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Cataract in a human eye
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all people in the United States either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.[1]

Common symptoms are

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors that seem faded
  • Glare
  • Not being able to see well at night
  • Double vision
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eyewear

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.[2]

Cataract removal can be performed at any stage in the progression of the disease and no longer requires ripening of the lens. Surgery is usually performed without a hospital stay using local anesthesia. About 9 of 10 patients can achieve a corrected vision of 20/40 or better after surgery.[3] While cataracts do not cause astigmatism, custom designed lenses can be implanted to both replace the cataract and correct the patient's astigmatism.


  1. Facts About Cataract (September 2009). Retrieved on 24 May 2015.
  3. Bollinger KE, Langston RH (2008). "What can patients expect from cataract surgery?". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 75 (3): 193–196, 199–196. doi:10.3949/ccjm.75.3.193. PMID 18383928.