A cataract is a slow, progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens that interferes with light passing through the eye to the retina. Cataracts are caused by a change in the proteins of the eye, which causes clouding or discoloration of the lens. Over time, cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light. Oncoming headlights may also cause uncomfortable glare that makes driving at night more difficult.
People with advanced cataracts often describe their view as if looking through a piece of wax paper. Light from the sun or a lamp may seem too bright and cause glare. Colors may not appear as bright as they once were, yet most cataracts develop so slowly that people often don’t realize that their color vision has deteriorated.
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts begin to form as early as age 50 to 60.
- Birth defect
Abnormal conditions within the eyes of unborn babies can cause a cataract to form.
- Cigarette smoking
- Environmental factors
These factors include disease, toxic chemicals, and certain medications
- Accidents or injuries
- Exposure to ultraviolet light