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Ever had cataract surgery

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For sample adults age 18 and over who ever had cataracts and those age 55 and over in 1984 who are not blind in both eyes, CATARACTSURG indicates if the person ever had cataract surgery.


The Field Representative's Manual did not provide a definition for cataract surgery but the Manual described cataracts as, "clouding of the lenses which causes a general loss of detail. This may cause problems with glare or distortion, such as double images.


This variable is largely comparable over time. Slight changes in the question wording occurred, but this is not likely to affect responses. Whereas in 2008-forward the question specifically asked if the person had "cataract surgery," the 1984 survey asked if they had "an operation for cataracts."


  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+ who are not blind in both eyes.
  • 2008; 2016 2017: Sample adults age 18+ who ever had cataracts.


  • 1984, 2008, 2016-2017