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Ask Dr. Dan B. Your Own Question
Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Male 56 years of age, reading glasses for 7 to 8 years, no

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Male 56 years of age, reading glasses for 7 to 8 years, no glasses needed for driving or distance, tv etc..

In the last 2 weeks my distance vision has become bad enough, I feel I need glasses for distance? in addition when using sunglasses for past year or so, sunglasses seem darker than they used to & now make my distance vision even worse?

I understand I may just need glasses or contacts all the time, but what is up with everything seems to be darker than usual when wearing sunglasses?

Regards, Bob

Doctor DanB :

Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?

Doctor DanB :

I see that you are offline, so I will try to comment on what I think may possibly be happening and when you get in the chat room, if you have any additional information to add, I'd be happy to include that in my thoughts.

Doctor DanB :

For someone who is in their mid-fifties, is having a worsening of distance vision and says that sunglasses make their vision worse/darker, my first, second, and third suspicion is that you may be developing cataracts. A cataract is a gradual thickening and darkening of your natural, crystalline lens that you were born with in each eye. As the lens gradually accumulates water and protein over a lifetime, it grows in thickness, and can turn yellow/brown, causing a decrease in the amount of light that gets in your eye, can causing an onset or worsening of myopia (nearsightedness, or difficulty seeing small things in the distance like with driving).

Doctor DanB :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

Yes it makes sense, I live in Loma Colorado it is really dry in the summer, windy, etc... but it seems my eyes are really dry anymore.

Doctor DanB :

I see. I would recommend going to see an ophthalmologist. They can do a complete, dilated eye exam to check for cataracts, for a need for glasses and for anything else that may be wrong with the eyes. Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?

Customer:

Yes, if I do have cataracts and we opt for surgery, how will we know what lens replacements we need, I have been doing research and there are a few options, including Premium monoculars or something? how can we be sure exactly what I need? because the cost differences are thousands more per eye?

Doctor DanB :

That would essentially boil down to a discussion with your surgeon. The questions you would have to consider would be: 1) could you afford to put a premium lens in (like you said, it would be a significant extra cost to you), 2) do you have any other eye problems or medical problems that would make you a poor candidate for these lenses (dry eyes would be one reason), and 3) would you want to risk the possible side effects that can sometimes limit success with these lenses. Any surgeon who wishes to implant one of these lenses in your eye should have a detailed discussion with you about these questions.

Doctor DanB :

Most people opt for a monofocal lens (the one that insurances/Medicare pays for), and are usually quite happy with them.

Customer:

Is that monofocal the standard replacement for cataract surgery?

Doctor DanB :

Yes, it is.

Customer:

OK, I understand is there anything special we should look for in a qualified opthamologist?

Doctor DanB :

Nothing that would identify them as different from anyone else, except that you may consider looking for a well-established cataract surgeon. Word of mouth is a good tool-ask your contemporaries who they see. You want someone who is board-certified though.

Customer:

OK, that sounds good we will do so, is there anything else you can think we should do?

Doctor DanB :

Nope, I think that's the most important thing to do and will set you on the right track. Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?

Customer:

Yes, lastly should a cataract surgeon give us a discount for cash at service??

Doctor DanB :

It's such an uncommon occurrence that a patient pays out of their pocket for the entire surgery, so I cannot say that they should or should not--there's not much precedent. However, if I were the surgeon, it's certainly a proposition I would listen to.

Customer:

OK, Thank you!

Doctor DanB :

My pleasure. Good luck!


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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!

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