Cataracts occur when the clear, transparent lens inside the eye turns cloudy, causing blurred vision. The clouded lens changes the way light enters the eye.
These symptoms may indicate a cataract has developed:
Surgery can be delayed for months or years if desired. Glasses and contact lens can help people with cataracts until surgery takes place. People usually choose to have surgery when cataracts begin interfering with their daily life.
But left untreated, a cataract can cause blindness or a serious eye disease such as glaucoma.
Older adults most often develop cataracts. This is a normal part of aging and cannot be prevented. Cataracts also can develop in young people, even infants, because of genetic issues, disease, eye injury or long-term use of steroid medications.
Surgery to remove cataracts is the only treatment option. It is a common and effective procedure in which the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens. The procedure restores clear vision, but glasses or contact lenses still may be needed to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness that was present before surgery.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure which typically takes about a day from surgery to follow-up visit. Most people who have cataract surgery can return to most daily activities the next day.
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