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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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
Last RevisedAugust 24, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 24, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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