What are cataracts?

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what are cataracts

Cataracts are extremely common and a natural part of aging

cataract diagram

Cataracts occur when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy from natural proteins that build up over time. As the condition progresses, the clouded lens allows less light to pass through your eye and your vision becomes blurred.

Cataracts will happen to almost everyone, in fact:

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Cataracts currently affect more than 20.5 million Americans over age 40

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By age 65, over 90% of people in the US will develop cataracts. By age 75, their cataracts can really affect their vision

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By 2020, the total number of people with cataracts is expected to grow to 30.1 million

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Early signs and symptoms of cataracts are hard to notice

Keep an eye out for changes in your vision, as cataracts affect people differently.

Cloudy or blurry vision Trouble seeing at night Light and glare sensitivity Seeing halos around lights Fading or yellowing of colors Double vision Normal
The simulated images above are for illustration purposes only.
Select any of the symptoms below to see how cataracts could be affecting your vision.

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Cataracts and astigmatism: what you need to know

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about cataracts and astigmatism

Many people will experience cloudiness in their vision due to cataracts, and at the same time, they'll have difficulties seeing far away without their glasses or contacts due to astigmatism. This is because you can have cataracts and other eye conditions, like astigmatism, at the same time.

When you're ready to correct your cataracts, you and your doctor could also correct your astigmatism by choosing an astigmatism-correcting lens (a toric IOL) that may reduce your dependence on glasses for distance.

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