What is a cataract?
Understanding about cataracts requires a basic knowledge of eye anatomy. When we are born, we typically have a clear lens that serves to focus incoming light onto the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that acts like the film of a camera). As we age, the natural clear lens begins to lose its clarity often turning brownish in color and developing opacities.
A natural lens that is no longer clear is called a cataract. One hundred percent of people will develop a cataract if they live long enough. Factors such as age, diabetes, trauma, smoking, and sun exposure can influence at what age a person presents with a cataract.
How do you know if you have a cataract?
Symptoms such as blurred vision, halos around lights at night, and loss of contrast sensitivity are often experienced by people with cataracts. Cataracts typically develop over many years leading to slow incremental decreases in vision. Frequently, patients do not realize how poor the quality of their vision had become due to their cataract until the cataract has been removed and replaced with a clear lens. An examination by an ophthalmologist can evaluate your lens and determine if it is the proper time to remove your cataract.