“I was starting to find it difficult to drive at night because the headlights were all blurry and I couldn’t really tell how far away the cars were,” former Charlie’s Angels star Cheryl Ladd told me as we discussed the challenges of getting older. “That was getting scary and I thought, ‘am I not going to be able to drive at night soon?’” Like many adults over a certain age, Ladd was starting to lose her vision and when she went to the doctor she was told she had cataracts.
Her doctor informed her that surgery in which they implant lenses into the eye that would help her see clearer was her best option. This prognosis didn’t scare her: Ladd’s husband, Brian Russel, had cataract surgery prior to this, so she was somewhat familiar with what the procedure would entail. Better yet, she was told that a new trifocal lens would make her vision even sharper.
The PanOptic Trifocal lens is the only trifocal lens currently approved by the FDA. Trifocal means that the lens is divided into three parts, correcting vision at near and far distances, while also enabling a person to see clearly at an arm’s length (or reading distance).
“I was so excited about it because with a trifocal lens, I could read, I could use the phonebook (remember those things?), and I could see my computer, I could drive at night again and I could read signs far away,” Ladd explains. “By the time I had the second one done, I was seeing like a twelve-year old again!”
But the best part, Ladd says, was that the procedure and recovery were simple and painless. She had her first eye done back in the middle of December  and the other week later. “The surgery lasted seven and a half minutes, and I wasn’t aware of any of it,” she recalls.
Recovery wasn’t tough to manage either, but she emphasized being judicious about following the doctors’ orders. “The only thing I couldn’t do was bend over and lift things up, because they don’t want you to put pressure on your eyeballs during the recovery period,” she says. “That lasts for a week to two weeks. You also have to put in some eye drops, but trust me, it was easy as pie — I couldn’t believe how simple it all went.”
Getting cataract surgery has made such a difference in Ladd’s life that she no longer fears getting older. “Being able to see gave me 12-year-old eyes again,” she says. “I’m so optimistic about my future now because I can see. I still have all those freedoms that I felt like I was starting to lose — so I don’t feel old!”
Cheryl Ladd on Aging and Wellness
Ladd was adamant that she and her husband are optimistic about getting older, so I just had to ask if there are any other wellness tips she swears by. Not much to my surprise, she keeps things simple. “I exercise. I do Zumba and I walk my dog in the morning. I don’t overdo anything — I just keep consistent with it, “ she says of her workout routine.
As for her diet, “I eat well. My husband’s a wonderful cook. He can cook everything from curry to Italian food — you name it, he can cook it. We eat fresh food often, so we don’t have a lot of packaged foods.” And last but not least, Ladd emphasized the importance of quality sleep. “We rest well. We know it’s important to get good sleep.”
Cheryl Ladd’s story tells us that with optimism and new technology, getting older doesn’t have to be such a scary thing. As long as we’re focused on our personal wellness and working closely with our healthcare practitioners to take precautions, we can continue to experience life to the fullest in great health.
To find out more about cataracts and getting the PanOptic lens, go to mycataracts.com where you’ll find information about the condition as well as a listing of doctors who are approved to perform the surgery.