What are Cataracts?

Learn More About Cataracts

Cataracts, Cataract, Cataract Anatomy, Human Eye With Cataract,
Cataracts In the Human Eye. © ADAM

Definition: A cataract is an eye condition where the clear lens of the eye becomes clouded. The severity of cataracts begins as slightly cloudy and progresses slowly over time to opaque. Without treatment, the condition typically results in blindness.

The Cause of Cataracts

A cataract is caused by proteins clumping together. Proteins, unlike the lens of the eye, are not clear, so the clumping causes cloudy spots on the lens.

The lens can also become discolored, which hampers vision.  

About Cataracts

Cataracts can form in one eye, or in both. They typically get worse over time, and as the clouding gets worse, the person's vision is more impaired. Patients typically develop a cataract in each eye, but the average patient experiences clouding in one eye first, rather than both at the same time.

The majority of cataracts are age related, forming in the elderly, however, cataracts can also be caused by trauma, prescription medication such as steroids, or can be present at birth.  Exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet light) is known to increase the likelihood of forming cataracts, so wearing a quality pair of sunglasses can help prevent this condition from starting or worsening.

Treatment of Cataracts

Surgery to remove cataracts is the most effective treatment for cataracts but drops that may slow the progression of the clouding are available for patients who are not surgical candidates.

What Happens During Cataract Surgery

Also Known As: cataract, senile cataract, senile cataracts

Common Misspellings: cateract, catoract, catarac, catarack, cataracks, catorack,

Examples: The patient started looking for an ophthalmologist to perform surgery for his cataracts.

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