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Cataracts are usually caused by the clouding of the eye's crystalline lens. This is a normal and common part of the aging process. Other causes include injuries, conjunctivaldefects, due to some drugs or medications, and diseases such as diabetes.

What are the symptoms?

The common symptoms of cataract are blurred distance vision, glare or impaired night vision, and difficulty in reading. It is most common in older adults.

What should I do if I have cataract?

Patients having cataract or suspected of having cataract should undergo detailed comprehensive eye check-up to confirm the presence of cataract and also to know the stage of cataract.

How quickly do cataracts grow and how are they treated in the different stages?

In the early stages, you can usually improve your vision by changing your glasses. But once the cataract advances, changing glasses frequently does not solve the problem. When you can no longer see, to do the things you regularly need to do, the cloudy cataract lens may be removed and replaced with a new, clear, artificial lens to help restore your vision.

Depending on the nature of your cataract, it may develop rapidly over a few months or slowly over several years. In many cases, your other eye will probably be affected. As your cataract progresses, you will notice some deterioration in your ability to see things clearly from a distance. Then you may have difficulty with glare or reading and other activities requiring clear vision.

There are no medications, eye drops, or diets that can cure or prevent cataracts. Once the cataract interferes with your activities, the only solution is surgery to remove them. Cataract surgery has a high success rate for the restoration of vision with today's modern advances and technology.

Cataracts can be treated with surgery and lens implants. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic Intraocular Lens(IOL). During lens implant surgery, a tiny incision is made, and the old lens is gently extracted. A new synthetic intraocular lens is then inserted into the eye.

When should I have cataract surgery?

Your ophthalmologist will determine if you need cataract surgery. The best time for removing your cataract depends on how the impairment of your vision handicaps your lifestyle. If you rely a great deal on your eyes, you may need a cataract removed much earlier than someone with less need for sharp vision. However, certain individual needs pertaining to your work and lifestyle must be considered--and the person best equipped to make the decision to have surgery is YOU.

What risks are involved?

As with any operation, there is always some risk of possible complications. These are unusual with modern cataract surgery. However, you should discuss this subject thoroughly with your doctor before you make your decision.