What Is A Cataract



What is a Cataract

A cataract is the progressive clouding of the human lens inside the eye.  The lens is a small oval-like structure and consists of a thin capsule (like plastic wrap) enveloping a bag of protein.  This protein is crystal clear and colorless at birth but discolors and clouds with age: first yellow, then brown, and finally cloudy.  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.

How Cataracts Are Formed and Affect Your Vision

The eye’s lens is made of protein and water. When the proteins clump together, a cataract is formed. In a normal eye, light passes through the eye’s lens and falls on the retina, forming an image. However, if there is a cataract, the cataract causes the light to become scattered so it does not pass through to the retina, and a blurry image is formed.

Causes of Cataracts

Cataracts are usually caused by medication or disease (such as diabetes) or caused by increasing age (about 90 percent of people older than 65 years old have a cataract).

Symptoms of Cataracts

Initially, the cataract changes the focusing power of the eye, and a change of glasses can satisfactorily improve vision.  Gradually, clarity drops so that visual tasks become increasingly difficult, despite the best possible glasses.   At that point, a person with a cataract views the world as if through a dirty window or a windshield that needs defrosting.  Glare becomes a serious problem. Color perception becomes muted.  Reading, driving, computer work, hobbies, and athletics become less easy and eventually impossible due to diminished vision.

At that point the only option to cure this condition, is Cataract Surgery.