Over 50% of the world's blind population is blind due to cataract, making it the single leading cause of blindness.1 The medical and social costs of cataractous blindness fall disproportionately on less developed countries such as India, where it is estimated that cataracts are three times more common and develop earlier in life than in the United States.2,3 Discussions of approaches to the cataract conundrum usually have a surgical framework; considerable debate has arisen over methods of providing acceptable and effective cataract surgery to those in most need in both the United States and abroad.4
See also pp 244,252, and 256.
Preventive ophthalmology offers another approach to the cataract problem by seeking to identify factors that might modify the onset or progression of cataracts. If a factor could be found that simply delayed the onset of cataract by 10 years, the number of cataract operations would decline
West SK. Who Develops Cataracts?. Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(2):196-198. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080020042038