Since 1974, SEE has worked diligently to reduce the number of cataract cases around the world. Our network of volunteer surgeons provides free treatment to thousands of cataract patients every year, as well as skill-sharing and training on appropriate surgical techniques to help strengthen local health care infrastructure worldwide.
What are cataracts?
In healthy eyes, light is able to pass through the lens back to the retina, allowing us to see detail. A cataract creates a cloud on that normally transparent lens, blurring vision and eventually leading to blindness.
Cataracts cause a third of worldwide blindness
According to the World Health Organization, cataracts affect approximately 65.2 million people and cause moderate to severe vision loss in over 80% cases. As populations age and average life expectancy continues to increase worldwide, the number of people with cataracts will continue to grow.
Cataracts are relatively simple to treat and remove surgically, but access to eye care and the appropriate resources is extremely limited in underserved communities. Unfortunately, 99% of people with cataracts live in these underserved areas.
Your donation will save someone’s sight
There is no way to completely prevent cataracts
Some lifestyle choices can lessen the likelihood of developing cataracts, including reducing smoking and alcohol consumption, and wearing sunglasses. But the most common cause of cataracts is biological aging, aided by skin diseases, injury, infection, genetics, and exposure to UV-B radiation. For example, individuals who spend a lot of time outdoors without eye protection are at greater risk to develop cataracts. Some children are even born with them.