Cataract is when the lens inside of your eye becomes cloudy due to proteins in the lens breaking down. There are various causes for this condition, but the most common is age. Cataract is very common for those aged 60 and older. Approximately half of the American population age 80 or above have cataracts or have had it removed surgically.

Cataract usually begins as a very mild, and sometimes unnoticeable, condition. It is not usually considered an emergency, however over time, cataract begins to affect daily functions and lifestyle and that is usually the indication that it is time to be treated. Thankfully, there is a very safe and effective surgery that removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens which provides clear vision. If you notice any decrease in the quality of your vision, especially if you are age 60 or older, please schedule an appointment so that your eye doctor can check the health of your eye and if you have developed cataract.


At first, you may not notice any disturbances in your vision, but with time various symptoms can develop, including:

  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Glare
  • Dull appearance of colors
  • Double vision

If you notice any of these symptoms or if daily tasks become difficult due to impaired vision, please schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor.

Types of Cataract

There are many types of cataract due to various causes such as age, systemic diseases or trauma to the eye. Also, the specific location of the cataract inside of your lens can determine which kind of cataract you may have. Some common kinds of this eye disease include:

Subcapsular Cataract: This type occurs in senior citizens and in people who take steroids for a long period of time. It is located at the back outer layer of the lens. It typically develops more quickly and causes complaints of glare.

Nuclear Cataract: This cataract is common amongst the older population. It is located in the center of the lens and causes a yellow hue which can turn more brown over time. Nuclear cataract can cause an interesting phenomenon which allows you to be able to have clearer near vision for a temporary period of time.

Cortical Cataract: The layer surrounding the nucleus is damaged in this type of cataract which causes a spoke-like appearance. This kind of cataract also typically causes glare and is found in senior citizens.

Congenital Cataract: Some people are born with cataracts or develop the condition in childhood. It could be caused for a number of reasons varying from genetics to trauma. Sometimes it does not affect vision but if it does, it is usually removed soon after being diagnosed.


When cataract begins affecting your lifestyle or daily tasks, it is recommended to remove the cataract surgically. Cataract surgery is very safe and allows people to regain clear vision by removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Please discuss this option with your eye doctor so you can be guided through the process and receive professional advice to decide if surgery is the right step for you.


There isn’t a clear method in avoiding cataract as it is considered to be a natural part of the aging process. There are certain recommendation that could be helpful though:

  • Regular eye exams for early detection
  • Quit smoking and decrease alcohol use - both smoking and/ or excessive alcohol intake can be correlated with an increased risk of developing cataract
  • Wear sunglasses - ultraviolet rays from the sun can be associated with developing cataract
  • Mange your other health conditions - follow your treatment plan for diabetes or any other diseases that can increase the risk for cataract