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  • A decrease in the clarity of vision that is not correctable with glasses

  • Colors that appear faded or washed out

  • Sensitivity to light, glare, and halos around lights

  • Frequent changes to eyeglass prescriptions


An ophthalmologist or optometrist will be able to diagnose a cataract during a dilated eye examination.


The human lens is transparent so that light can travel through it easily. It has no blood supply and is 65 percent water. Although new cells are being made for the lens continuously throughout our lifetime, many factors combine as we age to cause areas in the lens to become cloudy, hard, and dense. The lens can then no longer transmit a clear picture to the retina where it can be processed and sent through the optic nerve to the brain.  Cataracts can have many causes, as described below.


  • Age-related

  • This is the most common kind of cataract. There are three subclassifications, based on location: nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular.

  • Congenital

  • Although it is not common, some babies are born with cataracts or develop them within the first year of life.

  • Traumatic

  • This type of cataract results from an injury to the eye.

  • Secondary

  • This is a cataract that is caused either by medications (most commonly prednisone or other corticosteroids) or disease, like diabetes. Cataracts are 10 times more common in diabetic patients than in the general population.​


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