What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts Diagram

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, but fortunately, it is correctable. It is the most common surgery for Americans over the age of 65. 95% of people 85 years old have cataracts. Almost 50% of people 65 have a developing cataract.

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye. This lens is a clear, disc-shaped structure located behind the iris (the colored portion of the eye). The human lens acts much like the lens in a camera, focusing the images on the retina of the eye. The retina then transfers the visual image to the brain, which permits vision.

When a cataract develops, the lens becomes opaque or cloudy and vision may become impaired. Cataracts are most often a result of aging although anyone can get them. When the lens becomes cloudy and causes vision loss great enough to interfere with normal daily activities, surgical removal is required to improve vision.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of a cataract include:

  • painless blurring of vision
  • light sensitivity
  • poor night vision
  • double vision in one eye
  • needing brighter light to read
  • colors looking faded or yellow
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