DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cataract. Close-up of the eye of a 69 year old woman showing the milky lens characteristic of a cataract. Cataracts are a loss of transparency of the lens due to changes in its crystalline structure. They cause a gradual reduction of visual acuity, leading to blurred vision, and, if untreated, blindness. They are common amongst the elderly, and may be considered part of the aging process. As well as this, they can also be caused by an injury to the eye, diabetes, certain drugs and prolonged exposure to radiation. Lenses with cataracts are surgically removed and replaced with artificial substitutes which completely restore vision.
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