Cataract

Alternative Names

Lens opacity; Age-related cataract

Definition of Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The lens of the eye is normally clear. It acts like the lens on a camera, focusing light as it passes to the back of the eye.

Signs and tests

A and slit-lamp examination are used to diagnose cataracts. Other diagnostic tests are rarely needed, except to rule out other possible causes of poor vision.

Treatment

The following may help people who have an early cataract:

Expectations (prognosis)

Vision may not improve to 20/20 after cataract surgery if other eye diseases, such as , are present. Ophthalmologists can usually, but not always, determine this in advance.

Review

Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/31/2010

Eye
Slit-lamp exam
Cataract - close-up of the eye
Cataract surgery  - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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