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What is a Cataract? A cataract is a clouding of a transparent part of your eye called the lens. The normally clear lens focuses light onto the retina located at the back of the eye. When the lens becomes cloudy and opaque, light cannot pass to the retina. The result is blurry or cloudy vision. What Are the Symptoms? In addition to fuzzy or hazy vision, you may notice frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription, decreased color perception, sensitivity to bright light, haloes around lights and poor night vision. Some or all of these symptoms may occur in varying degrees. Cataracts may develop quickly over a few months or slowly over a period of years. In many cases, both eyes will be affected, but not necessarily at the same time. What Causes Cataracts? The ageing process is most directly associated with cataracts. As the body ages, the normally transparent lens begins to harden and becomes cloudy. There is increasing evidence that lifelong exposure to ultraviolet light contributes to the formation of cataracts. Over half of all the people age 65 or older have some degree of cataract development. In addition, eye injuries, certain medications, diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure may also contribute to the formation of cataracts. Infants and newborns can develop cataracts as a result of heredity or disease. How Do I Know If I Have A Cataract? At any optometrist, you will receive a thorough eye examination to determine the health of your eyes, visual function and the degree of cataract development. Specific tests may be conducted to determine how the cataract is affecting you night vision, sensitivity to glare, and color vision. The hardness of the cataract can be determined, and the cataract can be documented photographically. With this complete diagnosis, you will acquire an understanding of your particular situation and your treatment options. When Should You Consider Surgery? Surgical removal of the lens is the only effective treatment for cataracts. Cataract surgery is rarely an emergency procedure; however, if the cataract causes glaucoma, immediate action may be warranted. Usually you will decide when cataract surgery is necessary; when your vision begins to interfere with your day-to-day life and doing things you enjoy.

Dr. Kelby Trusty OD (Therapeutic Optometrist)

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This is a very informative article about cataracts