What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are caused by a build-up of protein that clouds the eye’s lens, which can lead to blurred vision and eventual blindness. Learn more about how the Relief for Human Suffering Foundation works to prevent blindness and reduce the suffering caused by easily treatable medical conditions in developing countries.
Depending on which part of the eye’s lens is affected, there are different types of cataracts: they can affect the center, the sides, or the back of the lens. They can appear in just one eye or in both eyes, although they may not develop at the same time. Eventually, if they are not treated, cataracts can and often lead to blindness.
Cataracts form when protein builds up in the lens of the eye and makes it cloudy. This keeps light from passing through clearly and can cause the loss of eyesight. Cataracts usually develop because of old age but can also appear as a result of eye injuries; following eye surgeries or be present from birth in many developing countries where treatment may not be readily affordable or available, leading to a major cause of blindness.
Cataracts usually form slowly and may not be noticed until they start to block lights. Typical symptoms can include cloudy/blurry/foggy/filmy vision, nearsightedness in older people, trouble with eyewear or contact lenses not working well, problems with glares during the day, changes in the way one sees color, problems driving at night due to glare from oncoming headlights, or double vision in the affected eye