A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye which leads to a decrease in vision. Cataracts often develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and trouble seeing at night. This may result in trouble driving, reading, or recognizing faces.
Cataracts are most commonly due to aging but may also occur due to trauma or radiation exposure, be present from birth, or occur following eye surgery for other problems.
Surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens is the only effective treatment.
Cataract removal can be performed at any stage and no longer requires ripening of the lens. Surgery is usually 'outpatient' and usually performed using local anesthesia. About 9 of 10 patients can achieve a corrected vision of 5/10 or better after surgery.