What is a cataract?

What is a cataract? 

A cataract is a cloudy natural lens of the eye. The lens of the eye in younger people is normally crystal clear and focuses light clearly onto the retina. A cataract forms when there is a build up of protein within the lens making it cloudy. The light entering the eye becomes distorted and is out of focus on the retina.  Vision is reduced and legal blindness can eventually result.  Almost everyone who lives a long life will develop cataracts.  Most cataracts mature slowly over several years however some cataracts may develop rapidly within a few months.  The cataract seen in the picture below developed slowly over several years. 


Dense cataract seen through a dilated pupil.

A comprehensive eye examination with an ophthalmologist, including a dilated eye exam is important to diagnose a cataract.  Please click on any of the following links to pages for more information on cataract.

What causes a cataract?

What are the symptoms of cataract?

What are the cataract surgery options?