A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or yellowed.
The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present.
What causes cataract?
The most common type of cataract is related to aging of the eye. Other causes of cataract include:
- Family history
- Medical problems, such as diabetes
- Injury to the eye
- Medication, especially steroids
- Long-term, unprotected exposure to sunlight
- Previous eye surgery
- Unknown factor
Cataracts are a common cause of decreased vision, particularly for the elderly, but they are treatable. Your ophthalmologist can tell you whether cataract or some other problem is the cause of your vision loss and can help you decide if cataract surgery is appropriate for you.
Information provided by the National Eye Institute & American Academy of Ophthalmology