Ask the Eye Doctor

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Q: My mother had cataract surgery and uses reading glasses. My neighbor however, just had cataract surgery and does not use glasses at all. What kind of cataract surgery did my neighbor have?

A: The development of a cataract occurs when the natural crystalline lens of the eye becomes opaque and cloudy, resulting in an overall decrease in vision and night vision problems. Cataracts develop because of a natural aging change to the lens. As a person ages, so does the lens inside the eye. A cataract can also be seen in a young person; however, age is the more common contributing factor. Sometimes a cataract may develop in a young person with systemic disease such as diabetes or myotonic dystrophy. A cataract can also develop from trauma to the eye and certain medications such as prednisone. Often times, UV exposure can accelerate the development of cataracts. It is not uncommon to see cataracts in younger people from countries closer to the equator where the UV is much stronger.

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