Cataracts are a result of clouding of the natural lens in the eye.  Primarily, this is something that develops with age, although there are conditions such as diabetes, smoking, long term UV exposure and family genetics that can predispose to having earlier cataracts.  

A cataract, as it develops, can cause blurry vision that may not be corrected with glasses.  A very common early sign of cataract may be glare or halo around lights during night driving.  

Most of the time a cataract cannot be seen externally by someone else; however, it can be identified using the slit lamp when you are examined by your ophthalmologist or optometrist.  If the eye is dilated, however, the opacity may be seen in the right lighting. 

Cataract surgery is the common surgery in which the lens of the eye with the opacity is removed, and a lens implant is placed in the eye.  At Great Lakes Eye Care, cataract surgery is our most frequent surgery performed.  A special ultrasound, called a phacoemulsifier, is used to remove the cataract with a no-stitch, no-injection technique that is quick and pain free.