What is a cataract?

A cataract is a painless clouding of the normal clear lens of the eye. The amount and pattern of the cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present. The most common type of cataract is related to aging of the eye and develops gradually over a period of years. Other causes of a cataract may be family history, medical problems such as diabetes, injury to the eye, medications including steroids, radiation, and long-term unprotected exposure to sunlight.

Are there symptoms?

Symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Glare or light sensitivity
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Needing brighter light to read
  • Fading or yellowing of colors

How often should I be examined for a Cataract?

By performing a thorough eye examination, your ophthalmologist can detect the presence of a cataract. A careful evaluation can also rule out any other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or other eye problems. Typically, an annual examination is recommended.

Is there a cure and treatment?

More than 1.8 million people have cataract surgery each year in the United States, and more than 95 percent of those surgeries are performed with no complications. During cataract surgery, which is usually performed under local or topical anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, the cloudy lens is removed from the eye. After surgery, you will have to take eye drops as your ophthalmologist directs. Your surgeon will check your eye several times to make sure it is healing properly.