What is the average age for cataracts?
In fact, people can have an age-related cataract in their 40s and 50s. But during middle age, most cataracts are small and do not affect vision. It is after age 60 that most cataracts cause problems with a person's vision.
Most cataracts are due to age-related changes in the lens of the eye that cause it to become cloudy or opaque. However, other factors can contribute to cataract development, including: Diabetes mellitus. People with diabetes are at higher risk for cataracts.
- In a normal eye, light enters and passes through the lens. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurry. Other eye conditions, such as myopia, cause blurry vision, too, but cataracts produce some distinctive signs and symptoms.
- Surgery to treat cataracts involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a synthetic new one. This procedure is safe and very effective. They're researching eye drops that may dissolve cataracts so patients don't have to go to surgery.
- Retinal exam. To prepare for a retinal exam, your eye doctor puts drops in your eyes to open your pupils wide (dilate). This makes it easier to examine the back of your eyes (retina). Using a slit lamp or a special device called an ophthalmoscope, your eye doctor can examine your lens for signs of a cataract.
In most cases, cataracts will continue to worsen over time, causing continual reduction of vision. Many people become legally blind from untreated cataracts, and cataracts can even cause total blindness if left untreated for long periods.
- CAN A PERSON BECOME BLIND IF CATARACT SURGERY IS DELAYED? Although vision can become severely impaired from advanced cataracts, vision usually can be restored after cataract surgery is performed. However, removing a dense cataract from the eye can be more difficult and can lead to post-operative complications.
- Some cataracts are stable and do not cause problems other than reversible vision impairment. Other cataracts may cause the lens to swell and ultimately burst. Lenses that burst can cause severe inflammation (irritation) in the eye. The inflammation can lead to pain or permanent vision loss.
- If you have cataract in both eyes but only have surgery in one eye, your eyes won't be able to work together when you wear cataract glasses after surgery. You will have this condition, called monocular aphakia (one eye without a lens), until after your second cataract operation.
There are three primary types of age-related cataracts: nuclear sclerotic, cortical, and posterior subcapsular. As a person ages, any one type, or a combination of any of these three types, can develop over time.
- According to AllAboutVision.com's 2012 report, the average, basic cataract surgery in the US would cost roughly $3,429 per eye if you paid everything yourself. If you wanted an advanced technology lens which corrects astigmatism or presbyopia, expect to pay an additional $449 or $895 per eye.
- Hazy, blurred vision may mean you have a cataract. A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. If you think you have a cataract, see an eye doctor for an exam to find out for sure.
- Seven Tips for Preventing Cataracts
- See your eye doctor regularly.
- Eat a diet rich in beneficial nutrients.
- Quit smoking -- or better yet, never start.
- Cut back on the cocktails.
- Protect those eyes from the sun!
- Keep your diabetes under control.
- Avoid using corticosteroid medications for any length of time.
Updated: 28th October 2019