A cataract is a clouding that develops in the natural lens of the eye. The lens is the clear part of the eye that helps to focus light, or an image on the retina at the back of the eye. In order for the retina to receive a sharp image, the lens must be clear. If the lens is cloudy, the image you see will appear blurred.
Although most cataracts are related to aging, there are other types of cataracts as well.
- Secondary cataracts can form after surgery for other eye problems such as glaucoma.
They can also be the result of other health problems such as diabetes.
The use of steroids and other medications are also linked to cataracts.
- Traumatic cataracts may develop after an eye injury.
- Congenital cataracts are present at birth.
Some children develop cataracts in early childhood.
These cataracts may be so small that they may not affect vision. If they do, they will need to be removed.
- Radiation cataracts may develop after exposure to some types of radiation.
The most common symptoms of cataracts are:
- Cloudy or blurred vision
- Colors seem faded
- Poor night vision
- Glare of headlights or a halo around lights