An Understanding of the Cataracts

A cataract is a genetic (diagnosed at birth) or degenerative opacity of the eye lens which occurs mostly in the old age. It can be diagnosed by ophthalmoscopy and slit-lamp examination. Cataracts appear as gray, white, or yellow-brown clouds in the eye lens. Examination of the red reflex through the well dilated pupil with an ophthalmoscope at about 30 cm away from the eye discloses this clouding. Small cataracts appear as dark defects in the red reflux. Slit-lamp examination may provide a better diagnosis about the nature, location, and extent of clouding or opacity of the lens.