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A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens. It interferes with light passing through the eye to the retina. Aging and other factors cause proteins in the eye’s lens to clump together forming these cloudy areas. Early changes may not disturb vision, but over time cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light. People with progressed cataracts often say they feel as if they’re looking through a waterfall or a piece of wax paper.

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Causes and Symptoms

Causes

Cataracts are usually a normal part of the aging process. Cataracts typically develop by the time a person reaches his or her 60s or 70s, although they can occur at younger ages or may exist at birth. Other cataract causes can include eye trauma, inflammation in the eye, or diabetes. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes, but they may develop at different rates.

Cataracts interfere with vision by scattering light as it passes through the eye to the retina
People commonly misunderstand a cataract to be a “skin” on the eye that must be “peeled off.” A cataract is not a growth, but a normally clear lens inside the eye that has turned cloudy.This cloudiness causes blurred images, loss of contrast, glare, or starbursts.

Symptoms

  • Painless blurring of vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Poor night vision
  • Difficulty reading in low light
  • Fading or yellowing of color
  • Frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescription

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Treatment

Treatment of cataracts requires a quick, minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes your cloudy lens and replaces it with a new lens implant. There has been a rapid evolution in cataract treatment over the past few years. Cataract patients now have more lens options, convenient outpatient procedures and fast recoveries – often returning to their normal activities within a week.