Cataracts, a clouding of the eye lens, have been known and diagnosed since at least 29 AD, but the treatments, until the 1940s or so, have probably been worse than the problem.
With age, it is very common to suffer some vision loss from the clouding of the natural eye lens. According to the World Health Organization, age-related cataracts are responsible for 51 percent of world blindness. In North America, about 42 percent of people have lens changes between ages 42 and 64. That percentage rises to 91 percent by age 75.
Today, cataracts are repaired surgically by inserting a foldable plastic lens to replace the natural one. Surgery is very safe and effectively restores vision.
Symptoms of cataracts, according to the Mayo Clinic:
Clouded, blurred or dim vision
Increasing difficulty with vision at night
Sensitivity to light and glare
Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
Seeing “halos” around lights
Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
Fading or yellowing of colors
Double vision in a single eye