Cataracts - A Natural Effect of Aging
The eye's natural crystalline lens helps us focus on people and things at varying distances. Unfortunately, as we grow older this lens hardens, and without its youthful suppleness, loses its ability to focus, creating vision problems. This condition, a natural consequence of aging, is called presbyopia. Some people begin experiencing the early effects of presbyopia (such as gradual loss of near vision) in their mid-40s.
As we age, these changes occurring to the natural crystalline lens will lead to the development of cataracts. By age 65, a large percentage of us will develop a cataract, most often typified by cloudy/fuzzy vision. With a cataract you may have difficulty seeing in extremely bright light or low-light conditions.
Improving Your Vision
Developing a cataract doesn't mean a permanent loss of vision quality, or having to give up the things you love, because cataract surgery is a safe, effective way to improve your vision. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States, with well over 2 million Americans having the procedure every year. Performed almost exclusively on an outpatient basis, cataract surgery is microsurgery, whereby the natural lens is removed and replaced with what is called an intraocular lens (IOL). The procedure is highly successful and most people regain very good distance vision, somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40.