Epidemiology

The WHO estimates that cataracts currently account for 51% of reversible blindness worldwide, which translates to about 20 million people.[1] WHO: prevention of blindness and visual impairment - priority eye diseases: cataract external link opens in a new window There are estimates that by 2020, the number of people with moderate or severe vision impairment caused by cataracts could be as high as 57 million, with an estimated 13 million people blind because of cataracts.[2] The socio-economic impact of the effect of cataracts is particularly important in developing countries, with blindness having a significant impact on the workforce.[3] While cataracts can be congenital or due to trauma or metabolic conditions, age-related cataracts are the most common, and therefore have the greatest impact. In the UK, cataract surgery remains the most frequently undertaken surgical procedure in the NHS with approximately 414,000 cataract operations undertaken in England and 20,000 in Wales during 2017-2018.[4]

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