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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Eye Care Eye Care Arrow to Cataracts Cataracts

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Although the human eye lens is clear and transparent in its normal state, it may become partially or totally clouded as people age, or under certain disease conditions (like diabetes ).

The eye lens is made up mostly of water and protein, but sometimes the proteins begin to clump together, causing whitish discoloration and preventing light from reaching the retina. This clouding is called a cataract.

In many patients, cataracts can appear slowly and remain unchanged for years. In rarer cases, the condition can worsen progressively over a period of a few short weeks

In most mild cataract cases, corrective measures including the use of anti-glare corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses are usually prescribed.

photo illustrating blurred vision of cataract patients
How someone with cataracts
might view the world before
corrective surgery

Cataract surgery is usually recommended only after a cataract begins to interfere with normal, everyday activities.

During phacoemulsification — the most common type of cataract surgery — the rapidly vibrating tip of an ultrasound probe breaks up the cataract, which is then simply suctioned out and replaced with an artificial lens transplant.

The operation is usually done on an outpatient basis, with an eye covering worn for a brief period to allow the eye to heal properly.

Elsewhere on the Web, learn more about the signs and symptoms of cataracts including when to seek treatment, facts on other options your doctor may prescribe, information on nutritional & alternative treatments, as well as general eye disease risk factors and ways to prevent the onset of cataracts ...

More about cataracts around the Web:

Cataracts - National Eye Institute - Step-by-step guide to the topic with facts & information on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pre-surgical, surgical and post-surgical procedures, brief information on related research and links to further information..

Alternative Treatments for Cataracts and Macular Degeneration - Information on causes, symptoms and possible environmental factors related to cataract development, as well as research studies on nutritional and vitamin supplements shown to protect the eyes against risk.


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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