Most people don't like wearing reading glasses. Now some people are turning to cataract surgery to fix their problem.
Winnie Herman, for example, was in her 40s when she started needing glasses to be able to read and see things up close. She had regular glasses as well as bifocals and was juggling between them.
Today Herman can read the newspaper without glasses or contacts, because she had an eye surgery normally reserved for people with cataracts.
A cataract is a condition in which the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, obscuring vision. An ophthalmologist can remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial one called an IOL.
"Patients with that mono-focal or single focus lens implant will see very well in the distance, but they will still need to wear the same reading glasses close up that they needed before they had the cataract surgery," said Dr. Ken Rosenthal.
Even though she didn't have a cataract, Herman chose to have the lens in her eye replaced. It's a somewhat controversial technique called a clear lens extraction.
What made this worthwhile for Herman was a new generation of artificial lenses that are multi-focal, meaning they can focus images both near and far, just like a natural lens.
Some of the lenses use concentric rings of different focusing power, while others actually move inside the eye to change focus.
Herman had her right eye done three weeks ago and was so pleased, she came back for the other eye. Just minutes after the procedure she said she was happy with the results.
"It is quite amazing," she said.
The issue is whether cataract-type surgery has become safe enough to warrant removing a non-cloudy lens just so you don't have to wear glasses.
If you do consider this, make sure you go to a very experienced cataract surgeon.