Prevent Blindness Declares June ‘Cataract Awareness Month,’ Citing $10.7 Billion Cost of Cataract in U.S. Each Year

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CHICAGO— Prevent Blindness has declared June “Cataract Awareness Month” in an effort to educate the public on cataract. The association reports that cataract is the most expensive medical diagnosis in the U.S., costing $10.7 billion annually, and the second costliest vision disorder after refractive error.

According to Prevent Blindness’ Vision Problems in the U.S. report, cataract is also the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

The Cataract Awareness Month campaign includes free information on Prevent Blindness’ dedicated web page containing cataract risk factors, symptoms and treatment options, including surgery, and also offers a free online module which includes a PowerPoint presentation and guide as part of the association’s Healthy Eyes Education Series. Those interested in conducting discussions or seminars on cataract can request a free download of the Healthy Eyes Education Series here.

As cited in Prevent Blindness’ Vision Problems in the U.S. report, more than 24 million Americans age 40 and older have cataract in the U.S. alone. The association’s Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States report found that cataract costs the U.S. $10.7 billion in medical costs per year in direct costs for diagnosed disorders and costs attributed to low vision, such as medical vision aids, vision assistive devices, and adaptations and direct services such as special education and assistance programs.

As a preventive measure, Prevent Blindness president and CEO, Hugh R. Parry, recommends regular eye exams and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to keep eyes healthy, citing choices such as leafy green vegetables, exercise and quitting smoking.

For free information on cataract, call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org/cataract. For facts about insurance benefits, including Medicare coverage, visit preventblindness.org/health-insurance-and-your-eyes.