News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 2, 2006


These are good times for poor vision

Try to visualize a scene from the prehistoric era. If your vision is like mine, you'll probably have to squint.

You and I are struggling to survive, hunting for grub while hiding from predators that rank a few links above us on the food chain.

The steel-belted radial is yet to be invented. Fire is still a relatively new addition to the modern kitchen. Our neighborhood is thousands of years away from having an optical center with designer frames and one-hour service.

We're hungry because we're too nearsighted to catch any food.

We're also scared.

Something rustles in the bushes. Then growls. We see nothing but blurred motion as our friends abandon us in fear.

Ah, the good old prehistoric days.

Anyone who laments the 21st century has probably never had a cataract and experienced the wonder of a painless 10-minute surgery.

It's humbling to consider that, thousands of years ago, people like me would be nothing but easy prey. Even in more modern times we were the folks outside the temple, begging for alms.

People keep saying that 47 is too young to have a cataract. So they're surprised to learn it's not my first.

I had a cataract in the other eye about 13 years ago. Laser treatment, used to repair detached retinas, likely caused both cataracts.

These things run in the family.

My youngest sister has been legally blind since college, and both my older sister and father have had vision problems.

A saber-tooth tiger could have improved the eyesight of future generations by eliminating our clan from the gene pool. That also would have meant thinner eyebrows, thicker hair and smaller feet for a whole branch of the human tree.

But the beasts of the plains spared us, thereby preserving a future for the eye-care industry.

We're not so much cursed by poor eyes, however, as we are blessed to live in 2006.

Jesus healed the blind with mud from the Holy Land. People like Dr. Charles Woods do it with plastic implants.

To the patient, it's no less a miracle.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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