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Characteristics of senile cataract include the following: See Clinical Presentation for more detail.

A complete ocular examination must be performed, beginning with visual acuity for near and far distances.

See What the Eyes Tell You: 16 Abnormalities of the Lens, a Critical Images slideshow, to help recognize lens abnormalities that are clues to various conditions and diseases.

A patient with senile cataract often presents with a history of gradual progressive visual deterioration and disturbance in night and near vision.

The overall rates of senile cataract in general, and of its 3 main types (ie, nuclear, cortical, posterior subcapsular), rapidly increased with age; for the oldest age group (≥75 y), nuclear, cortical, and posterior subcapsular cataracts were found in 65.5%, 27.7%, and 19.7% of the study population, respectively.

Nuclear opacities were the most commonly seen lens change.

The pathophysiology behind senile cataracts is complex and yet to be fully understood.

Senile cataract is an age-related, vision-impairing disease characterized by gradual progressive thickening of the lens of the eye.

It is the world’s leading cause of treatable blindness.

Various studies showing an increase in products of oxidation (eg, oxidized glutathione) and a decrease in antioxidant vitamins and the enzyme superoxide dismutase underscore the important role of oxidative processes in cataractogenesis.

Another mechanism involved is the conversion of soluble low-molecular weight cytoplasmic lens proteins to soluble high molecular weight aggregates, insoluble phases, and insoluble membrane-protein matrices.

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