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Eye and Vision Care

What Are the Signs of Cataracts

11/30/2009

Question:

What are the signs of a cataract in adults?

Answer:

Cataracts are a common cause of vision problems, especially among older adults or people with diabetes.  The most common vision problems that people experience as they develop cataracts are blurred vision and difficulties with glare under bright lighting conditions.

Other eye problems can also cause these same problems, so it is important to have an eye doctor examine the eyes carefully. 

During a complete eye exam, the eye doctor can see if cataracts are developing by using a microscope to look at the natural lens of the eye.  This natural lens is about the size of an aspirin tablet and is located just behind the colored part (iris) of the eye. 

Normally, this lens is crystal clear.  If it becomes cloudy, we call it a cataract.  If the vision problems caused by this cloudiness become a problem for the person in their daily life, then surgery can be done to remove the lens and replace it with a new, crystal clear, artificial one. 

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Response by:

Roanne   Flom, OD Roanne Flom, OD
Professor of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University