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What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are protein deposits that, as they grow larger, cloud the lens of the eye and impair vision.

They can affect one or both eyes. They develop up to twice as frequently in the presence of diabetes.

They also tend to develop at a much younger age and progress more quickly. If you do develop

cataracts, they are typically treated surgically. While diabetic cataracts can be more complicated than

other types, the results are typically quite good. Symptoms to look out for: Blurred, clouded or

worsening vision, sensitivity to light or glare, halos around lights.

Types of cataracts include:

 Age-related cataracts. As the name suggests, this type of cataract develops as a result of

aging.

 Congenital cataracts. Babies are sometimes born with cataracts as a result of an infection,

injury, or poor development before they were born, or they may develop during childhood.

 Secondary cataracts. These develop as a result of other medical conditions, like diabetes, or

exposure to toxic substances, certain drugs (such as corticosteroids or diuretics), ultraviolet light,

or radiation.

 Traumatic cataracts. These form after injury to the eye.

Other factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing cataracts include cigarette smoke,

air pollution, and heavy alcohol consumption

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Cataracts usually form slowly and cause few symptoms until they noticeably block light. When

symptoms are present, they can include:

 Vision that is cloudy, blurry, foggy, or filmy

 Progressive nearsightedness in older people often called “second sight” because although their

distance vision is deteriorating, they may no longer need reading glasses.

 Changes in the way you see color because the discolored lens acts as a filter.

 Problems driving at night such as glare from oncoming headlights.

 Problems with glare during the day.

 Double vision while looking through the eye with a cataract (like a superimposed image).

 Sudden changes in glasses prescription.