Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. It can affect one or both eyes. Often it develops slowly. 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. Poor vision may also result in an increased risk of falling and depression. Cataracts are the cause of half of blindness and 33% of visual impairment worldwide.

Cataracts are most commonly due to aging, but may also occur due to trauma, radiation exposure, be present from birth, or occur following eye surgery for other problems. Risk factors include diabetes, smoking tobacco, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and alcohol. Either clumps of protein or yellow-brown pigment may be deposited in the lens reducing the transmission of light to the retina at the back of the eye. Diagnosis is by an eye examination.

Prevention includes wearing sunglasses and not smoking. Early on the symptoms may be improved with eyeglasses. If this does not help, surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens is the only effective treatment. Surgery is only needed if the cataracts are causing problems. Surgery generally results in an improved quality of life. Cataract surgery is not easily available in many countries, which is especially true for women, those living in rural areas, and those who cannot read.

About 20 million people globally are blind due to cataracts. It is the cause of about 5% of blindness in the United States and nearly 60% of blindness in parts of Africa and South America. Blindness from cataracts occurs in about 10 to 40 per 100,000 children in the developing world and 1 to 4 per 100,000 children in the developed world. Cataracts become more common with age. About half the people in the United States have had cataracts by the age of 80.


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Basic information: all about all about vision cataract national eye institute facts about cataract cataract cataract health line cataract m kellogs eye centre cataract cataract optometric association cataract cataract msd manuals(professional version) cataract lv prasads eye institute cataract bupa cataract dovemed cataract


Advanced information: american association of ophthalmology cataract cataract mnt cataract :causes,symptoms and treatment american association of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus cataract patient cataract emedicine health cataract university of maryland medical center cataract who cataract cataract surgery for green horns by thomas a.oetting iapb cataract the royal college of ophthalmologists catract surgery guidelines september 2010 quality based procedures – clinical handbook on cataract day care surgery by ministry of health and long term care guidelines for the management of cataract in india a vision 2020: the right to sight india publication management of cataractfebruary 1996 volume 2 number 3 issn: 0965-0288 bulletin for decision makers on the effectiveness of health service interventions effective health care healthpact - technology brief update - femtosecond lasers for cataract surgery© state of queensland (queensland department of health) 2014 cataract surgery john r thompson d:/postscript/09-chap9_3.3d – 27/1/4 – 9:29 virtual cataract surgery course manual for ophthalmology residents



Rushood aa. Mobile eye services: literature review with special reference to the experience of al-basar international foundation. J fam community med [serial online] 2010 [cited 2016 may 19];17:46-9. Available from: journal of ophthalmology
volume 2015 (2015), article id 912481, 11 pages review article:immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis by line kessel et al

Khanna rc, marmamula s, krishnaiah s, giridhar p, chakrabarti s, rao gn. Changing trends in the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in a rural district of india: systematic observations over a decade. Indian j ophthalmol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2016 may 19];60:492-7. Available from:;year=2011;volume=18;issue=4;spage=285;epage=291;aulast=moshirfar moshirfar m, churgin ds, hsu m. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery: a current review. Middle east afr j ophthalmol 2011;18:285-91;year=2016;volume=23;issue=1;spage=145;epage=149;aulast=aboobaker aboobaker s, courtright p. Barriers to cataract surgery in africa: a systematic review. Middle east afr j ophthalmol 2016;23:145-9 arq. Bras. Oftalmol. Vol.77 no.5 são paulo sept./oct. 2014 original articles:late diagnosis and surgical treatment of patients diagnosed with unilateral congenital cataract at fundación visión, in asuncion, paraguay by manuel zegarra et al.;year=2015;volume=22;issue=3;spage=362;epage=369;aulast=gogate gogate p, optom jb, deshpande s, naidoo k. Meta-analysis to compare the safety and efficacy of manual small incision cataract surgery and phacoemulsification. Middle east afr j ophthalmol 2015;22:362-9;year=2009;volume=57;issue=3;spage=245;epage=249;aulast=sinhasinha r, kumar c, titiyal js. Etiopathogenesis of cataract: journal review. Indian j ophthalmol 2009;57:245-9;year=2009;volume=2;issue=1;spage=15;epage=18;aulast=rishirishi p, sharma t, rishi e, chaudhary sp. Combined scleral buckling and phacoemulsification. Oman j ophthalmol 2009;2:15-8 first postoperative day review after uneventful phacoemulsification cataract surgery: is it necessary? By irini p chatziralli et al. Bmc research notes20125:333 doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-333 © chatziralli et al. the combination of intravitreal triamcinolone and phacoemulsification surgery in patients with diabeticfoveal oedema and cataract by maged s habib et al., bmc ophthalmologybmc series ¿ open, inclusive and trusted20055:15 doi: 10.1186/1471-2415-5-15;year=2009;volume=16;issue=3;spage=119;epage=122;aulast=berdahl berdahl jp. Cataract surgery to lower intraocular pressure. Middle east afr j ophthalmol 2009;16:119-22;year=2011;volume=59;issue=3;spage=217;epage=222;aulast=shah shah m, shah s, shah s, prasad v, parikh a, shah m, shah s, shah s, prasad v, parikh a. Visual recovery and predictors of visual prognosis after managing traumatic cataracts in 555 patients. Indian j ophthalmol 2011;59:217-22 arq. Bras. Oftalmol. Vol.76 no.4 são paulo july/aug. 2013 original article:intracapsular dexamethasone implant in patients undergoing phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implantation by lucas monferrari monteiro vianna et al


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Other helpful resources(support groups): rnib supporting people with sight loss cure blindness,himalayan cataract project vision australia vision aware helpageindia


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Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: cells regenerate human lens after cataract surgery, restoring vision
uc san diegouc san diego news center mail online is this the end of cataract operations? New eye drops dissolve the deposits that cause cloudy vision the wall street journal stem cells show promise as cataract and blindness treatments

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