Writer discovers his condition at 42.

A 42-year old Washington DC writer recently found himself among the one percent of the population facing cataract surgery in their early 40s. Spurred to investigate, he talked to David Chang, clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, who equated the condition to hair loss in men. “When does it happen? Well, we could say it’s pretty common in our 50s, but there are plenty of people who have a full head of hair in their 70s. There are also a lot of people who get bald spots or start to see their hairlines recede in their 30s,” Chang said. Another source, Rosa Braga-Mele, head of the cataract clinical committee of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, said that younger patients tend to be more aggressive in dealing with cataracts as soon as the experience vision difficulties. Baby boomers are likely to have surgery as soon as the cataracts bother them, whereas the generations before them tend to defer to the physician on whether to have surgery, she said.

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