Cataract Surgery: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Since it’s still June, there’s still time to wish everyone a Happy National Cataracts Awareness Month!

I know, I know, seems like it keep coming earlier every year, doesn’t it?

Did you know that all of us – if we’re lucky to live long enough – will eventually develop cataracts? A natural part of aging, cataracts occur when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy from natural proteins that build up over time. As the condition progresses, the clouded lens allow less light to pass through your eye and your vision becomes blurred. Think about a dirty windshield that you can never clean and you’ll get the idea.

At first, the blurriness can be addressed with changes in eyeglass prescription, but if it interferes with daily activities, doctors will recommend surgery – a generally safe procedure that can take as little as 15 minutes. Almost always, the patient is able to go home within an hour or so of surgery, with someone else driving, of course. Sounds easy, but what about people lacking insurance and unable to pay the out-of-pocket expense?

Enter Mission Cataract.

The Foundation’s Mission Cataract program helps Oregonians in need that are uninsured or under insured and connects them to surgeons that partner with us to help at no cost. Our partners include Legacy Devers Eye Institute, EyeHealth NW, Cascade Eye Center in Grants Pass, Dr. Matthew Neale in Eugene, Klamath Eye Center, Dr. Martin Balish, and Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute (PCLI).

One of our most recent Mission Cataract patients, Dennis of Terrebonne, was helped by PCLI and Dr. Bryan Edgington: “We’re happy to work with the Lions to resore vision for people in need.”

Even happier is Dennis himself: “I’m so grateful to have my vision restored. Now I can go back to work, drive and enjoy my family. I didn’t realize how poor my vision was and that I had adapted to not seeing well for years. This is such a gift!”

So, to all of our Mission Cataract Partners that help us help people like Dennis, I say: Happy National Cataracts Awareness Month!

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