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When cataracts cloud your vision, the experts at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute can help restore your sight.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are most common in older adults. More than half of Americans older than 65 develop this condition. Cataracts may also occur in children as a congenital condition, and in people of any age as the result of an injury or a side effect from other conditions, such as diabetes.

A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens inside your eye. This lens is one of the key structures for focusing light at the back of your eye, where nerves send signals to your brain, and you see an image. When the lens of your eye is clear and unclouded, it allows light to pass through. As your lens naturally clouds with age, it blocks some light from coming through. This causes vision to become yellowed and blurry, almost like looking through an amber filter or dirty glasses. This makes it difficult to see, especially at night, as glare around lights is a common symptom of cataracts.

How Cataracts Change Your Vision

Inside your eye, a lens sits behind the iris or colored part of your eye. As light passes through the lens, it focuses images on the retina at the back of your eye.

When light hits nerve cells in your retina, the nerves send signals to the brain about what the eye is seeing.

Cataracts block or distort light as it passes through the lens, which affects your vision. The visual changes you experience depend on the location and size of your cataract.

What Causes Cataracts?

Age-related changes to your eyes don’t always lead to cataracts. There are many factors that can cause a cataract to form, including:

  • Aging
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Eye disease
  • Health conditions, such as long-term diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Medicines such as corticosteroids and steroids
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Smoking
  • Sunlight exposure/ultraviolet radiation
  • Trauma to the eye

In infants and children, cataracts may be:

  • A symptom of a metabolic disease
  • Caused by an infection during pregnancy
  • Present since birth
  • Caused by injury or trauma to the eye

Why Choose Bascom Palmer?

Leaders in cataract care. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked Bascom Palmer as the No. 1 eye hospital in the nation for the 20th time. Our world-class surgeons are regarded as leaders in the field of cataract surgery. When you come to Bascom Palmer for your care, you have access to the widest selection of lens options and advanced technologies available.

Research-driven treatments. A hospital-based surgical center affiliated with the University of Miami Health System, we care for patients with a variety of medical concerns and conditions. As the region’s only academic medical center, our surgeons and staff stay current with the latest developments in cataract care.

Advanced treatment. A leader in cutting-edge innovation, research, and patient care, Bascom Palmer uses every available diagnostic tool and technology to perform surgery with the utmost precision and safety. We provide customized cataract removal and lens replacement surgery using the femtosecond laser — a device we helped develop and test.

Compassionate care you can trust. Your cataract team of surgeons, nurses, optometrists, and technicians speaks with you and your family about every aspect of your cataract procedure. We listen to your concerns and answer all your questions. We guide you through the entire process with the highest degree of expertise and compassion.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.