Cataracts are when the lens inside the eye, that is normally clear, becomes opaque. This can happen at any time in life, but generally is considered normal for after the age of 60. There are genetic factors, medications, trauma etc that can account for it occuring prior to that age. Cataracts can take 6 months to mature and as long as 15 yrs.
There are many new ways to address cataract surgery. It is generally done under local anesthesia and is considered fairly easy. Modern surgeries use an implant to replace the lens that is removed. Typically the surgeon will set the correction for distance with reading glasses to be worn as needed. Recently there have been advances made for lenses that will do much of the focusing for near as well eliminating the need for readers most of the time.
After surgery there used to be multiple eye drops the patient would use several times a day over the course of a month. Now there are surgeons using the NO DROP procedure so the difficulty of keeping up with eye drop compliance is not an issue any longer. Healing takes about 4 weeks per eye. Surgeries are typically done about 1- 2 weeks apart between the two eyes. Cataract surgery is so much easier than it used to be but it is still surgeon dependent on who is doing the best work. I will always refer you to a surgeon that I would trust working on myself or my mother. Ask about your options and what would be the best advise for your personal situation.