Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. It’s like trying to see through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision can make it more difficult to read, drive a car or see the expression on a friend’s face. Cataracts commonly affect distance vision and cause problems with glare.

Clouding of the lens is a normal part of getting older. About half of Americans older than 65 have some degree of clouding of the lens. After age 75, as many as 70 percent of Americans have cataracts that are significant enough to impair their vision.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on, but as the clouding progresses, the cataract eventually interferes with your vision.

In the early stages, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with the vision problems. At some point, if impaired vision jeopardizes your normal lifestyle, you might need surgery. Fortunately, cataract removal is one of the safest, most effective and most common surgical procedures.