What is Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Our eyes’ lens is mainly made up of water and protein. The proteins are arranged in such a way that the lens stays clean and light is able to pass through. As we grow older, some of these proteins may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, which over time may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see. Cataracts typically progress slowly, causing gradual loss of vision. If left untreated, cataracts may result in blindness.
There are various types of cataracts but all have in common that they affect the transparency of the eye’s lens. The more cloudy the lens, the more advanced the degree of cataract.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world.
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Normal vision vs. Cataract
What are the symptoms of Cataract?
Symptoms of a cataract include:
- blurred vision
- sensitivity to sunlight or bright lights
- lack of brightness in colors
- increased nearsightedness
- seeing “halos” around lights
- frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
What to expect from Cataract?
Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes. When symptoms appear, you may be able to improve your vision using new glasses, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids. As the cataract progresses, you may consider cataract surgery, which removes the clouded natural eye lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. Cataract surgery is very successful in restoring vision. Discuss your situation and options with your eye care professional to determine what the best options are.
More information about Cataract
There is extensive information available about cataract. The information included is intended to inform you about the basics of this eye condition, and is not intended as a replacement for information from your physician or eye specialist. Information regarding assistive devices that can help you if you have been diagnosed with cataract is included. Our recommendations can be found under Tools and Resources.