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Who Is Affected by Cataracts


Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States. Cataracts are very common in older adults. 1

In the United States, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in adults who are older than 65.

Cataracts are more common in people who live in sunny areas and less common in children than in older adults.

Some babies (about 1 out of 5,000) are born with cataracts (congenital cataracts) or develop them shortly after birth. 2 It is very important to treat cataracts that cause severe vision problems in children younger than 3 months of age. Treatment can help prevent lasting vision loss or blindness.



  1. Wevill M (2009). Epidemiology, pathophysiology, causes, morphology, and visual effects of cataract. In M Yanoff, JS Duker, eds., Ophthalmology, 3rd ed., pp. 503–510. Edinburgh: Mosby Elsevier.
  2. Madan A, Good WV (2005). Disorders of the eye. In HW Taeusch et al., eds., Avery's Diseases of the Newborn, 8th ed., pp. 1539–1555. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Carol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
Last Revised August 24, 2011

Last Revised: August 24, 2011

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