What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which is normally transparent. Cataracts occur when proteins in the lens form into abnormal clumps, which enlarge gradually and interfere with vision by distorting or blocking the passage of light through the lens.1
- Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, accounting for approximately 42% of all cases of blindness around the world.1
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, 24.4 million Americans have cataracts.2
- Cataracts affect 2.5% of Americans at age 40-49, but affects over 68% of Americans age 80 and older.3
- Cataract surgery is a quick, minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a lens implant, called an intraocular lens.1
- Cataract surgery improves vision in 9 out of 10 patients.4
- Cataract surgery results in a 36% gain in quality of life when performed in both eyes.5
To evaluate the financial impact of cataracts, researchers from the Center for Value-Based Medicine® used data from the National Study of Cataract Outcomes to measure both the direct and indirect costs associated with vision loss as compared to the value of cataract surgery.
- Cataract surgeries performed over one year saved $123.4 billion over 13 years. That’s more than a four thousand percent return!5
- For each cataract surgery on a single eye, which at the time of the study cost an average of $2,653, the savings amounted to $121,198.5
- Cataracts. Retrieved 02/01/2023, from Johns Hopkins Medicine, Conditions and Diseases
- Frequently Asked Questions About Vision Health. Retrieved 02/01/2023, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vision Health Initiative
- Cataract Tables. Retrieved 02/01/2023, from the National Eye Institute, Learn About Eye Health
- Cataract Surgery. Retrieved 02/01/2023, from the National Eye Institute, Learn About Eye Health
- Gary C. Brown, Melissa M. Brown, Alicia Menezes, Brandon G. Busbee, Heidi B. Lieske, Philip A. Lieske. Cataract Surgery Cost Utility Revisited in 2012. Ophthalmology, 2013; 120 (12): 2367 DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.04.030