Aug. 24, 2009— -- Question: What is a cataract and how common is it? (Does it matter where the cataract is on the eye?)
Answer: A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye, and it is extremely common. It is one of the most significant causes of treatable blindness worldwide. It's estimated that at least 17 million people around the world have blindness secondary to cataracts. In this country, cataract is rarely allowed to progress to the point where blindness occurs, and nearly 3 million Americans have cataract surgery to cure this problem each year.