Cataract: a disease often related to the aging of the eye

Cataract is an eye disease that most often affects the elderly. It is a clouding of the lens of slow evolution, resulting in a gradual decline in vision.

It is a slow and unavoidable process, linked to the accumulation of oxidizing factors in the course of life. The older a person is, the more likely they are to have cataracts. It begins to appear most often before age 60, but is not uncommon before this age. In developing countries, cataracts can affect younger patients.

There are also cataracts secondary to another ocular condition, eye trauma for example, or a general pathology (diabetes), or caused by a drug taken for a long time (like cortisone). There are also congenital cataracts (at birth) caused by a disease that has affected the embryo (rubella), or inherited transmission ...

The cataract is due to opacification of the crystalline lens, this normally completely transparent lens that is in the eye, behind the iris. When the lens becomes opaque, the light rays go wrong and the images do not form properly on the retina, with - among other things - a different perception of the colors.

Its evolution leads to a gradual decline in vision, associated with dazzling bright light. A discomfort in the daily or professional activities leads to consider a surgical treatment to render to the eye its transparency and to correct the sight. Example: Monet who lived a long time, touched by a cataract, had a different vision of the colors at the end of his life ... Which is obvious in these last paintings.

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Read also :

> The operation of the cataract
> Vision disorders
> All about eye diseases

Authors: Dr. Nicolas Evrard, Audrey Amaury and Dr. Ada Picard.

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