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Cataracts
Developing a cataract is one of those unfortunate things that befall most of us as we age. Between the ages of 52 and 64, you have a 50 percent chance of having a cataract, but you probably won´t experience any problems with your vision until about 65. By 75, just about everyone has a cataract; and 50 percent of the people between 75 and 85 have lost some vision as a result.

Many generations have accepted poor vision in later years as an inevitable consequence of aging. But refinements in cataract surgery procedures and technological advances in lens replacement have changed this assumption dramatically, at least in the United States, where cataract surgery is the number one therapeutic surgical procedure performed on Americans 65 and older.

How are Cataracts Treated?
Changing the prescription in your eyeglasses may improve vision in the early stages of cataracts. If this measure doesn´t help, cataract surgery is the only effective treatment. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a special intraocular lens. This special lens requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye. Cataract surgery in one of the most common operations performed in the U.S. today. It is also one of the safest and most effective. After surgery most patients can drive a car and read the newspaper without glasses.

Monet had Cataracts
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful of all operations. Cataracts can be removed with little discomfort and inconvenience. Not so for Claude Monet, the famed French impressionist. Monet was diagnosed with cataracts in 1912 and he endured for over ten years. During that time, his perception of both color and form was severely compromised. By 1923, he was on the verge of total blindness and he underwent cataract surgery. After surgery he had to lie flat on his back for several days without moving. Sandbags were placed alongside him to prevent any movement. Both eyes were patched closed to prevent eye movements. He had to be restrained so he did not remove his eye bandages.A far cry from today´s virtually painless procedure that is performed on an outpatient basis and people resume their daily activities the same day. As for Monet, his vision was restored and his final years were spent with renewed vigor. The effects of his vision on his work are immediately evident.