Sometime after age 50, most of us are likely to hear our eye doctor say, “You have cataracts.”
A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye, causing vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses,contact lenses or corneal refractive surgery like LASIK.
As frightening as cataracts might sound, modern cataract surgery usually can restore vision lost to cataracts — and often can reduce your dependence on eyeglasses as well.
Most cataracts are associated with the aging process and are common among older Americans. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI), 68.3 percent of Americans 80 and older had cataracts in 2010.
And the prevalence of cataracts in the U.S. is expected to grow significantly in the years ahead, due in part to the aging of the population. In 2010, roughly 24.4 million Americans had cataracts, and that number is projected to grow to 50.2 million by the year 2050, according to NEI.
Thankfully, modern cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures performed today.
More than 3 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States every year, with the vast majority of these procedures produce excellent visual outcomes.