Picture of Cataracts
Cataract is a painless condition where the normally clear aspirin-sized lens of the eye starts to become cloudy. The result is much like smearing grease over the lens of a camera which impairs normal vision. Causes of cataracts include cortisone medication, trauma, diabetes, and aging. In fact, cataracts will affect most people if they live long enough. Diagnosis can be made when a doctor examines the eyes with a viewing instrument. Symptoms of early cataracts may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgically removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens is the only effective treatment. Removal is only necessary when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. You and your eye- care professional can discuss the surgery and once you understand the benefits and risks, you can make an informed decision about whether cataract surgery is right for you. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery will not cause long-term damage to your eye or make the surgery more difficult.
Reviewed by Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS on September 17, 2009
Image Source: Dr. Umberto Benelli, MD, PhD/EyeAtlas
Text: MedicineNet - Cataracts