Already Large Number of Cataract Cases
Expected to Balloon to 38.5 Million by 2032 

-Report Shows Cataract More Prevalent in Women;
Number of Hispanic Cases to Increase Dramatically in Near Future-

HOUSTON (May 28, 2015)–The recent Prevent Blindness “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems” report states that nearly 25.7 million Americans ages 40 and older have cataract. The number will increase by 50 percent to 38.5 million by 2032 and by 78 percent to 45.6 million by the year 2050. Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. 

In addition, the report also found that the majority of cataract patients today are women, a trend that will continue. Whites will continue to make up the large majority of cataract patients, but this population will level off and slightly decrease by the 2040s. Hispanics will exhibit the fastest rate of growth in cataract cases.

Prevent Blindness Texas has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month to educate the public on cataract, risk factors, symptoms and treatment options, including surgery.   

Types of cataract include:

  • Age-related—95 percent of cataracts are age-related, usually after age 40
  • Congenital—These are present at birth, usually caused by infection or inflammation during pregnancy; possibly inherited
  • Traumatic—Lens damage from a hard blow, cut, puncture, intense heat or chemical burn may cause cataracts
  • Secondary—Some medicines, eye disease, eye infection, or diseases such as diabetes cause these cataracts
  • Radiation—Cataracts can develop after exposure to some types of radiation

Unlike many eye diseases, however, vision loss due to cataract can be restored. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States and has a 95 percent success rate.

“The key to preventing vision loss, whether from cataract or other eye disease, is to have a complete dilated eye exam from an eye care professional,” said Debbie Goss, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness Texas.   

Prevent Blindness also offers a free online module on cataract including a PowerPoint presentation with a complete guide as part of its Healthy Eyes Educational Series. These are ideal forconducting discussions, lunch-and-learns or seminars on cataract.

For free information on cataract, please call Prevent Blindness Texas at 1-888-98-SIGHT or visit www.preventblindnesstexas.org.  

About Prevent Blindness Texas

Founded in 1956, Prevent Blindness is the state’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness Texas touches the lives of thousands of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the Texas public. Through a network of regional offices and volunteers, we are committed to eliminating preventable blindness in Texas. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-888-98-SIGHT or visit us on our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Read the Cataract Awareness Press Release.