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cataract
February 23, 2022

Cataract

Cataract are the clouding of the lens of your eye, which is normally clear. Most cataracts develop slowly over time, causing symptoms such as blurry vision. Cataracts can be surgically removed through an outpatient procedure that restores vision in nearly everyone.

Cataract Symptoms

Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of your eye, which is normally clear. Most cataracts develop slowly over time, causing symptoms such as blurry vision. Cataracts can be surgically removed through an outpatient procedure that restores vision in nearly everyone.

Who gets cataract?

Most people start getting cataracts around age 40. But you probably won’t notice symptoms until after age 60. Rarely, babies are born with cataracts due to a birth defect.

You’re more likely to develop cataracts if you:

  • Smoke cigarettes.
  • Live in an area with bad air pollution.
  • Use alcohol heavily.
  • Have a family history of cataracts.

Types of Cataract

There are different types of cataracts. They’re classified based on where and how they develop in your eye.

  • Nuclear cataracts form in the middle of the lens and cause the nucleus, or the center, to become yellow or brown.
  • Cortical cataracts are wedge-shaped and form around the edges of the nucleus.
  • Posterior capsular cataracts form faster than the other two types and affect the back of the lens.
  • Congenital cataracts, which are present at birth or form during a baby’s first year, are less common than age-related cataracts.
  • Traumatic cataracts develop after an injury to the eye, but it can take several years for this to happen.
  • Radiation cataracts can form after a person undergoes radiation treatment for cancer.

Cataract Treatment

Cataracts can be removed only with surgery.

If your cataract symptoms are not bothering you very much, you don’t have to remove a cataract. You might just need a new eyeglass prescription to help you see better. You should consider surgery when cataracts keep you from doing things you want or need to do.

Prevention of Cataract

To reduce your risk of developing cataracts:

  • protect your eyes from UVB rays by wearing sunglasses outside
  • have regular eye exams
  • stop smoking
  • eat fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • keep diabetes and other medical conditions in check

How common are cataracts?

Cataracts are common among older people. More than 50% of people age 80 and older have had cataracts.

Can you get cataracts in both eyes?

You can get cataracts in both eyes. But one eye may be worse than the other or develop at a later time.

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