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Dear Doctor

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Dear Doctor,

I am 68 years old and have recently noticed I am having trouble driving at night because of the glare from the headlights. Do you think I just need new glasses or could it be something else?

 

dear-doctorDear Reader,

The symptoms you are describing may be alleviated by a new glasses prescription.  However, it is also possible that you are developing cataracts. A cataract is simply the clouding of the normally clear lens in your eye. This is something that occurs as we age, but can also occur in younger individuals as a result of certain medications, medical conditions, injuries or a genetic predisposition.  When patients develop cataracts, they often note blurred vision, halos around lights, or glare as you describe. Unfortunately, there are no medications, exercises or special glasses that will cause your cataract to disappear.  If you are not inhibited by your vision, the cataract does not need to be treated in most cases. However, if the blurry vision and glare starts to impact your daily functions, such as driving or reading, it may be time to consider surgically removing the cataract. Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgery that is performed at a hospital or ambulatory surgery center. During cataract surgery, usually a small incision is made in the eye and the cataract is broken up into smaller pieces and removed.  A new clear lens is then placed in the eye to replace the natural lens that was removed. 

To determine if this is the cause of your symptoms, I would recommend making an appointment for a complete eye exam with your ophthalmologist.  

Dr. Grace Lindhorst is an Ophthalmologist; she provides patient care at the UT Physicians at Cinco Ranch medical clinic located at 23923 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy, TX 77494. To schedule an appointment, please call 713-486-5300.

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