CATARACT: a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.
A cataract can also be a waterfall, or a rush of water. The word comes from late Middle English: from Latin cataracta ‘waterfall, floodgate,’ also ‘portcullis’ (medical sense 2 probably being a figurative use of this), from Greek kataraktēs ‘down-rushing,’ from katarassein, from kata- ‘down’ + arassein ‘strike, smash.’
I have one, on my right eye. The doctor said it’s the hard kind, and will probably need to be surgically removed in another year or so. He said if it bothers me, to let him know. I did, right there on the spot. I constantly want to wipe that eye, feeling as if there’s a film on it, something in the way. But my vision is still clear, so he wasn’t in any hurry.
If a cataract is not removed, here is what the eye will eventually look like:
Kind of creepy, right? From what I’m reading, mine is probably an inherited tendency. My mom had one removed–maybe it was both eyes eventually, I can’t remember for sure.
It’s amazing how different this procedure is today compared to 50 years ago. Back then, I remember people having to lie perfectly still for a long period of time; no light, so the eye was covered with a black patch. Now, it’s a simple thing with a very short recovery period, and clear vision restored almost immediately.
I guess I’m glad I don’t live back in the good old days 🙂