use incandescent lamps on your desk or
place where you spend much time with a nearby light.

Driving is hazardous to sight. We must stare into the Sun or its
reflection in other vehicles glass and chrome. It is damage that happens
with no sensation of pain. Sometimes discomfort, but no real warning.

I have my driving prescription eyeglasses. I selected a frame that is
fairly large to give more angular coverage. The lens are pretty dark,
and besides that I have the multi-coating. My plastic lenses do not
scratch like the old glass ones did.

I have cataracts in both my eyes. My right eye, which was the dominant
one, got it first. The halo around lights and the Moon at night was very
distracting. I also had the beginning of cataract in the left one, five
years ago.

I began to religiously take vitamins E 200 or 400 mg and A 8000
supplements at the time I was diagnosed with the catarect in the O.D.
(Latin for eye, right)  For these 5 years, my O.S. (eye; left or
Sinister) the cataract in the left eye has changed little. I don't see a
halo, though it is generally hazy and is like a filter to diminish the
blue end. I probably lose a magnitude or more when observing. This is
easily determined by comparing how many satellites of Saturn that I can
see in the right and left eye with the lens implant.

Problem with the lens implant. as long as the pupil is not dilated it
has good correction. However when I look at the Moon, planets bright
stars, 1 magnitude is enough to show a hazy crescent below them. And in
eyepieces I see the edge of the lens at the bottom. There would be
difficulty in getting a correct prescription for this because the
optometrist does not measure the eye for dark adapted. I would ask them
to figure the correction when my pupil is dilated the next time. And not
when fully dilated, but I will bring a small telescope to check when it
is about right.

There is always risk in surgery. As long as my o.d. cataract seems to be
stable and I can see fairly well with it and the correction I will keep
it. Visual astronomy with a telescope is such that for large exit pupils
I generally use my right eye and my left for small exit pupils. I would
not like to have the left eye also with the lens edge visible when dark

In addition to the above, I have had a small retinal tear due to a
vitreous detachment in one eye. And a vitreous detachment in the other.
This left a vail like structure which moves with each eye movement and
often comes to rest near the center of vision. In daylight is is hardle
noticed. But it took several months to learn to ignore it. It also has a
refractive component to blur central vision.

Ben Waranowitz

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