A cataract is a clouding or discoloring of the normally clear lens of the eye that can cause vision problems. They are a natural part of the aging process, caused by years of exposure to sunlight. The clouded lens distorts and blocks the passage of light through the eye to the retina causing vision to be dull, blurred, and indistinct. While cataracts can affect people of any age, they are most common in older adults.
The most common symptoms of a cataract are:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Glare or light sensitivity
- Poor night vision
- Double vision or multiple images in one eye
- Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contacts
|Cloudy Vision||Yellowing of Colors|
The symptoms of early cataract may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.
Surgery is almost always performed as an outpatient procedure, done under local (or twilight) anesthesia. A small incision is made in the eye, and the front surface of the cataract is opened to allow access to the clouded tissue inside. The cloudy portion is then removed and the lens implant is put in its place.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. It also is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery.
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