Prevent Blindness America Designates June Cataract Awareness Month

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CHICAGO—In an effort to educate the public on cataract, a common but treatable eye disease causing blindness worldwide, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month.

The initiative includes a web page dedicated to information on cataract symptoms, risk factors and treatment, information on Medicare coverage, and a free online module complete with a PowerPoint presentation and guide to cataract surgery for those interested in conducting discussions or seminars on the subject. The module is part of PBA’s Healthy Eyes Educational Series.

According to PBA’s Vision Problems in the U.S. report, cataract is the leading cause for blindness worldwide, and over 24 million Americans aged 40 and older are included. However, PBA emphasizes, unlike other eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease, cataract can be treated with sight restoring surgery, one of the most commonly performed procedures in the U.S. and one with a 95 percent success rate. Further, a new study shows that cataract surgery patients have a significantly lower risk of hip fractures from falls.

“Although getting a cataract is common, it doesn’t have to mean permanent vision loss,” said Hugh R. Parry, PBA president and CEO. “One way to protect our vision is to make a commitment to take care of our eyes today, including getting a dilated eye exam, so we can help protect our sight for the future not just from cataract, but other eye diseases as well.”