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.

When it comes to cataracts, nothing can change your world like seeing it more clearly again. We perform traditional cataract surgery as well as a new option that uses breakthrough technology to remove cataracts and correct astigmatism using a refractive laser. The laser offers increased precision while eliminating the use of a blade. We have more surgeons certified to perform laser cataract surgery than any other facility in the Southeast.

UAB Medicine faculty physicians work closely with vision scientists to develop state-of-the-art technologies and groundbreaking treatments to improve your eye health. UAB Callahan Eye pioneered surgical instrumentation, devices, and procedures that are now used by ophthalmologists all over the world. We don’t just treat eye disease – we help our patients learn to adapt to changes in their vision by providing comprehensive care and rehabilitation services.
Ophthalmology care at UAB is located in UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, one of the busiest eye hospitals in the country, where specialists work together to treat complex cases. The UAB Callahan Eye Hospital surgical suite houses nine operating rooms dedicated to eye surgery as well as a 24/7 eye emergency room, which is the region’s only Level I Ocular Trauma Center. More than 15,000 surgeries are performed at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital each year, and we conduct more reconstructive eye surgeries than any other facility in the world. Patients come from around the nation to be treated for eye conditions at UAB.

Care Providers


Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Surgery
Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Removal
How does laser cataract surgery differ from traditional cataract surgery?
Protect your eyes: A baseball player's story
Protect your eyes: A baseball players story
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital helped save a young baseball player’s career and, most importantly, his sight.
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Improving the Detection of Glaucoma
UAB pilot program brings glaucoma screenings closer to home.
Ophthalmology - The Red Eye: What primary care physicians need to know
The Red Eye: What Primary Care Physicians Need to Know
Priscilla Fowler, MD Assistant Professor and Director of the Cornea Service in the Department of Ophthalmology at UAB, discusses how easily “red eye” can be misdiagnosed.

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