What is the Average Age for Cataract Surgery?
As people age, changes in health and appearance are natural. Cataracts are one of the most well-known vision changes in aging adults, occurring naturally and gradually as proteins in the eye’s lens become cloudy. This process can cause blurry vision, light sensitivity, and dim, less colorful vision. Over time, the lens can completely opacify, leading to severe vision impairment.
Fortunately, cataract surgery is an effective treatment that can restore patients’ vision while correcting refractive errors with advanced lenses. With this information in mind, what is the average age of a cataract surgery patient, and when might it be the right time to consider cataract surgery for yourself?
When do cataracts develop?
The eye’s natural lens goes through two significant changes as people age. In a young, healthy person, lenses are transparent and flexible. Over time, the lenses lose both flexibility and transparency. The loss of lens flexibility usually occurs around a person’s 40s and results in presbyopia, making it difficult to focus on near objects. By the time most people reach their 60s, they begin to notice changes in their vision due to cataract development—i.e., the lens becoming less transparent. For this reason, the National Eye Institute recommends annual dilated eye exams by age 60 or sooner. However, some cataracts may begin forming at this time without impacting an individual’s vision.
In rare cases, some people may develop juvenile cataracts. Juvenile cataracts can happen in children and young people, typically because of a genetic condition or as a result of injury-related eye trauma.
What is the average age for cataract surgery?
The national average age for cataract surgery is 73. However, this average is dropping as people opt for cataract surgery earlier. With modern surgery techniques and technologies, people no longer have to wait until their cataracts are in a mature stage or “ripe” for operation. And thanks to advances in intraocular lenses, patients can look forward to correcting refractive errors and cataracts all at once.
With expert surgeons like Dr. Weber and Dr. Beran, treatment is often recommended as soon as cataracts impact vision. These days, younger patients are less willing to deal with impaired vision and are opting for safe, effective surgery at an earlier stage than before.
Your cataract surgery experts
Your eyes and vision are unique. When you visit us for a cataract surgery consultation, we’ll assess your health needs and determine the best time for treatment, though there is no right or wrong age for cataract surgery. If you have begun to experience cataract symptoms, don’t suffer from impaired vision for longer than necessary. Call the expert team at Columbus Laser & Cataract Center today at (614) 939-1600 for a consultation.