A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. It affects your vision. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other. Common symptoms are
- Blurry vision
- Colors that seem faded
- Glare - headlights, lamps or sunlight may seem too bright. You may also see a halo around lights.
- Not being able to see well at night
- Double vision
- Frequent prescription changes in your eye wear
Cataracts usually develop slowly. New glasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses can help at first. Surgery is also an option. It involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help to delay cataracts.
NIH: National Eye Institute
- Genetics Home Reference: autosomal dominant optic atrophy and cataract (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: hyperferritinemia-cataract syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
Statistics and Research
- Cataracts (National Eye Institute)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Central corneal thickness changes following manual small incision cataract surgery versus...
- Article: Torsional and burst mode phacoemulsification for patients with hard nuclear cataract:...
- Article: Effects of lens extraction versus laser peripheral iridotomy on anterior segment...
- Cataract -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find Services for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (American Foundation for the Blind)
- Finding an Eye Care Professional (National Eye Institute) Also in Spanish
- National Eye Institute
- Aging and Health: Cataracts (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)