Aging Options

Trouble driving at night? Could be cataracts!

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By Karen Jarstad
Evergreen Eye Center

If you or a loved one is bothered by glare from oncoming car headlights at night (not just the Xenon blue ones – they make everyone squint), you could be having symptoms from the early stages of cataracts.

Dr. John Jarstad, board certified ophthalmologist and chief eye surgeon for Evergreen Eye Center, said that most patients are not aware that they even have cataracts until they experience trouble driving at night and come in for an evaluation. “It always amazes me how slowly cataracts can creep up on a patient who may have had no trouble for years and suddenly they have a near miss or really notice trouble seeing the road,”  said Dr. Jarstad. He recommends anyone over 55 years of age have a yearly eye examination, not just for cataracts but also for other conditions that commonly occur with aging.

Many more treatment options exist now than what was available even 10 to 20 years ago and they are tremendously more successful. Eye conditions that were once incurable or very difficult to treat including “wet” macular degeneration,  forms of glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and cosmetic and refractive (LASIK type procedures) have a much higher success rate than ever before.

“We now have the potential to treat patients who have worn thick glasses all their lives and replace their cataracts with tiny artificial lenses that can even change focus from driving to reading –thus eliminating glasses for the majority of vision tasks,” said Dr. Jarstad. He advises anyone over 55 or anyone having eye problems to consult with their eye care specialist yearly or schedule a visit with one of Evergreen Eye Center’s four South King County locations in Federal Way, Burien, Auburn or Enumclaw.

Dr. Jarstad specializes in cataract and laser vision surgery, as well as treatment of diseases of the anterior segment of the eye. He completed both his medical residency and his internship at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and has been named one of America’s top ophthalmologists by the Consumer Research Council. Dr. Jarstad is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, a pioneer in performing the first cataract surgery in Washington without stitches and also the inventor of the Jarstad cataract surgery marker. Dr. Jarstad is certified for the Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) procedure and LASIK. As the founder of Evergreen Eye Center, Dr. Jarstad has achieved his vision of creating a comprehensive, state-of-the-art eye care facility. Dr. Jarstad was on the AgingOptions Radio Show 5/23/15.  You can hear that podcast here.

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