what are cataracts?

A cataract is a painless, cloudy area in the lens of the eye that blocks the passage of light to the retina which causes vision impairment. The lens is located behind the colored part of the eye in the area of the pupil, and it cannot be seen directly unless it becomes very cloudy. The lens focuses light on the retina at the back of the eye, and the retina then transforms the light into a signal that the brain interprets as vision. Some cataracts may remain small and not be noticeable, but more significant cataracts block and distort the light passing through the lens causing vision loss and changes.

Cataracts are usually a very gradual process of normal aging so many people do not realize that they have cataracts because their vision changes progress so slowly. Cataracts lead to difficulty in performing every day activities such as driving at night, reading, and participating in sports. Left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness.

Only your eye care provider can detect early cataract development even if you have no visual symptoms by performing a routine eye exam. To schedule an eye exam at any of our Eyes On Missouri locations, call 1-866-648-EYES or click here.