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June is Cataract Awareness Month

ISPB and Prevent Blindness Illinois (PBIL) have declared June as Cataract Awareness Month to provide patients and professionals with free educational resources on cataract, a clouding of the eye’s lens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. Additionally, an estimated 20.5 million Americans aged 40 years and older have cataract in one or both eyes.

ISPB and PBIL offer 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. The group also offers a dedicated web resource at PreventBlindness.org/cataract, and the “Understanding Cataract” episode in the “Focus on Eye Health Expert Series,” featuring Albert Cheung, MD, Cataract, Cornea, 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 cataract 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

The Cleveland Clinic states that cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures, with surgeons performing more than 3 million cataract surgeries in the United States, and 20 million globally, improving vision for 97 percent of patients. For those who have had cataract surgery recommended by their eye doctors, we offer the dedicated webpage, PreventBlindness.org/cataract-surgery, and the printable “Guide to Cataract Surgery.”

For free information on cataract or cataract surgery, please visit PreventBlindness.org/cataract. For a listing of vision care financial assistance programs in English and Spanish, visit PreventBlindness.org/vision-care-financial-assistance-information/.

June 2024 Newsletter From ISPB & PBIL

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June is Cataract Awareness Month

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