More than 22 million people in this country who are over 40 years old suffer from cataracts. It has been predicted that as the population grows, more than 30 million Americans are expected to have them by 2020.

A cataract occurs in one or both Eyes when the lens becomes cloudy. Cataracts often develop slowly over time. They cause blurry or cloudy vision which makes it difficult for people to read. Colors are not as bright as they used to be. People have trouble driving at night because of the glare from oncoming cars and the halos around car lights and traffic lights.

There are more cases of cataracts than any of the other eyes illnesses, according to Prevent Blindness America.

Who gets cataracts?

Cataracts often show up in older adults, but old age is not the only cause of cataracts. They may also occur because of some trauma to the eye, exposure to radiation, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, drinking alcohol and smoking.

The lens inside a person's eye is much like a camera lens made of mostly protein and water. As people age, some of the protein may start to cloud a small area of the eye. As it grows, it affects a person's vision and makes it much harder for them to see clearly.


One's vision may improve with new glasses at first. Eventually, something more aggressive will have to be done.

Surgery is recommended when a person's vision become too blurry and it affects his daily life. If someone is bothered by cataracts, there is no need to suffer because of them. They can be easily treated by a doctor who can perform eye surgery which is a simple and painless outpatient procedure that does not require much downtime.

The surgeon uses local anesthesia and removes the cloudy lens. Then he replaces it with a clear plastic one. More than 3 million Americans undergo the surgery every year with a very successful rate. Nine out of 10 people regain somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 of their vision.


Foods high in antioxidants may help prevent certain types of cataracts.

Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables. Foods high in vitamins C and E might also help reduce the risk. Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids also might prevent cataracts from becoming bothersome. Other than eating certain foods, another precaution is to wear protective sunglasses that block the sun from the eyes when spending a long period of time outdoors on sunny days.