NCLEX RN Practice Question # 457

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Eye Cataract – adult

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye.


  • The lens of the eye is normally clear. It acts like the lens on a camera, focusing light as it passes to the back of the eye.
  • Until a person is around age 45, the shape of the lens is able to change. This allows the lens to focus on an object, whether it is close or far away.
  • As a person ages, proteins in the lens begin to break down. As a result, the lens becomes cloudy. What the eye sees may appear blurry. This condition is known as a cataract.

Factors that may speed cataract formation are:

  • Diabetes
  • Eye inflammation
  • Eye injury
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids (taken by mouth) or certain other medicines
  • Radiation exposure
  • Smoking
  • Surgery for another eye problem
  • Too much exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight)
  • In many cases, the cause of cataract is unknown.


Cataracts develop slowly and painlessly. Vision in the affected eye slowly gets worse.


Mild clouding of the lens often occurs after age 60. But it may not cause any vision problems.

By age 75, most people have cataracts that affect their vision.

Problems with seeing may include:


  • Being sensitive to glare
  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in dim light
  • Double vision
  • Loss of color intensity
  • Problems seeing shapes against a background or the difference between shades of colors
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • Cataracts lead to decreased vision, even in daylight. Most people with cataracts have similar changes in both eyes, though one eye may be worse than the other. Often there are only mild vision changes.

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