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August is Cataract Awareness Month…Learn How to Protect Your Eyes

2010 August 2

cataractPeople from around the country write or call Prevent Blindness America daily seeking help affording the sometimes expensive treatments that can save their sight and improve their quality of life. Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s naturally-clear lens, generally appear as we grow older. Over time, cataract formation in one or both eyes can cause vision impairment and blindness. Did you know that cataracts affect more than 22 million people in the U.S.? That’s one in six Americans over the age of 40.

The only treatment for cataracts is removal of the natural lens. Most cataract patients receive an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens implant. This treatment can be costly. Prevent Blindness America estimates that the annual cost of cataract surgery for all patients to be more than $6.8 billion annually.

We enjoy working with EPA because their public health mission aligns with our own mission of preventing blindness. EPA just issued a report that reminds us that long-term ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun is an important cause of cataracts. Additionally, people of all skin types are at risk for cataracts. We partner with EPA’s SunWise Program to remind both adults and children to always use eyewear that absorbs ultraviolet rays and to wear a wide-brimmed hat.

We hope that as a result of our prevention efforts, many people will never face vision loss from cataracts or the costs of cataract surgery and will be more likely to enjoy a lifetime of healthy vision.

About the Author: Ken West is Senior Director of Communications with Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. five finger shoes permalink
    August 3, 2010

    thanks for your post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Mandy permalink
    August 3, 2010

    It’s good to raise awareness for this condition, and especially the importance of looking after your eyes to help prevent it!!

  3. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    August 3, 2010

    This is great information. Wearing a widebrimmed hat is something everyone should do and hats don’t cost that much so they are within everyones finances. Everyone who can should be using the ultra-violet obsorbing lens glasses. For many disabled persons this is very hard if not impossible to do because many disabled and seniors are on fixed limited incomes and medical programs like MediCaid and MediCare will only cover certain types of glasses. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  4. Hallak permalink
    August 13, 2010

    “this is great information. Wearing a widebrimmed hat is something everyone should do and hats don’t cost that much so they are within everyones finances. Everyone who can should be using the ultra-violet obsorbing lens glasses.” Micheal thanks for pointing that out lets not forget that everyone needs to be aware of the causes and possible how we can prevent it.

  5. Colorado Medicare Medigap permalink
    July 30, 2011

    The advice to wear polarized sunglasses and hats to protect from the sun is especially important for seniors. Cataract surgery is prevalent in older adults. Also, heredity is a factor in developing cataracts.Seniors on Medicare and Medigap are usually well covered for this surgery. Medicare by itself will cover 80% of the surgery and related costs. If a senior only has Medicare they are typically looking at $500-$800 out of pocket cost. Whereas, if they had a supplement or Part C Medicare coverage, their cost would be $0 to half of Medicare only coverage.

  6. scarlett permalink
    June 14, 2012

    Thanks for these info for everyone along with me because most of them have no idea about protection of eyes and its causes. thanks

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