Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in adults 55 years of age and older. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. This lens is located behind the iris and works just like the lens of a camera. Light images are focused on the retina, which sends images to the brain. The lens can become so clouded it prevents light and images from reaching the brain.

A cataract can be the reason sharp objects become blurred, bright objects become dull and seeing at night becomes difficult. It may also be why reading glasses or bifocals that previously helped are no longer effective. Vision with cataracts has been described as seeing life through old, cloudy film. However, a cataract is not a film over the eye and neither diet nor lasers will make it disappear.

While eye trauma, certain diseases or some medications may cause clouding, the majority of cataracts are simply a result of the natural aging process. The best way to treat cataracts is with surgery that removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a new, artificial lens. This quick and relatively simple procedure can restore vision and significantly improve the quality of life. The advancement of multifocal and accommodative intraocular lenses now makes it possible for cataract patients to no longer require glasses following the procedure.

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