A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which makes it hard to see over time. It is the leading cause of blindness among Filipinos. Depending on the severity, cataracts can be managed just with using eyeglasses or with eye surgery.
Last Updated: February 21, 2024

The cloudiness, typically a result of changes in the proteins and fibers that make up the lens, causes images to be blurred because the light is scattered by the opaque lens. Common causes include aging, diabetes mellitus, eye injury, use of certain drugs, smoking, alcohol consumption, unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and nutritional deficiency.

Individuals who have early-stage cataracts may not notice it at first. As their condition gets worse, people usually experience: • blurry or hazy vision • reduced intensity of colors • increased sensitivity to glare • increased difficulty seeing at night • double vision • problems seeing things or people far away

During the early stages of cataract, a person may be able to make small changes to manage it, like using brighter lights at home or work, wearing anti-glare sunglasses, or using magnifying lenses for reading and other activities. New prescription glasses or contact lenses can also help a person with cataract see better. However, when the visual impairment can no longer be improved by eyeglasses, surgery may be done on the affected eye to remove the lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

Various strategies one can do to help prevent or delay cataract formation include: • Wearing sunglasses and a cap or hat to block the sun • Managing other health conditions like diabetes • Stopping or avoiding cigarette smoking • Eating healthy food, especially dark, leafy vegetables • Wearing protective eye equipment when doing tasks that may result in an eye injury
Last Updated: February 21, 2024