A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The lens also adjusts the eye's focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away.
The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through it. But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.
Most cataracts occur gradually as we age and don't become bothersome until after age 55. However, cataracts can also be present at birth (congenital cataracts) or occur at any age as the result of an injury to the eye (traumatic cataracts). Cataracts can also be caused by diseases such as diabetes or can occur as the result of long-term use of certain medications, such as steroids.
- Cataracts Video
Watch a short but informative video about cataracts.
- Signs & Symptoms
The lens of the eye works much like a camera lens, it’s vital that it remain clear and healthy for clear vision. Learn the signs and symptoms that indicate cataracts.
- Causes of Cataracts
Learn more about the factors that may cause cataracts.
- Cataract Surgery & Treatment
Prescriptions, lens treatments and surgery are all options you can explore.
- Common Questions about Presbyopia-correcting IOLs
If you need cataract surgery, you may have the option of getting new presbyopia-correcting IOLs that potentially can restore a full range of vision without eyeglasses.
- More About Cataracts
Additional information including lifestyle factors that could impact cataracts.