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A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. Early in the development of age-related cataract the power of the lens may be increased, causing near-sightedness (myopia) and the gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colours. Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss and are potentially blinding if untreated. The condition usually affects both the eyes, but almost always one eye is affected earlier than the other.
Depending on the cause of the cataracts development there are several types, other than age-related cataracts, which have been defined. They are secondary cataracts, traumatic cataracts, congenital cataracts and radiation cataracts.