A cataract forms when proteins degenerate and break down in the lens of the eye. The lens protein break-down causes the lens to become hazy and cloudy, making it more difficult to see through. A good analogy is when the head lights on a car become opaque over time and the light shining through becomes dimmer.
A question many people ask is what causes cataracts? Normal aging is one of the most common reasons cataracts form. Other causes that can speed the progression of cataracts include diabetes, eye injury, lack of UV protection, or if someone is taking steroid medication.
Symptoms that a person with cataracts may experience are difficulty with night vision, sensitivity to light, glare, difficulty reading and having colors appear washed out.
If you notice a gradual change or decrease in your vision, or you feel that you are not seeing as clearly as you used to, cataracts could be the cause. It is important to have an annual dilated eye examination to stay ahead of your eye health, and diagnose any issues affecting your vision, like cataracts, and to rule out the presence of macular degeneration.