A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. It affects your vision. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.

A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other. Common symptoms are

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors that seem faded
  • Glare - headlights, lamps or sunlight may seem too bright. You may also see a halo around lights.
  • Not being able to see well at night
  • Double vision
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eye wear

Cataracts usually develop slowly. New glasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses can help at first. Surgery is also an option. It involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help to delay cataracts.

NIH: National Eye Institute

Symptoms of Cataract

The following features are indicative of Cataract:
  • blurred vision
  • poor night vision
  • double vision in one eye
  • sensitivity to light and glare
  • faded colors
  • frequent changes in eyeglass
It is possible that Cataract shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Cataract

The following are the most common causes of Cataract:
  • aging
  • trauma
  • genetic disorders
  • exposure to radiation
  • skin diseases
  • inadequate vitamin C intake

Other Causes of Cataract

The following are the less common causes of Cataract:
  • habit of smoking
  • alcohol consumption
  • diabetes mellitus

Risk Factors for Cataract

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Cataract:
  • diabetes
  • smoking tobacco
  • prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • increasing age
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • previous eye injury

Prevention of Cataract

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Cataract. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • wear sunglasses that prevent the ultraviolet light

Occurrence of Cataract

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Cataract cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Cataract can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Cataract can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Cataract

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Cataract:
  • Retinal exam: To view the back of the eyes
  • Slit-lamp examination: To view the structures at the front of your eye under magnification
  • Visual acuity test: To determine the sharpness and clarity of the vision
  • Tonometry: To measure the pressure inside the eye

Doctor for Diagnosis of Cataract

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Cataract:
  • Ophthalmologist

Complications of Cataract if untreated

Yes, Cataract causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Cataract is left untreated:
  • visual impairment
  • blindness
  • depression

Procedures for Treatment of Cataract

The following procedures are used to treat Cataract:
  • Surgery: To remove the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens

Self-care for Cataract

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Cataract:
  • Reduce alcohol use: Helps decreasing risks of cataracts
  • Wear sunglasses in sunlight: Helps reducing risks of cataracts
  • Have healthy diet: Help maintain the health of eyes
  • Quit smoking: Helps reducing risk of cataract
  • Have regular eye examinations: Help detect cataracts and other eye problems at their earliest stages

Time for Treatment of Cataract

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Cataract to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Cataract.
Eye Diseases
Vision Impairment and Blindness

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