June is Cataract Awareness Month

June 1, 2023

Did you know that cataracts account for 65% of blindness and 75% of visual impairment, with the highest rates occurring in low- and middle-income countries? There are about 160,000 Cambodians who are blind — and as is true in nearly all developing countries.  A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. The lens of the eye is located behind the pupil and the colored iris and is normally transparent. The lens helps to focus images onto the retina – which transmits the images to the brain.


Cataracts can be caused by several factors, including: age, intense heat, long-term sun exposure, or certain diseases, such as diabetes. Cataracts may also occur in children, about three in 10,000 children have a cataract.  Pediatric cataracts often occur because of abnormal lens development during pregnancy, or because of injury or an infection. In 2021, Satya was born with cataracts in both eyes, causing him blurry vision and difficulty recognizing the faces of his parents. As a result of cataract surgery CSC, he will have normal vision like other children.


In 2022, our CSC Khmer surgeons did over 800 cataract surgeries, and our satisfied patients tell us that good eye health can lead to better opportunities in terms of livelihood and income.  With the support of all our wonderful donors and friends, we can continue to help Cambodians and prevent blindness. Please visit our website https://www.csc.org to find out how you can help. Send our all Khmer Eye team a note of thanks for all that they do to improve the lives of Cambodians with this free or low-cost procedure.  In the fight against debilitating blindness, it is important to recognize them as everyday heroes.

Author: Ellen Interlandi

Ellen, a registered nurse, and her husband Brian, an anesthesiologist, have been active volunteers at CSC since 2008. Ellen has undergraduate degrees in both Nursing and Spanish Literature, and a graduate degree in Health Management. Since 2020, Ellen has volunteered in the role of Stakeholder Relations, connecting with our generous supporters, interacting with visiting surgeons and students, and disseminating updates on Children's Surgical Centre.

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