Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. This age-related eye disease causes clouding of the lens. When you have a cataract, it obscures vision and makes it harder to see.
If you start showing symptoms of cataracts, there are things you can do. This can include wearing a stronger prescription, using more lighting, or other visual aids.
But if cataracts start to impair your vision, it’s time to consider getting surgery. During surgery, the surgeon removes the natural lens and replaces it with an artificial one. Keep reading to learn the average age for cataract surgery!
What’s the Most Common Age for Cataract Surgery?
Cataracts are quite common as you become older. The average age for cataract surgery in the United States is 65. As the procedure becomes and safer, more patients are opting for it earlier.
Over the course of a year, there are more than a million surgeries performed in the United States alone.
At What Age Do Cataracts Appear?
Cataracts are often associated with aging as they’re usually found in people who are 60 and older. More than half of the American population who are over 80 years have cataracts. But, they can occur in young people due to the following reasons:
- Eye injury
- Medications such as steroids
- Excessive exposure to UV rays
In rare cases, babies are born with cataracts. This can happen if the mother suffered from infections such as chickenpox or herpes simplex during pregnancy.
What are the Stages of Cataracts?
There are four main stages of cataracts, and they are:
Early Cataract – This is when cataracts begin forming. Although your lens is still clear, the ability to change the focus between far and near vision is compromised. Symptoms at this stage include increased eye strain, blurry vision, and glare from lights.
Immature Cataract – Proteins start to cloud your lens and make it slightly opaque. At this point, your eye doctor will recommend anti-glare lenses and new prescription glasses. The progression of cataracts at this stage can take several years.
Mature Cataract – The opaqueness has intensified and appears white and milky or amber. Your vision is considerably affected, and your eye doctor might recommend cataract surgery.
Hypermature Cataract – If the mature cataract is left untreated, the cataract becomes dense and hardens. This type of cataract is quite difficult to remove. It impairs your vision, causes eye inflammation, and increases eye pressure.
What Factors Contribute to the Development of Cataracts?
Factors that contribute to the formation of cataracts include:
Diseases such as Diabetes – Studies show that individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to develop cataracts compared to those without diabetes.
Eye Diseases – Eye conditions such as glaucoma can speed up the rate lenses become clouded.
For some patients, cataracts take years to develop. It’s advisable to seek treatment early to avoid permanent vision loss.
Are Cataracts Preventable?
Anyone who lives long enough will develop cataracts. As your natural lens ages, it loses clarity, and you develop a cataract.
So far, there’s nothing that can prevent the development of cataracts. But eye doctors recommend steps to avoid the early development of cataracts, including:
- Routine eye examinations for cataracts
- Exercising regularly
- Taking supplements with lutein and B complex
- Getting enough sleep
- Good nutrition which includes eating foods rich in antioxidants
Have questions about cataracts or if you may need cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute in Orlando, FL today!