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Cataracts are a common eye condition in which the eye’s naturally clear lens becomes cloudy, resulting in blurred vision and even blindness.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural clear lens becomes cloudy, like a foggy or dirty windowpane. Instead of seeing clearly through a healthy lens, a cataract hinders the passage of light into the eye, causing poor vision. While cataracts are a natural part of aging, other factors such as injury, certain medications, or other health conditions can accelerate their development.

Common symptoms of cataracts are:

  • Blurred Vision: Vision becomes increasingly unclear, making it challenging to see objects clearly or sharply.
  • Double Vision or “Ghosting”: The affected eye may perceive double or ghosted images.
  • Light Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to light, such as seeing halos around headlights at night.
  • Night Vision Difficulty: Trouble seeing well in low-light conditions.
  • Color Perception Changes: Bright colors may appear faded or take on a yellowish hue, affecting the overall vibrancy of the visual experience

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts develop when the proteins in the eye’s lens break down and clump together, clouding the lens. While aging is a primary factor, other contributors include:

  • Genetics: A family history of cataracts may make developing them more likely.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can damage the eye and accelerate the development of cataracts.
  • Eye Injury: Trauma to the eye, surgery, or radiation therapy can weaken the eye and exacerbate cataract symptoms.
  • Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to UV rays without proper eye protection can contribute to cataract formation.
  • Smoking: Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that may increase the risk of cataracts.
  • Medications: Certain medications, like corticosteroids, may accelerate cataract development.

While age-related cataracts tend to progress gradually, some may develop more rapidly, especially in younger individuals or those with diabetes. The speed of cataract development is unpredictable, making early detection and consultation with eye care professionals crucial.

How Are Cataracts Treated?

Not all cataracts require surgery. Cataract treatment depends on the severity of the cataracts and other factors, such as family history or other underlying vision conditions. If cataracts bother you, you might need a new eyeglasses or contact lens prescription. If they are interfering with your daily life, surgery might be the best option.

During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). At Chicago Eye Surgeons, we’ll discuss all your options so you can make the most informed choice about the type of IOL that’s right for you.

What You Should Know

Intraocular Lens Options

We offer a range of intraocular lens options, including Depth of Focus Lens Implants and Trifocal Lens Implants, to suit individual needs and lifestyles.


Most patients experience improved vision shortly after surgery, with minimal downtime. Cataract surgery can improve vision for years, but the lens capsule that holds the IOL may become cloudy over time. Your surgeon can perform a laser procedure called a capsulotomy to open the cloudy capsule, restoring clear vision.

Personalized Treatment

It’s essential to discuss your cataract symptoms with your ophthalmologist. Together, you can assess whether you are prepared for cataract surgery, explore options, and ensure the best course of action for your vision health.

Learn More

With over 20,000 successful surgical procedures, our team of experts at Chicago Eye Surgeons ensures you receive the highest quality care for your treatment. Learn more about cataract surgery and IOL options.