What exactly are cataracts?

Inside the eye there is a lens that aids in maintaing focus at different distances.  Over time, it will gradually become cloudy, like a window getting dirty.  This will cause some blur as the light is now being diffracted and scattered, like in a salty windshield.  In most cases, the changes are a gradual process that occur over years.  However, some medications, like steroids, can induce cataracts that will grow at a faster rate.  Fortunately, the fix is quite simple.  When they get “ripe” enough, your optometrist will send you to an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) to get them removed.  They will take out the cloudy lens, and replace it with a new clear one.  This will not only sharpen up the vision, but improve contrast and colour vision as well.  It has gotten to the point where, in some cases, they are able to integrate a patient’s distance glasses prescription, so that they only require glasses for reading post-surgery.  Even though cataracts are very common, they are very easily dealt with, and the risk factors are very minimal.  If you had to pick something to go wrong with your body, this would be it, as it generally provides instant gratification with minimum effort!

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