What is it?

Cataract is an opacification of the lens in the eye which leads to a decreased vision. Cataracts classically develop slowly and are more common in older people. It is the number one cause for blindness worldwide, causing around half of all blindness cases. This is an especially common cause for blindness in undeveloped countries in which surgery is not redily availible. Cataracts are most commonly caused by aging but can be caused by trauma, radiation, genetic abnormalities, medications and more. Risk factors include diabetes, smoking, sun exposure and exessive alcohol intake.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms depend on the type and severity of the cataract and may inckude
*faded colors
*blurry vision
*double vision
*halos around light
*reduced night vision.


The ophthalmologist can easily diagnose cataracts using a comprehensive eye exam. She will observe your lens, check your visual acuity, your eye pressure and your optic nerve. Your doctor might also check your sensitivity to light and your perception of colors.


Reducing sun exposure and smoking cessation may slow progression. However, the main treatment for cataract is surgical. The necessity of surgery depends on the person's functional and visual needs, accounting for the surgery risks . During the surgery, the opacified lens is removed and replaced by a new one. The most common surgical technique in the developed world is called phacoemulsification which is a short procedure that can be preformed in outpatient clinics.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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