I went to the eye doctor about three and a half years ago for my yearly exam. The doctor said I had early onset cataracts, but they take years to develop.

The next year I saw a different optometrist and she told me that the cataracts were developing, but not yet ready for surgery.

On one of my visits to a retinal specialist, I found I couldn't read the eye chart with my right eye, which meant new glasses and time to think about cataract surgery.

I began talking with everyone I knew about which doctor to use, what lens to have implanted, what to expect, what types of complications there are, the cost, and so forth. I did my research since I was so much younger than most cataract patients, and I would have to live with my decision for a long time.

My right eye had the thickest cataract and got to the point where I could no longer read with it. I had to save the money for this surgery since we have such a ridiculous deductible for our medical insurance. I had some complications due to swelling because of the thickness of the cataract, but I see so clearly now, I am thrilled.

I just had surgery on my left eye and am still recovering, but it was much easier and I knew what to expect this time. My vision is getting clearer each day and I can drive confidently at night again. I look forward to seeing as clearly in my left eye as in my right eye.

I have a great deal of respect for my eye surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kortz of Mullis Eye Institute here in Crestview, as well as the office staff. I had a wonderful experience.

I am so happy that I chose to stay near-sighted, as it fits my lifestyle. Even though this is not the usual decision for cataract surgery, it was the right decision for me. I don't mind wearing glasses to drive and I do mind wearing glasses to read.

So, if the time comes for you to have cataract surgery, don't be afraid to ask questions and get it done. You will be glad you did.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.