Cataracts are a common age-related vision problem. Although vision can be restored in most people with cataracts, age-related cataracts are still the most common cause of blindness in the world, primarily because many third-world nations lack appropriate surgical services.
About 22 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts, and the older a person gets the greater the risk for developing cataracts. Cataracts never go away on their own, but some stop progressing after a certain point. If they continue to grow and progress, they can cause blindness if left untreated. Fortunately, cataracts can almost always be successfully treated with surgery. Millions of cataract operations are performed each year in the United States, and there is a very low risk for complications.