What Is a Cataract?

Is your vision cloudy when you’re watching television or performing routine tasks around the house? When you’re driving, do oncoming headlights have a “halo” around them? Do colors seem faded? Do you experience double vision that can’t be corrected with glasses or contacts? If you have any of these symptoms, you may have cataracts.

Cataracts are a common vision problem, especially as we get older. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss among people over 55. In the United States, cataracts affect an estimated 20.5 million or about one in six Americans older than age 40. By the time they’re 70, over one-half of all Americans have cataracts.

Cataract removal is one of the most frequently performed operations in the United States. It is usually an outpatient procedure and is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery. Many cataract patients wish they hadn’t waited so long to have the surgery. Learn more »

If you’ve been diagnosed with a cataract, you probably have lots of questions. So let’s get started. You’ll find everything here you need to know about cataracts – and will be on your way to better vision!

Your eye is like a camera and uses a lens to focus. This lens is made up mostly of water and protein, arranged in a precise pattern to keep the lens clear and let light pass through it. But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This cloudy or blurry spot is called a cataract.

At first, the cloudiness in your vision may affect only a small part of the eye’s lens and you may be unaware of any vision loss. Over time, though, it may grow larger, clouding more of your lens and distorting the light passing through the lens. You could notice that you’re having difficulty seeing during your daily activities. If not treated, cataracts may impair or cause complete loss of vision.