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Home » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Cataracts

Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over 45. A condition that commonly develops as the eye ages, by the time we reach 80, more than half of us will have developed a cataract.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye which is normally transparent. The lens, located inside the eye, behind the iris and the pupil, focuses light onto the retina at the back of your eye, where it is converted to nerve signals that are passed to the brain, allowing you to see. When your lens becomes cloudy, the images projected onto your retina become blurry and unfocused and therefore the signal to the brain is also unclear. You can compare this to looking through a dirty or cloudy window. If the window is not clear, you can’t see well.

Usually cataracts develop slowly over time so your vision gradually worsens. While the majority of cataracts are a result of the aging process, there are also congenital cataracts that are present at birth, secondary cataracts that result from eye surgery or diseases such as glaucoma or diabetes and traumatic cataracts that result at any age from an injury to the eye.

While you may be able to live with mild or moderate cataracts, severe cataracts are treated with surgery. The procedure involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Cataract surgery is a common procedure that has a very high success rate of restoring vision to patients. Modern cataract surgery is frequently done as an outpatient procedure. Patients will have greatly improved vision the next day, and will continue to improve over the next few weeks. Surgery is often done in one eye first, and surgery on the second eye, if needed, may be done 2 weeks later.

Learn more about the specifics of Cataracts on the links below:

    • The lens of the eye works much like a camera lens, it’s vital that it remain clear and healthy for clear vision. Learn the signs and symptoms that indicate cataracts.
    • Learn more about the factors that may cause cataracts.
    • Prescriptions, lens treatments and surgery are all options you can explore.
    • If you need cataract surgery, you may have the option of getting new presbyopia-correcting IOLs that potentially can restore a full range of vision without eyeglasses.
    • Additional information including lifestyle factors that could impact cataracts.

    Dear Richie Eye Clinic & LASIK Center Family and Friends,

    As we head into the Holiday Season and the New Year, I have some news to share.

    As many of you know, we have added some new doctors to our team in the last couple of years. Dr. Josh Spedding OD, our new Optometrist, joined us last summer and is currently seeing patients in both our Northfield and Faribault offices. We are thrilled to have Dr. Spedding on our team and welcome him and his family to the area.

    Dr. Cory Miller, MD joined us in 2021 and we welcomed Dr. Mike Reinsbach, MD to our team this past summer. Both are Board Certified Ophthalmologists and skilled surgeons specializing in High Technology Cataract Surgery with Advanced Lens Implants, LASIK, Retinal injections, MIGS Surgery for Glaucoma, as well as the usual medical and surgical management of eye disease.

    With the addition of these high performing providers, I am transitioning my role in 2023 to concentrate on Practice Development while continuing to serve as the Medical Director overseeing our practice protocols and procedures. Dr. Miller and Dr. Reinsbach will be assuming my day-to-day patient care duties.

    I have done my best over the past several months to tell everyone of this transition plan while personally introducing Dr. Miller and Dr. Reinsbach; please accept my apologies if I missed any of you during this time.

    Rest assured, we will continue our commitment to providing cutting edge care. Starting in 2023 look for Dropless Cataract Surgery, Light-Adjustable Lens Implants, and so much more…

    Thank you for the Trust and Confidence you have shown me over the past 32 years. Please feel free to call us at (507) 332-9900 for questions, concerns, or clarification.

    Sincerely,

    Mike Richie, MD

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