CEENTA ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon Joshua Rheinbolt, MD, appeared on WCNC's Charlotte Today on December 12, 2022 to discuss difficulty seeing at night. Learn more about common conditions that cause night blindness and schedule your next appointment with Dr. Rheinbolt at our Concord office today.
Mia Atkins: In our health spotlight this morning, we're talking about a problem many people encounter: being able to see well at night and night vision problems. And we have Dr. Joshua Rheinbolt, he's a CEENTA ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon who practices out of their Concord office. So, thank you for being here and night vision really is an issue that a lot of people deal with.
Dr. Joshua Rheinbolt: Yes, it is, I see a lot of people for night vision problems.
Mia: So, tell us a little bit about - kind of what this is, and how your eyes are trying to adjust when there's darker conditions.
Dr. Rheinbolt: So, there are a couple ways the eyes try to adjust for dark conditions, and the main one is basically opening up the pupil, which is the colored part of your eye. Kinda like when you go into a room and it's dark, you open up the curtains and you get more light in your eye, same thing in the room. The other way is by using the cells in your eye. So, you have two categories of cells called photoreceptors, and they see light. During the day, you get cone cells, which see color, and at night or when it gets darker you use rod cells which use more like darks and grays.
Mia: Right, and I mean you and I were talking before, I mean this is something that a lot of people deal with. I know I struggle sometimes driving at night, it really is a problem. So, what are some of the conditions people might be dealing with if they're struggling to see at night?
Dr. Rheinbolt: Well, there are a lot of common conditions. The most common has to do with your eye being out of focus, and that can be nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism. Some other things that are really common or have to do with the surface of your eye like dry eye, allergies, that makes your vision at night really blurry. And finally, the one I deal with most is cataracts, and that's as you get older, the lens in your eye turns dark and cloudy and you don't see as well at night.
Mia: Right and I think a lot of people too, they might struggle to drive at night and they're like “There's no solutions for this. I'm just going to try and avoid driving at night, and that's just how it's going to be.” But there are a lot of treatments that can help you be able to see better at night. So what are some of those?
Dr. Rheinbolt: So, the easiest ones are glasses or contacts, or LASIK eye surgery. I had LASIK myself. And then for dry eye or eye irritation, there's over-the-counter tears, over-the-counter allergy drops, and then there's some medicated drops for dry eye which really help with that. And then finally, if you have cataracts, there's cataract surgery, which is a five-to-ten minute procedure where I take out the cloudy lens in your eye and I replace it with a new one that's clear. And that new one helps you see better at night and lasts your whole life.
Mia: And is there any way, I mean do we go by process of elimination here, go down the line of trying these treatments, or is there a way to know how you know what treatment path to go on?
Dr. Rheinbolt: Actually, I think that's the best way is going along that path. So first, do the easy things like drops, try glasses or contacts. If you're in a certain age group, maybe cataracts evaluation. And then there are some rare things that can cause night vision problems, but those aren't as common, but I think going through the process of that easy-to-harder is the best way of dealing with it.
Mia: Okay, and then people can also come and visit you, and you're at the Concord location, right?
Dr. Rheinbolt: Yes, I am.
Mia: Tell us where that's at.
Dr. Rheinbolt: Yeah, so it's Concord, location’s right off of Highway 85 exit 60. It's a great office, we have most of the subspecialties there and we do a great job of trying to figure out what's causing your night vision problems.
Mia: Perfect, and then you can also visit them at ceenta.com, that's c-e-e-n-t-a.com. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Dr. Rheinbolt: I appreciate it.
Learn more about Dr. Patricia Bath, ophthalmologist and inventor of the Laserphaco Probe.
Please welcome Allison McAlpine, MD, to CEENTA as our new cornea specialist.
CEENTA cataract surgeon Dr. Chao Li appeared on WCNC's Charlotte Today to discuss cataract surgery advancements.