A cataract is a clump of protein deposits on the clear lens at the front of the eye, which leaves the lens cloudy or tinted and impairs vision. A cataract can occur in one or both eyes. Those with cataracts may find it harder to drive (especially at night), read printed words, and interpret facial expressions. The cause is not known, but cataracts are common with aging. By age 80, half of Americans either have cataracts or have undergone cataract removal surgery. Less common causes of cataracts include eye injury, diabetes, and smoking. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness and typically are treated with surgery to replace the lens. Cataracts are less common among children, but removing them is perhaps more urgent than with adults, as the areas of the brain and pathways to them that control eyesight don’t develop properly in children whose vision is diminished by a cataract.
Images and Videos
The Red Eye: What Primary Care Physicians Need to Know
See how UAB’s Bioptic Driving Program is paving the road for those who are severely nearsighted to get behind the wheel safely.
Giving Patients Freedom to Drive
To Dustin Jones, the bioptic driving program at UAB provides one very important benefit: freedom. He has a congenital eye disease called optic atrophy which had prevented him from getting a driver’s license at age 16. Jones got his driver’s license at 19 with the aid of a bioptic telescope and the UAB Driving Assessment Clinic in the Department of Ophthalmology.
Improving the detection of glaucoma
Glaucoma is a silent disease. It does not hurt, symptoms are slow to develop, and most people do not notice any loss of vision until it is too late. A project by ophthalmologists at UAB are examining whether a partnership with community-based optometrists will improve detection and treatment of glaucoma, especially for high-risk populations.
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital helped save a young baseball player’s career and, most importantly, his sight.
Baseball Eye Injury
College baseball player Meade Kendrick was nearly blinded by a batted ball during a practice drill. The ball hit directly on Kendrick’s left eye resulting in a severe closed-globe injury to the eye. See how Meade's vision was restored by UAB Ophthalmologist Doug Witherspoon, M.D. at the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital.
After being hit in the eye with a bottle rocket, Dianne Peterson underwent sight-saving surgery at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital.
Fireworks Eye Injury
Dianne Peterson was just a bystander when a firework hit her in the eye on July 4th. The damage to her left eye was severe. Instead of celebrating, she had eye surgery at midnight. See her story of caution.
Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Removal
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital offers a new surgery to remove cataracts and correct astigmatism using a refractive laser, which offers increased precision while eliminating the use of a blade. Watch the video and see the difference laser cataract surgery can make in helping you see more clearly, again.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts . We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
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UPCOMING CLASSES AND EVENTS
- Genome: Unlocking Life's Code
Do you have your mother’s dimples? Or your father’s hairline? What makes us, us? And how much of it actually sets us apart from every other living thing on Earth?
Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code begins to unravel the mystery behind the complete set of instructions needed for every living thing on Earth to grow and function: the genome. Discover how your genome could be the key to maximizing your future quality of life as genomic science helps open the way to more personalized healthcare. See yourself in a new way: as an individual, as a member of a family, and as part of the diversity of life on Earth.
Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code opens January 19 at McWane Science Center and was made possible in part by financial support secured by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. The exhibit is sponsored by UAB Medicine, which is using its knowledge of the human genome to advance the field of precision medicine, an exciting approach to health care that combines the absolute latest in the prediction and prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease to deliver truly individualized patient care.