Cataracts are cloudy areas in the center of the eye caused by the breakdown of proteins. Over time, symptoms may develop, including blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and seeing less color. Cataracts are very common in older individuals—over half of Americans over 80 years old have cataracts or have had cataracts removed. The treatment for cataracts is surgery.
Some groups of people are more likely to develop cataracts, such as those who have a family history of cataracts, spend a lot of time in the sun, smoke, or drink a lot of alcohol. There is no way to completely stop cataracts from developing, but preventative steps include wearing sunglasses to block the sun, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking.