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With permission of NEI

Inside the human eye is a living lens which helps to focus vision. In a young person than lens normally is crystal clear. As we age, the lens becomes less clear. When the lens is cloudy enough to significantly affect vision, we call it a cataract.

Almost everyone can expect to develop a cataract in the late 60s early 70s. Typically there is a slow progressive loss of clear vision of over months to years affecting one or both eyes. The most common early sign of cataracts is glare when driving at night.

Other causes of cataracts are:

  • Trauma
  • Toxic influence (most commonly prednisone)
  • Inflammation (most commonly uveitis)
  • Radiation
  • Degenerative (most commonly retinitis pigmentosa)
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic anomalies (most commonly calcium)
  • Genetic (most commonly Down syndrome)


The only treatment for a cataract is surgery.

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