by Evan Mckinney
Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop on the lens of a person's eye. The condition occurs when the protein that forms the lens of the eye begins to shift causing excess protein to build-up in one area. This excess protein makes it difficult for light to enter the eye, causing difficulty seeing.
There are three types of cataracts. Cortical cataracts stretch out from the edge of the eye's lens; nuclear cataracts stretch out from the center of the lens; and subcapsular cataracts stretch out from the back of the lens.
An individual will be more likely to develop cataracts if he or she drinks, smokes, has diabetes or has been exposed to large amount of radiation (especially ultraviolet radiation.)
Cataracts may blur or cloud what an individual sees, cause an individual to see duplicate images, impair night vision, increase the glare that light sources appear to emit and/or make colors appear duller.
An optometrist will typically use an eye chart, eye drops to dilate the pupils of the eyes, and special equipment to examine a person's eyes to determine if the individual has cataracts or not.
Some people may be able to use special lenses and/or eyeglasses to alleviate the vision problems caused by cataracts. However, most will require surgery to remove the cataracts at some point.