Cataracts are an inevitable part of aging and most people older than 55 begin developing cataracts. By age 80, half of all Americans have cataracts or have had surgery to have them removed. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. The lens focuses light rays on the retina—the layer of light-sensing cells lining the back of the eye—to produce a sharp image of what we see. When the lens becomes cloudy, light rays cannot pass through it easily, and vision is blurred. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract.
A cataract may not need to be treated if your vision is only slightly blurry. Simply changing your eyeglass prescription may help to improve your vision for a while.
Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. You should talk to your ophthalmologist about cataract surgery when you are no longer able to see well enough to do everyday activities.
The success rate of cataract surgery is excellent. Improved vision is achieved in the vast majority of patients if the eye is healthy otherwise.