What are Cataracts and Their Treatment?

According to the National Eye Institute, about half of all Americans that are 80 years of age or older will develop cataracts or have been treated for them. Cataracts are a thin covering over the lens of the eye. This clouding can limit your vision, making it hard to see distinct shapes and colors. They are common as you get older, but for many people, there is treatment available for them.


Cataracts develop in the eye’s lens, which is the area of the eye that helps to focus the light on the retina. The retina is where that light becomes an image, and the information from the image is transferred to your brain through the optical nerve. In a healthy eye, this light passes through the lens with ease because the lens remains transparent. In those who develop cataracts, the lens isn’t clear, meaning the image isn’t able to be focused well enough. Instead, the image looks blurred.

Cataracts occur when protein develops and clumps on the lens. The lens itself is made up of proteins, but when they are no longer arranged properly, they can cloud the vision. Cataracts worsen over time as the clumps get larger. They are more likely to occur in people who have diabetes or who have been smokers, but they can also occur without any link to other health risks.


Once your eye doctor diagnosis cataracts, treatment options are then applied. In many people, the cataract can be removed through minimally invasive eye surgery. If your vision is still good enough to enjoy day to day activities, you may not need cataracts removed. However, when it is making it difficult to watch TV, drive, or do the things you love, it’s time to make an appointment for cataract removal surgery.


The best way to minimize the risk of vision loss is to have routine eye exams. Come in for an appointment with Powers Eye Center if you think you may have cataracts or you are at risk for them. Call 719-598-5068 to schedule an exam.