The eye contains a clear lens positioned behind the pupil. This clear lens is responsible for focusing light onto the retina, which then converts that light into the electrical signals that go to your brain, creating the images you see. Over time, this clear lens can become cloudy, decreasing vision quality and causing glare and blurriness. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract.
Most cataracts are part of the normal aging process as proteins and fibers in the lens begin to change over time. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than half of all Americans over 80 have experienced a cataract or had cataract surgery. However, cataracts can appear at any age, and even babies can have cataracts at birth. Causes of cataract formation can include exposure to UV light, previous eye trauma or surgery, high blood pressure, diabetes, long-term use of steroid medications, or a family history of cataracts at a young age.