Prevent Blindness Declares June as Cataract Awareness Month to Educate the Public
CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public on risk factors, symptoms and treatment options of the disease. Cataracts are responsible for 51 percent of world blindness, according to the World Health Organization, and in the U.S., the current number of those with cataract is estimated to be more than 25.7 million.
Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Cataracts usually form in both eyes, but not at the same rate. They can develop slowly or quickly, or progress to a certain point, then not get any worse. “As the U.S. population continues to age, the number of those affected by cataract is also increasing significantly,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Fortunately, cataract surgery has an extremely high success rate. Talking with your eyecare professional about what treatment is right for you is essential to protect the gift of sight today and for years to come.” Besides aging, other factors such as eye infections, some medicines (such as steroids), injuries or exposure to intense heat or radiation, may cause cataracts. Too much exposure to ultraviolet light and various diseases such as diabetes or metabolic disorders may also contribute to cataracts forming. For free information on cataract, visit the Prevent Blindness website at preventblindness.org/cataract or call the organization at (800) 331-2020.