A blurriness in vision, where light is still transmitted but vision detail and image is lost. This is due to a change in the protein fibres in the eye lens. Usually occurs in both eyes, however one eye will normally be worse than the other.
Age is the main cause, and every person over 65 is considered to have some degree of cataract. Injury to the eye can be another possible cause, as well as untreated diabetes where blood sugar is not regulated.
It may occur at birth where the mother suffers an infection during early pregnancy, or due to cocktail effects of certain drugs in pregnancy. It may also be associated with downs syndrome.
The symptoms are only visual and cataracts is not painful. There is a progressive worsening of vision and increased blurriness over time. The person may become short-sighted and observe disturbance to colour perception.
Surgery can be given when there is a significant impairment of vision, which removes the lens and replaces it with an implant. In an otherwise healthy eye, surgery will give excellent results.