- Cataracts affect millions of people around the world, including large numbers of children.
- Cataracts can be eliminated with a simple surgery, providing a person with a lifetime of clear vision.
- But for many people, cataract surgery is unaffordable.
- Learn how you can give people in Mali the gift of sight by donating to Embrace Relief’s Cure Cataracts program!
June is Cataract Awareness Month, and there is no better time to learn what cataracts are, how they impact people, and cataract treatment options.
Cataracts are a common eye condition in which the lens becomes cloudy, leading to blurred vision, reduced color perception, difficulty with glare, and sensitivity to light. The condition can cause people to have great difficulty performing daily activities like reading, watching TV, cooking, shopping, driving, climbing stairs, or taking medication.
Causes of cataracts include:
- Increased age
- Exposure to sunlight
- High blood pressure
Approximately 24 million Americans suffer from cataracts, though they are much more common in older people; in the United States, nine out of 10 seniors will have developed cataracts by the time they turn 65. Worldwide, approximately 70 million people suffer from cataracts, and the condition is the leading cause of blindness, responsible for 50 percent of vision loss.
Fortunately, cataracts are a fixable condition. Cataract surgeries, in which the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear, artificial lens, are a very common, safe and effective procedure. Boasting a 99 percent success rate, cataract surgery often provides an enormous quality-of-life boost. With their clear vision restored, cataract surgery patients can once again regain their independence and resume their normal activity level.
Working together to solve cataracts
But not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to cataract surgeries. Millions of people around the world suffer from cataracts unnecessarily because they are simply unable to afford the procedure.
As a result, individuals living in poverty face prolonged periods of unnecessary vision impairment, which can have detrimental effects on their daily lives. Inability to perform tasks, loss of employment opportunities, and increased dependence on others perpetuate the cycle of poverty and further marginalize these individuals.
In less-developed parts of the world like the West African country of Mali, the portion of the population suffering from vision problems also includes a worryingly high percentage of children, who develop cataracts early in life primarily because of malnutrition and exposure to harmful UV rays. More than 2 million Malians, around 12 percent of the population, suffer from vision loss, and one-quarter of children in the country are malnourished.
We all deserve the right to see, free and clear. That’s why Cataract Awareness Month is so important. It’s a chance to educate our loved ones on the symptoms and treatments of cataracts. And it’s also a chance to come together and make life better for people around the world.
Donate to Embrace Relief’s Cure Cataract program in Mali!
That’s where Embrace Relief comes in. We support three clinics in the capital city of Mali, Bamako, which provide cataract surgeries free of charge to people who need them.
Thanks to donations from generous people like you, our clinics have been able to give 36,000 Malians – including thousands of children under the age of 10 – the gift of sight. A donation of just $100 can provide a life-changing cataract surgery, as well as a preventative health screening, for someone in need.
So for Cataract Awareness Month, join Embrace Relief and sponsor a cataract surgery through our Cure Cataract program! Give hope to people in Mali and make the world a brighter place with just a couple clicks.