The Average Age for Cataract Surgery


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The Average age for cataract surgery in the United States is 73 years old. A cataract is formed when there is a buildup of protein in the eyes. It is a clouding of the eye lens, making it hard for light to pass through it and focus so that you can see. Cataracts make it challenging for you to see clearly, and you will start having blurry vision when you start getting cataracts. 

With time cataracts progress and worsen, and you might risk blindness if you do not get them removed in time. You need to ensure that you a doctor and go for surgery to remove the cataract to regain your clear eyesight.

In most cases, cataract affects older people from the age of 50 or 60 going forward. Cataracts start earlier, and in many people, they can begin at the age of 40 and continue progressing before the person can identify that they have cataracts.

Cataracts progress slowly in the eyes, and most people will not know that they have the condition until the symptoms start getting worse. However, younger people also can get cataracts, although this may be rare.

Signs That You Have Cataracts

As you start to have cataracts, they might be so small that they don’t bother you, and then they start developing and progressing with time. When you have cataracts, you will know after a while because you will start having some symptoms that you cannot avoid.

No matter what age you are or the person is, there are some signs to look for when they are affected with cataracts:

  • The person will start having blurry vision because the lens is cloudy, and the eyes are being blocked from seeing images as they should.
  • Sometimes cataracts also come with headaches, and the person affected might have headaches, especially if the eyes are exposed to bright light. This can also be because of glare and mainly affects a person when driving at night.
  • When you are looking at a light, it might seem like they have a halo around it. This is also because of a form of cataracts that also affects the lens. As cataracts spread, they will affect the eyes, and you may begin to see the halos around the lights.
  • The colors may also look faded when you have a cataract. You will also be extra sensitive to bright light and glare when you have a cataract.

For more information on cataract signs and symptoms visit this article here.

Cataract in Adults

Cataracts are a natural part of aging, and by the time everyone is 50 years old, they have at least a few cataracts. At first, they may not impact your vision or your lifestyle, but with time they will. The first symptom people notice is the loss of their range of vision, such that they need glasses for either reading or far away, or bifocals. Next, vision in certain lighting situations can be impaired, such as in dim lighting or while driving at night.

Finally, the vision becomes blurry all the time. When you notice any of the signs or many others that you may not understand, you need to see a doctor immediately so that they can treat you and have the cataract removed. If you do not get treatment as soon as possible, there is a chance that the risks of surgery can increase or that other eye conditions develop. 

Regular visits to the eye doctor will also help because, in many cases, cataracts will start small and slowly spread until the lens is covered.

You need to ensure that you always have your eyes checked so that it is easy for the doctor to detect any irregularities. A simple test will show if you have cataracts to act fast to get you the treatment you need.

Sometimes when the cataract is beginning, it may not be noticeable to the naked eyes, which is why it goes for a long while before a person can notice that they have the condition. 

Cataracts in Children

Although very rare, cataracts can also affect kids, and they also need to get an operation to remove it when this happens. Sometimes children are born with cataracts, and other times they develop in childhood.

Cataracts in children can be caused by things such as genetic causes, other medical problems, or trauma to the eye. It is also possible for the child to get cataracts from the mother if they had certain infections while pregnant.

The child might not know that they have a cataract, so it is up to the parents to ensure that the child gets the checkup they need to eliminate this is a possibility. This is especially important for parents who have had cataracts, and the child might have inherited the conditions from them.

The child needs to get checked six to eight weeks after birth to determine if they have cataracts. This is because cataracts show later after they have been born.

In both cases, it is crucial to have cataract surgery early so that it is easy for the doctor to treat it successfully, and they can have them removed before they get worse. During childhood, the connections between the eyes and the brain develop. If the brain is deprived of vision due to the opacity of the cataract, these neural networks will not form properly, and the child risks having amblyopia or what some refer to as a “lazy eye”, and may never see as well as it could have.

If you wait for a long time, your risks are higher, and you might also risk blindness and other permanent damages to the eyes.

If you are looking for a cataract surgeon in your area, use our surgeon finder here.

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About the Author Written by Dr. Michael Shumski, M.D., M.S.E.

Dr. Shumski is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract & refractive surgery at Magruder Laser Vision in central Florida.

In service for many years to treat cataract patients

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