Prevent Blindness Declares June Cataract Awareness Month

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CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety non-profit organization, has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month to educate the public on symptoms, types of cataract, cataract surgery and more. Cataract is the world's leading cause of blindness, accounting for approximately 42 percent of all cases of blindness in all nations. In the U.S., more than 25 million Americans are estimated to have cataract, according to the report “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” by the non-partisan and objective research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.

As the population in America continues to age, the number of cataract cases are projected to increase by 50 percent to 38.5 million by 2032.

Although most cataract cases in the U.S. are in older adults, children may also develop pediatric cataracts. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataracts in a child can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (develop after birth). Without treatment, cataracts in young children can cause poor development of the visual pathway between the brain and the eye, leading to vision impairment. Therefore, diagnosing and treating cataracts early in children is critical to promoting normal vision development.

“Although cataract is the world’s leading cause of vision loss, it is an eye disease that can be treated successfully with access to quality eyecare services,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We strongly encourage everyone to educate themselves on cataract and what services are available to see clearly today and in the years to come.”

For free information on cataract, call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 or visit the Prevent Blindness website at http://preventblindness.org/cataract/. For a listing of vision care financial assistance programs in English or Spanish, visit https://preventblindness.org/vision-care-financial-assistance-information/.