Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens. They can happen at any age but are more common in older adults. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have had cataracts or have had surgery to remove them.

Cataracts usually develop slowly and don’t initially interfere with your vision. Over time, however, cataracts will begin to cloud your vision, making it more difficult to read, drive a car or see the expression on a friend’s face.

Cataracts are not painful. In fact, you may not even be aware that you have a cataract unless you have an eye examination.

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and are the principal cause of blindness worldwide. More than 20 million Americans have cataracts.

While cataracts cannot be prevented, they can be treated with surgery. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. More than 3 million Americans have cataract surgery each year.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful operations performed today. In fact, more than 98 out of 100 people who have cataract surgery have improved vision afterward.

During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. Cataract surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day.

Most people who have cataract surgery have much better vision afterward. In fact, many people who have had cataract surgery say that their vision is better than it has been in years.