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Prevent Blindness focusing on educating public during Cataract Awareness Month

News
Article

The organization is providing free cataract resources for patients and professionals, including fact sheets, social media graphics, a dedicated web page and expert video.

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/jayzynism)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/jayzynism)

Prevent Blindness has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month to provide patients and professionals with free educational resources on cataract.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),1 cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. It is estimated that 20.5 million Americans 40 years and older have cataract in one or both eyes.

“As we age, we are more likely to develop cataract. The good news is that surgery is highly effective,” Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, said in a news release. “Make sure to talk to your eye doctor about your risk for cataract and steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.”

According to a news release, Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free informational resources in English and Spanish including fact sheets, social media graphics, and a listing of vision care financial assistance programs.2

The organization has created a dedicated website resource and it also is featuring an episode titled “Understanding Cataract” in its “Focus on Eye Health Expert Series.” The session features Albert Cheung, MD, a cataract, cornea, and anterior segment specialist with Virginia Eye Consultants and Assistant Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology.

More than half of all Americans have cataracts by the time they are 80 years old. However, cataract can also sometimes be found in young people or even newborn babies (congenital).

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Intense heat or long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes
  • Inflammation in the eye
  • Hereditary influences
  • Events before birth, such as German measles in the mother
  • Long-term steroid use (medicines used to treat some health problems, like arthritis or allergies)
  • Eye injuries
  • Eye diseases, such as glaucoma
  • Smoking

According to the Cleveland Clinic, cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures. According to its news release, surgeons perform more than 3 million cataract surgeries in the United States, and 20 million globally, improving vision for 97 percent of patients.3

Prevent Blindness is offering a printable Guide to Cataract Surgery on its dedicated webpage.

References:
  1. CDC. About Common Eye Disorders and Diseases. Vision and Eye Health. Published May 21, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/vision-health/about-eye-disorders/index.html#:~:text=The%20leading%20causes%20of%20blindness
  2. ‌Prevent Blindness Declares June as Cataract Awareness Month to Educate Public on Eye Disease that is the Leading Cause of Vision Loss in the United States - Prevent Blindness. Published May 30, 2024. Accessed May 30, 2024. https://preventblindness.org/2024-cataract-awareness-month/
  3. ‌Cataract Surgery: Procedure Details, Benefits, Risks, Recovery. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21472-cataract-surgery
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