Shedding Light on Cataracts

Shedding Light on Cataracts
A Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation patient in Nepal before receiving cataract surgery. Credit: Michael Amendolia 

Every year, June is dedicated to raising awareness about cataracts, a common yet often overlooked eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of visual impairment and can significantly impact a person's quality of life. This Cataracts Awareness Month, let's delve into the importance of understanding cataracts, their causes, symptoms, and what we can do to support those suffering.

Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye, which is usually clear and transparent, becomes cloudy or opaque. This clouding affects the lens' ability to focus light onto the retina, leading to blurry or distorted vision. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes and typically develop gradually over time.

A close up photo of a female patient with cataracts in a hospital room
Cataract patient at a Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation outreach camp. Credit: Michael Amendolia

Causes of Cataracts

While ageing is the most common cause of cataracts, they can also be caused by various factors, including:

1. Age: The natural ageing process can cause changes in the lens structure, leading to cataract formation.

2. Genetics: A family history of cataracts can increase an individual's susceptibility to developing them.

3. Trauma: Eye injuries can contribute to the development of cataracts.

4. Lifestyle factors: Prolonged exposure to UV radiation, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition can increase the risk of cataracts.

5. Medical conditions: Diabetes, hypertension, and prolonged use of certain medications like corticosteroids can increase the likelihood of developing cataracts.

Recognising Symptoms

Early stages of cataracts may not cause noticeable symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, individuals may experience:

1. Blurred or hazy vision

2. Difficulty seeing at night

3. Increased sensitivity to light and glare

4. Colors appearing faded or yellowed

5. Double vision in one eye

6. Frequent changes in prescription glasses

Raising Awareness and Seeking Treatment

Cataracts can significantly impact daily activities and quality of life, making it crucial to raise awareness about the condition and its available treatments. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation's core strategy focuses on fostering sustainable eye care systems in developing nations. This is accomplished through the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation teams training local surgeons and equipping them with essential tools and technology to perform cataract surgeries. This approach ensures that the intervention goes beyond a temporary fix, providing a long-term solution that leaves a lasting impact.

A close up photo of a female patient with cataracts in a hospital room prior to her surgery
Cataract patient at a Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation outreach camp. Credit: Michael Amendolia

The mission of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is to eliminate avoidable cataract blindness, a widespread issue affecting millions of individuals worldwide, especially those in developing countries. The problem is compounded by poverty, limited healthcare access, and scarce resources, perpetuating an unfair and inescapable cycle of deprivation. It is crucial to raise awareness about the significance of eye health and the available treatment options for cataract blindness. By educating the population, individuals can identify the condition and seek appropriate treatment, resulting in a decrease in cases and ultimately eradicating avoidable cataract blindness.

The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation aims to expand its mission to additional countries, replicating its successful approach. This broader outreach will enable them to have a more extensive impact and reduce the prevalence of cataract blindness in various regions. The commendable work of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation, along with its plans for expansion, is transforming people's lives by eradicating avoidable cataract blindness. This endeavour uplifts individuals from poverty, fostering a fairer and more just society.

By expanding its mission to other countries, the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is demonstrating its commitment to reaching as many people in need as possible. The replication of their successful approach in new regions will allow them to address the pressing issue of cataract blindness on a larger scale. This expansion not only increases the foundation's impact but also serves as an inspiration for others to join the cause.

The foundation's work goes beyond the immediate medical intervention of cataract surgeries. It addresses the root causes of blindness by focusing on training local surgeons. This empowerment of local healthcare professionals ensures the sustainability of eye care systems in the long run. By investing in education and providing necessary equipment and technology, the foundation is building a foundation of expertise that will continue to benefit communities even after the foundation's direct involvement.

A female trainee doctor in a white lab coat pointing at a chart to conduct an eye test at a Tej Kohli & Ruit outreach camp
A trainee doctor conducting an eye test at a Tej Kohli & Ruit outreach camp

Moreover, the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation recognises the importance of raising awareness about eye health and the availability of cataract treatments. Through their efforts, they aim to educate communities and individuals, empowering them to take proactive steps towards preventing and seeking treatment for cataract blindness. This holistic approach tackles the issue from multiple angles, resulting in a comprehensive solution that leaves no one behind.

The foundation's commitment to eradicating needless cataract blindness not only transforms individual lives but also has broader societal implications. As people regain their sight, they regain their independence and ability to participate fully in society. This, in turn, has a positive ripple effect, as individuals can contribute to their families and communities, breaking the cycle of poverty and deprivation.

Through their work and plans for expansion, the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is paving the way for a future where cataract blindness becomes a thing of the past. Their dedication, expertise, and collaborative approach inspire hope and create a more equitable world where everyone has access to quality eye care and the opportunity for a brighter future.

To learn more about the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation and Cataracts visit the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation website

Stay up to date on our involvement in Cataracts Awareness Month via our social media!

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