Cataracts

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all people in the United States either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses cataracts.

Dr. Hill:

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. They can occur at any age, but most cataracts occur in people over 40 years old and are considered an age-related eye disease.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. This results in a gradual change in the lens from transparent to yellowish brown. Light passing through a lens with a cataract is not clearly focused on the retina, so images received from the brain may be blurred or brown tinged.

Cataracts may progress over a number of years and do not require treatment unless they compromise vision or prevent examination or treatment for other eye disorders.

A simple eye examination by an ophthalmologist can detect a cataract.

Treatment may include a change in eyeglass prescription for an early cataract or surgery. More than 1.5 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States each year. The success rate for cataract surgery is about 98 percent.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.