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SECOND SIGHT

There is a stage during the development of a cataract when farsighted patients may perceive a temporary improvement in their near (reading) vision. This phenomenon, known as “second sight,” occurs as a result of the swelling of the lens nucleus, which serves to alter the angle of refraction to focus light more precisely on the retina. However, as the cataract progresses, second sight is lost and both near and distant vision deteriorate. At this point, of course, changes in eyeglass prescriptions are no longer effective in improving vision and the cataract. At this stage, the patient must make a determination if his or her vision is impaired to the extent that cataract surgery should be considered. Second sight commonly occurs around age 60. When symptoms of cataracts begin to appear, you may be able to initially improve your vision using new glasses, stronger bifocals, and greater light when reading. But when these remedies fail to provide enough benefit, it’s time for cataract surgery.