CATARACT

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window.

Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend's face.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision.

The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery.

What happens during cataract surgery

Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. The artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, is positioned in the same place as your natural lens, and it remains a permanent part of your eye.

Cataract surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis, which means you won't need to stay in a hospital after the surgery.

During cataract surgery, your eye doctor uses local anesthesia to numb the area around your eye, but you usually stay awake during the procedure.

After the procedure, you'll have some discomfort for a few days. You generally will be healed within eight weeks.