A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens inside the eye. It is typically a part of the aging process, although cataracts also can be inherited; or caused by medication, injuries or diseases.
Symptoms of cataracts may include blurred vision; glare; a double image in one eye; a change in the color of pupils from black to a milky gray, yellow or white; and the frequent need to change eyeglass prescriptions. When vision problems begin to interfere with an individual's ability to enjoy daily activities, it is time for the cataract to be removed.
A generation ago, patients had to wear thick cataract glasses after having cataracts removed. Today, the cloudy lens is surgically replaced with an implanted permanent plastic lens. It's called an intraocular lens. After surgery, patients often are able to see as well as when they were younger.
Cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation is highly successful and is considered to be one of the greatest advancements in eye care in the past two decades.