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Half in U.S. have cataracts by age 65

  |   Oct. 31, 2011 at 9:45 PM
DALLAS, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Cataracts, the main cause of blindness among older adults, affects more than 22 million in the United States, half of those age 65 and older, a researcher says.

Dr. Preston Blomquist, associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said a cataract forms when the lens of the eye becomes clouded and blocks the passage of light to the retina. The result is distorted and blurry vision or faded colors.

Cataract surgery can offer improved vision, and is one of the safest and most effective procedures, with a 95 percent success rate, Blomquist said.

Blomquist cited the following signposts for considering surgery:

-- One sees too much glare from the sun or headlights while driving.

-- One cannot see well enough to read, watch television, sew or play games.

-- Fear of falling or bumping into objects.

-- Vision is not improved sufficiently by wearing glasses.

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