What are some of the risks associated with not having a cataract removed? Can other damage occur as the cataract continues to get larger?

The main risk of not having a cataract removed is that you will be living with compromised vision from the cataract that is known to result in a higher incidence of falls as well as other problems. If your vision is not bothersome and you feel you can get around and do all activities of daily living, there is no harm in waiting. It is possible to wait too long, making the cataract operation more difficult if the cataract becomes mature or very dense.

If I use glasses for nearsightedness, should I wear them all the time or only for distance vision? Can I use them for reading?

You will quickly discover when your glasses help you. You do no harm by taking them on or off. If you are younger than 40, nearsighted (myopic) glasses will provide clarity for you at distance and will help especially for night driving. If your prescription isn’t too strong, you can probably take them off to read or do other near work. If you are much over 40, you likely have developed presbyopia (age-related loss of close vision). But in this case you probably have bifocals or reading glasses for near vision.

I got new glasses with anti-reflective and blue-light coating and I used lens wipes which caused mild scratches on my glasses. Should that affect the prescription or the protective coating of the glasses?

Light scratches will not change the prescription or protective features of the lens, although they can be annoying if near your visual axis. Extensive scratches or loss of coatings can impair your clarity of vision and possibly decrease protection from UV light. You should show these lenses to the optician who dispensed them and discuss how you are cleaning them. Lower quality lenses and coatings will scratch more easily and may need to be replaced.

Should I be concerned about a black/very dark vein in white of my eye?

Veins on the surface of the eye can vary in appearance and size. Veins contain blood without oxygen, so are somewhat blue in colour and in certain lights can appear very dark, almost black. Venous patterns like this, if long standing, are usually benign and nothing to worry about. If this appeared suddenly, especially if the vision is impacted, then an ophthalmologist should be consulted.