SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Cataract in the left eye of a 72 year old female patient. The cloudy grey mass of a mature cataract can be seen obscuring the pupil of the eye. A cataract is caused by the gradual denaturation of the proteins that make up the eye's lens. Cataracts never cause complete blindness as even a mature cataract such as this transmits light. As transparency of the lens is reduced over time, clarity and detail in sight is progressively lost. Aging is the most common cause, however diseases such as diabetes, drugs such as steroids and trauma induced by injury or radiation are other causes. Congenital cataracts are rare. Surgery is an effective treatment.
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