Is a cataract a film on the eye?

Cataracts are not a film on the eye. The lens is a structure in the front of the eye that has the shape and structure of a peanut M&M. The lens helps to focus light on the retina to make the clear images we see. The center of the lens is hard like the nut (called “nucleus”), the outer covering is soft like the chocolate (called “cortex”), and the whole thing is covered by a very thin membrane-like the candy coating (called “capsular bag”). Image this M&M being a glass of clear water when we are young.

A photo of peanut M&M's.

As we age, each year a drop of milk is added to the water. With time, the lens becomes yellow or whitish through and through like a glass of milk.

A glass of water next to a glass of milk.

When we removed cataracts, we make a hole in the front of the capsule (candy coating), the nucleus (nut) and cortex (chocolate) are removed, and the capsular bag is left in place. The new, clear, artificial lens is inserted into the capsular bag which holds it in place.

If your vision is getting blurry and it cannot be satisfactorily be improved with glasses or contacts, you may have a cataract that is ready to be removed.

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