A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging and are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Cataracts may affect both eyes, but do not spread from one to another.
Overview and Symptoms
Cataracts occur when protein within your eye builds up and clouds the lens reducing light to the retina causing blurred vision. Risk factors for cataracts include diabetes, smoking and alcohol use, and too much exposure to sunlight.
Symptoms of a cataract can include:
- cloudy or blurry vision
- trouble seeing at night
- sensitivity to bright lights and glare
- seeing halos
- yellowing or fading of colors
- double vision in one eye
Your eye doctor, or ophthalmologist, will give you an exam to test how well you can see. The doctor may also dilate your pupil to check the lens and other parts of the eye. If it is determined that you have a cataract, there are measures that can be taken to help you live your life without being hindered by your cataract.
If your vision can be corrected with glasses or contacts, your doctor will give you a prescription. If these measures do not help, and cataracts are a problem in your daily life, surgery may be the only effective treatment. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Surgery is done on an outpatient basis and you’ll go home the same day. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the surgery will be performed on each eye at separate times, usually about a month apart.
Learn MoreWe provide state-of-the-art care for patients with a broad spectrum of common and rare eye conditions. Our physicians diagnose and treat patients with the latest medical, surgical, and laser procedures, specializing in glaucoma, cataract surgery, cornea and external disease, refractive surgery (Lasik, PRK), neuro-ophthalmology and orbit.