Harvard Health Letter

Update on cataract surgery and replacement lenses

Doing cataract surgery with high-speed lasers may make the operation more precise — but will it be worth the extra cost?

Each of our eyes comes equipped with a lens tucked behind the pupil that focuses light on the retina in the back of the eye. When we're young, those lenses are quite clear. But with age and exposure to light and other harmful factors, they have a tendency to cloud up, as the proteins in the watery mixture inside the lens clump up. Clouding of the lens is called a cataract.

Cataracts are typically small to begin with and in the center of the lens. Both lenses tend to be affected, although often one is more clouded than the other. Symptoms include blurry vision and difficulty with glare at night.

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