A Brief Look at Cataract Statistics

Oct 11, 2018 @ 12:24 PM — by Francis Clark M.D.
Tagged with: Cataracts

An illustration of an eye with cataractsCataracts develop on the lens of the eye, causing blurry or foggy vision. Cataract surgery is one of the most effective ways to treat cataracts and restore clearer vision.

Although cataract surgery is available to improve vision, cataracts remain one of the leading causes of blindness. Here, the doctors of Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons take a moment to discuss some surprising cataract statistics so patients understand the seriousness of this condition.

If you live in or around Philadelphia, PA and would like more information about cataracts and cataract treatment, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.

Cataracts Are a Leading Cause of Blindness

According to the World Health Organization, cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness throughout the world. Cataracts account for more than 51 percent of blindness throughout the world.

Although surgery is available to remove and treat cataracts, the World Health Organization states that cataracts remain a leading cause of blindness across the world due to barriers that prevent many people from receiving cataract surgery. These barriers may include a lack of health insurance, inability to afford surgery, or not having access to facilities that perform cataract surgery.

How Many People Develop Cataracts?

In the United States alone, over 24.4 million people over the age of 40 have been affected by cataracts.

As life expectancy increases and people live longer, the number of people who develop cataracts is expected to become even bigger. It's been projected that as many as 50 million Americans will develop cataracts by the year 2050.

Who Develops Cataracts?

Cataracts most commonly develop with age but some people have congenital cataracts, or cataracts that are present at birth. Cataracts may also develop after an eye injury or inflammation.

These statistics further illustrate who has or will develop cataracts during their lifetime:

  • About half of Americans will have cataracts by the age of 75.
  • About one in six Americans over the age of 40 already have started developing cataracts.
  • Women are slightly more likely to develop cataracts than men, with about 61 percent of people with cataracts being women and 39 percent being men.
  • About one in 250 children are born with cataracts or will develop cataracts during childhood.

Cataract Surgery Statistics

Cataract surgery is the most effective way to treat cataracts and improve vision. During cataract surgery, the clouded lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery has improved quality of life for millions of Americans, as illustrated by these statistics:

  • There are more than 2 million cataract surgeries performed in the United States each year.
  • Undergoing cataract surgery decreases the likelihood of experiencing a hip fracture by 16 percent. This is likely due to the fact that cataract surgery improves vision, making it easier for people to see and avoid obstacles that could make them fall.
  • The odds of being involved in a car crash after cataract surgery decreases by 13 percent.
  • Those who have undergone cataract surgery have a 40 percent lower mortality rate than those who have their cataracts untreated. With clearer vision, people who have undergone cataract surgery are better able to see and avoid dangers, like oncoming traffic or an unexpected curb or step.
  • Cataract surgery is more affordable than ever, with an 85 percent decrease in cost since 1985.

Discover Your Treatment Options

If you have cataracts or suspect you may have cataracts, it's important to seek treatment as early as possible to protect your vision. Call us at (215) 672-4300 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your treatment options.

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