More than half of all Americans develop cataracts that need to be removed by age 80. Approximately 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts significantly developing, which is one of the most curable causes of vision loss.

A cataract is the clouding of the eye's normally clear lens, blocking the passage of light needed for vision. They form slowly and cause no pain. Some stay small and hardly affect vision, and may never need to be removed, but if the cataract does grow and begin to affect your vision, it can usually be removed with surgery. You don't have to live with vision loss from cataracts!

Dr. Michael Flohr and Dr. David Harrell are our board certified ophthalmologists that each have over 25 years of experience. "Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide; however, in most cases, vision loss from cataracts is reversible. New techniques developed over the past decade have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful procedures available in terms of restoring quality of life to patients," says Dr. Harrell.

Each year there are more than 1.6 million of these delicate eye surgeries performed in the United States.

"There are no drugs or exercises that will make a cataract disappear, and contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not removed using lasers. Lasers are used in follow-up procedures, if needed. Cataract surgery is most often done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia," says Dr. Flohr. "The cloudy natural lens can be replaced with an artificial lens to give the eye proper focusing power. In most cases, the improvement in the patient's vision is profound. In fact, thanks to new multifocal lenses that can now be chosen as an upgrade to your cataract surgery allow you to focus near & far! Allowing many patients to be glasses free after cataract surgery!

Some potential signs of developing cataracts are; gradual painless blurring of vision, double vision in one eye, fading/yellowing of colors, sensitivity to glare and/or bright light, trouble driving at night, needing frequent changes to your glasses or contact lens prescriptions.

Cataract surgery, although quite safe, is still surgery. If cataracts don't affect your quality of life, you may feel that surgery is not needed. The only person who can really decide when it's time to have them removed is you, under the care of your doctor.

Our ophthalmologists have surgical privileges at 4 local hospitals, allowing you to choose for your convenience where you would prefer to have your outpatient cataract surgery done!

• Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital in Hastings, MI

• Sparrow Ionia Hospital in Ionia, MI

• Sheridan Community Hospital in Sheridan, MI

• Carson City Hospital in Carson City, MI

All Pre and Post care can be done at your choice of our Hastings, Lowell or Ionia office locations.

We understand what a big decision this is and want to help you with any questions you have. Please feel free to call our office with any questions and to schedule an appointment with our doctors to answer even further questions.