Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process that affects nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. That is more than glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy combined. But what about cataracts in people under the age of 40?
At What Age Can Cataracts Develop?
While many people associate cataracts with older adults – more than 50% of Americans aged 65 or older have cataracts – the condition can affect those of a younger age, even children. For instance, congenital cataracts (pediatric cataracts) is a condition affecting children, most often newborns. Congenital cataracts often occur because of abnormal lens development during pregnancy. These cataracts may be present at birth or may develop during childhood.
Approximately three out of 10,000 children have a cataract.
What Do I Do If I Believe My Child Has a Cataract?
If your child is having difficulty seeing and you think he or she may have cataracts, contact your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – as soon as possible. Your eye doctor will be able to diagnose your child’s vision problems. If the issue is a cataract, your doctor will be able to determine if cataract surgery is necessary.
Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and, in most cases, replacing it with a clear, intraocular lens implant (IOL). Cataract surgery is a painless outpatient procedure and has the highest success rate of any surgery practiced today.
Typically, if the cataract is not affecting ones quality of life – inhibiting daily activities, like reading, driving, etc. – it does not need to be removed. If the cataract is causing blurred vision, making it difficult to perform simple, everyday tasks, then it should be removed.
Cataract Treatment in Annapolis
AAEC is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Board Certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles and his staff have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision. They can help you too. Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, AAEC’s state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
*Babies and young children with cataracts require highly specialized care, and it is recommended that they see a pediatric ophthalmologist.
If you have any questions about Cataract Treatment or wish to schedule an appointment with Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC), please contact Board Certified Ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010 or Click Here to fill out our contact form.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.