(Langis Michaud/ The Conversation) — Monique is 77 years old. I met her when she came to the eye clinic at the University of Montréal, where I am a professor. A retired teacher, Monique has enjoyed an active and full life with her students and family and considers herself lucky to be in good health.
She is concerned, however, about a recent visual loss that prevents her from reading and enjoying her painting workshops. It also prevents her from driving safely, which is important if she wants to maintain her independence.
A complete examination of Monique’s vision and eye health quickly revealed the cause of her problems: she has developed cataracts and her retina shows early signs of macular degeneration.
Cataracts are a normal phenomenon, resulting from the aging process of the eye and affecting everyone, without exception. They occur when the lens of the eye gradually loses its transparency, like a window that gets dirty with the seasons. (…)