A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. As it develops, it can cause blurred vision, visual impairment and eventually blindness.
Cataracts usually are the result of age and occur most often in people who are more than 50 years old. However, they can occur at any age from other causes such as trauma or injury to the eye. In other cases, children may be born with cataracts at birth.
In many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, 2/3 of all cases of blindness are the result of untreated cataract.
Cataracts can be cured. Treatment requires an eye exam by a certified medical professional – usually an ophthalmologist – and a brief procedure that removes the cataract and restores the patient’s sight. The procedure itself can take as little as 5 minutes and can be done during a brief visit to an eye hospital.