Tomorrow morning I’m having a cataract removed from my right eye. On August 23rd I’ll have a cataract removed from my left eye. During each procedure, the surgeon will also implant in my eye an artificial lens. If all goes well, I will, just days before turning 60 years old, have 20/20 vision for the first time since I was a young child.
I began wearing glasses when I was in first grade. Beatlemania had just erupted and was at fever pitch – that’s how long ago my myopia was first diagnosed. I switched from glasses to contact lenses in 1980; the marvel of contact lenses is one that I thought could not be surpassed. Well, the marvel of what I’m about to experience over the next few weeks surpasses that of contact lenses. (I’ll still need reading glasses, however – an inconvenience smaller than tiny.)
Apparently, implanting artificial permanent lenses into the eyes of myopic patients who have cataract surgery is today routine. I did not know this fact until my visit several weeks ago to my ophthalmologist. To say that I’m grateful to be alive today and a denizen of bourgeois modernity is a ridiculous understatement.
Thank you, enlightenment. Thank you, science. But mostly, thank you private property markets and market-tested innovation.