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doctor riemer examines patientHas it become more difficult to read the newspaper or see your computer screen? Do things look blurry? Are your eyes more sensitive to light and glare or is it difficult to see at night? If you answered yes to these questions cataracts may be the reason.

Almost one in five people between the ages of 65 and 74 develop cataracts severe enough to affect their lifestyle, and almost one in two people older than 75 has them.

Vision changes as cataracts continue to develop. “Often, vision changes are gradual until one day you realize you are not seeing like you used to,” says Ophthalmologist Andrew Riemer, D.O.

The signs cataracts may be the cause of decreased vision include:

  • Dull, blurry or clouded vision
  • Colors that appear more yellow or brown
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Halos around lights
  • Difficulty seeing at night, especially driving
  • Double vision
  • Frequent changes in prescription

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. Your ophthalmologist removes the cloudy lense and implants a clear, artificial intraocular lense. Patients notice clearer vision within a few hours to a few days after surgery.

“Patients are often surprised at the dramatic improvement in their vision,” says Dr. Riemer. “After surgery, activities and tasks that were once challenging are now easier and more enjoyable because vision is restored.”

aRiemer article

Intraocular Lenses Options

There are three different types of intraocular lenses. Monofocal lenses restore either near or far vision, and patients may still need glasses. Multifocal lenses allow both near and far vision and freedom from glasses. Astigmatism correcting lenses give patients with existing astigmatism sharp distance vision. Glasses may still be needed for reading. “Cataracts are usually thought of as affecting older people,” says Dr. Riemer, “but patients of any age can have them. If you think you may have cataracts, talk to your ophthalmologist and discuss your options.”