Cataracts 101: Understand the Basics of Cloudy Vision

As you age, your body undergoes many changes, with some being more noticeable than others. One such change that can significantly impact your quality of life is the development of cataracts.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a common condition that causes clouding in the lens of your eye. This lens, which is located behind your iris and your pupil, is primarily made up of water and protein. As you age, these proteins can start to clump together, causing patches of cloudiness in your lens, also known as cataracts.

Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes. They can make your vision blurry or less colorful, which can interfere with your daily activities. It's important to remember that cataracts are not a disease, but a natural part of aging that can be managed with the right treatment.

Understanding the Development of Cataracts

The development of cataracts is a gradual process that occurs over many years. In the early stages, you may not even notice that you have them. Over time, however, the proteins in your lens continue to clump together, causing your cataracts to grow larger and cloudier.

The exact cause of cataracts is unknown, but several factors can contribute to their development. These include aging, injury to the eye, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, and lifestyle factors like smoking and excessive exposure to sunlight.


Recognizing the Symptoms of Cataracts

The most common symptom is a gradual decrease in vision quality. Colors might seem less vibrant, and you may find it difficult to see in low light or at night. You may also experience glare or halos around lights, double vision in one eye, or frequent changes in your glasses or contact lens prescription.

It's important to remember that these symptoms can also be signs of other eye conditions. Therefore, if you're experiencing any changes in your vision, it's crucial to schedule a visit with an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam.

Prevention and Treatment for Cataracts

While you can't completely prevent cataracts, there are steps you can take to slow their progression. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key. This includes eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, which can protect your eyes from damage. Regular exercise can also help, as it can reduce your risk of conditions that may contribute to cataracts, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Protecting your eyes from the sun is another important step. Long-term exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can contribute to the development of cataracts. Therefore, it's crucial to wear sunglasses that block out 100% of UV rays when you're outside.

When it comes to treating cataracts, ophthalmic treatments are the most effective. The most common treatment is cataract surgery, which involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one. This surgery is highly successful and can significantly improve your vision.

There are other treatments available such as laser surgery and phacoemulsification, a technique that uses ultrasound waves to break up the cataract. Your ophthalmologist will work with you to determine the best treatment option based on the severity of your cataracts and your overall health.


Cataracts can be a daunting condition to face, but with the right information and care, you can navigate it with confidence. By understanding the basics, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking timely treatment, you can maintain your eye health and continue to enjoy clear, vibrant vision.

For more information on cataracts, visit Progressive Ophthalmology at our office in Queens, New York. Call (718) 565-2020 to schedule an appointment today.