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HomePaul L. Foster School of MedicineDepartment Of Ophthalmology

Department of Ophthamology

Cataracts

Cataracts refer to any change in the ocular lens that decreases light passing into the back of the eye. As a result people with cataracts typically do not see as clear as others.

We do not know all the causes for cataracts, but we do know that they are a normal part of aging. Other factors like sunlight, diabetes, certain medications, and trauma can accelerate cataract formation.

Cataracts rarely affect the health of your body and typically do not damage any other structures in the eye. For this reason, we usually wait until the cataract effects the patients lifestyle to perform surgery. For the most part, cataracts usually decrease your vision and do not cause pain.

Patients with cataracts often report decreased vision or problems with glare. An eye doctor is necessary to diagnose whether decreased vision is due to cataracts or other possibly serious eye diseases.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the United States. The surgery itself only takes about 15 minutes, and uses incisions so small that stitches are often not needed.

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