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Cataract Help

  • Writer's pictureDaniel Smith

Cataracts: What We Know

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Inside our eyes, we have a natural lens. The lens bends (refracts) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. The lens should be clear, like the top lens in the illustration.



If you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy, like the bottom lens in the illustration. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract.


Vision Problems with Cataracts

Cataracts can be removed with Surgery. If your cataract symptoms are not bothering you very much, you don’t have to remove a cataract. You might just need a new eyeglass prescription to help you see better. You should consider surgery when cataracts keep you from doing things you want or need to do.

If you notice any of these cataract symptoms, notify your ophthalmologist.


Cataracts can make images appear dull or yellow.

Blurry or dim vision is a symptom of cataracts.

Cataracts can cause distortion or ghost images.



What Causes Cataracts?


Aging is the most common cause. This is due to normal eye changes that begin to happen after age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. This is what causes the lens to get cloudy. People over age 60 usually start to have some clouding of their lenses. However, vision problems may not happen until years later.


Other reasons you may get cataracts include:

  • having parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members who have cataracts

  • having certain medical problems, such as diabetes

  • smoking

  • having had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body

  • having spent a lot of time in the sun, especially without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays

  • using certain medications such as corticosteroids, which may cause early formation of cataracts.

Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. Other cataracts can develop more quickly, such as those in younger people or those in people with diabetes. Doctors cannot predict how quickly a person’s cataract will develop.


You may be able to slow down your development of cataracts.

“Be original, show off your style, and tell your story.”

Protecting your eyes from sunlight is the best way to do this. Wear sunglasses that screen out the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light rays. You may also wear regular eyeglasses that have a clear, anti-UV coating. Talk with your eye doctor to learn more.


How To Test

Your ophthalmologist will examine and test your eyes to make a cataract diagnosis. This comprehensive eye exam will include dilation. This means eye drops will widen your pupils.



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