Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 70 percent of all people will develop cataracts in at least one eye by the age of 75. Because cataracts are a common part of aging, they are often thought of as a problem exclusive to an older generation. However, people younger than age 40 are not immune to cataracts. Drs. Joseph King and Gabriel Chu explain.
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, caused by a buildup of proteins that can clump together as part of the aging process. A cataract starts out small and at first may have little effect on vision. Over time, people with cataracts experience hazy, blurry vision, and often feel like they are looking through a cloudy piece of glass. As cataracts progress, everyday tasks such as driving and reading become difficult.