What is a Cataract?
Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Initially the affect a cataract has on one’s vision is subtle, but as the cataract grows, vision impairment becomes more evident. Most cataracts occur as a natural product of aging, and the degree to which a person suffers from cataracts is related to genetics. In rare cases, infants can have congenital cataracts. These are usually related to the mother having German measles, chickenpox, or another infectious disease during pregnancy. Cataracts can also form as a result of an injury to the eye.
Age-related cataracts generally become noticeable sometime after age 55. About half of Americans aged 65 to 74 have them, and around 70 percent of Americans aged 75 or older have them. Because cataracts progress slowly, many people are not even aware of the gradual deterioration in their vision. Signs of cataracts include:
- Increasing glare
- Poor night vision
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Faded colors, often described as dull or flat vision
- Double vision with only one eye open
- A sudden change in your glasses prescription
- Light sensitivity