Senile Cataract? Who Named It That?
And other names we wish they would change.
Unfortunately back in the day when doctors where coming up with names for ocular disorders they were not very politically correct. Many of those names have stuck around for the long run and are still used today. Let’s take a look at a couple and just take note that no matter what age you are, you are certainly younger than any of these people that named the conditions.
- Senile Cataract – A cataract is an opacity in the lens inside of our eyes. There are many types of cataracts, ranging from congenital (existed at birth) to those caused by medications or trauma (secondary cataracts). The most common cause of a cataract is simply from an eye that has been around a long time. This is the one they call the senile cataract.
- Presbyopia – (prez-by-o-pia) is the condition we all face around the age of forty when the accommodative reflex starts to slow to a point that we can not focus up close. The roots of the word presbyopia actually are translated to mean "aging eye". Since when is a 40 year old eye one that has thoroughly “aged”?
- Arcus Senilis – This is a ring of grey fatty deposit that begins to form around the edge of the cornea. This condition is usually seen in eyes that are over 60 years of age. It can occur in younger eyes, but of course then it is called arcus juvenilis.
Ok, so each of these conditions may be age related and we can all come to grips with the status of "senior" after all, that term is used in varying ages from high school students right up to those that get a discount at the movie theatre and beyond.
But why did they have to throw the term "senile" in the mix??