Cataracts no longer an ‘old age’ condition

A leading eye hospital group highlights the trend for Britons to have cataract surgery at a younger age than ever before.
A new study by Optegra Eye Health Care suggests that a third of British adults (33 per cent) know someone who has been diagnosed and treated for cataracts in their 50s or 60s, an eye condition which has historically mainly been treated in the over 70s.
Leading ophthalmic surgeon, Anne Gilvarry, at Optegra Eye Health Care states: “Ten years ago, if I had seen someone in their 50s who had cataracts, I would have been really concerned, ordering extra scans and blood tests. But now, I regularly see such patients!”
In fact almost a fifth (16 per cent) of enquiries to Optegra regarding cataract treatment are now from people in their 40s and 50s.
Although further research is indicated, it is believed that causes may be the impact of UV, trauma, diabetes, other eye problems such as myopia (short sightedness) and vitrectomy surgery. In addition adults today are less tolerant of imperfections and loss of function, so are more likely to source treatment earlier in life.
Academic studies reveal that the majority (88 per cent) of people with treatable visual impairment from cataract were not in touch with eye health services, capturing a high level of potentially unmet need.  It is estimated that 225,000 new cases of visually impairing cataract should be expected each year.
Anne Gilvarry states: “Such a high number of people have consultations for vision correction or to check their general eye health and are surprised to realise they have cataracts.  The symptoms can be gradual, and so sometimes it is only when people are treated that they realise how cloudy or blurred their vision had become. Yet one in three of us is likely to develop cataracts so we are calling on people to really be aware of the symptoms and to have their eyes checked regularly.”………
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Source: Private Health