Bald spot on cat

Bald spot on cat

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Bald spot on cataracts, in the center of the lens

This page contains information on symptoms, causes, tests, treatment options and prognosis for cataracts.


Symptoms of cataracts vary depending on the type and extent of the cataracts and the person. Most people with cataracts have some or all of the following symptoms:

Sudden pain

Difficulty seeing things close up

Blurred vision

Light sensitivity

Double vision

Trouble focusing on close objects

People with cataracts may also have

Sensitivity to light

Difficulty controlling bright light

Sudden and rapid loss of vision

The eye doctor will be able to determine which specific cataracts are causing these symptoms.


In most people with cataracts, the condition happens for no clear reason. It is called “idiopathic,” meaning “of unknown cause.”

In some people, however, cataracts form as a result of certain diseases, such as diabetes. There are also certain genetic diseases that can cause cataracts, including Down syndrome and some forms of glaucoma.

Tests and examinations

Your eye doctor will perform a complete eye exam to evaluate your vision and the health of your eyes. The eye doctor will check your vision, the health of your cornea and retina and your ability to focus. The eye doctor will also look for signs of other conditions that could affect your vision, such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, uveitis or glaucoma.

The doctor will also measure the size and clarity of your cataracts with a slit lamp. The eye doctor will examine the white of your eye with a fundoscope. The doctor will look for cataracts and any other possible causes of blurriness of your vision.

The doctor will probably look for certain abnormalities on the fundus examination, which includes looking for changes in the retina and choroid (the fine tissue that lies between the retina and the sclera). The doctor may look for macular degeneration or glaucoma with this test. If any abnormalities are found, the doctor may perform other tests to determine the severity of your cataracts.

Examination of the lens

The lens is the clear, dome-shaped part of your eye that focuses light. Most cataracts form when the cells that make up the lens begin to cloud over.

During the exam, the doctor will clean your eye to remove any discharge, and he or she will measure the overall size of your lens with a special measuring tool called a keratometer. The doctor will also use a lensometer to measure the clarity of your lens. The lensometer measures the thickness of the lens and the amount of light that can pass through it. The measurements are compared to the measurements from a healthy eye to determine if there is any damage to the lens.

After the examination, the doctor will discuss the results with you and suggest treatment. This may include surgical removal of the cataract if it is cloudy, followed by laser treatment to lighten the cataract, or a combination of the two treatments. In most cases, surgery and laser treatments are done together.

Complications and follow-up

The complications from cataract surgery can include bleeding, infection, pain, inflammation, blurry vision, and in some cases, vision loss. The severity of these complications depends on the type of surgery you have and the health of your eyes.

The doctor will follow up your visit with your eyes after the procedure. After the operation, most cataract patients receive eye drops to help prevent infection and prevent the eye from swelling or bruising. You may also get a pair of eyeglasses for temporary use.

Cataract surgery isn't a long-term solution to the vision problems caused by cloudy lenses. Even after cataract surgery, your vision may become blurry, cloudy, or distorted if the lenses of your eye become cloudy again. The longer you delay cataract surgery, the greater the chances of your vision becoming even worse. This may be because your eye develops new scars that affect your vision.

Although it's often difficult to choose between the benefits of cataract surgery and continuing to struggle with blurry vision, it is important to be as prepared as possible. Ask your doctor which type of cataract surgery would be best for you and how the surgery will affect your current eye condition.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use.

How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.


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