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June is Cataracts Awareness Month.

Prevent Blindness - America has declared June as Cataracts Awareness Month. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the United States.

Cataracts are cloudy areas on the lens of the eye that block the passage of light to the retina. Eye surgery can correct the condition but is often not needed or can be delayed for months or years. Many people with cataracts do well with the help of eyeglasses, contacts, and other vision aids.

There are several factors that cause cataracts such as aging, tobacco use, overexposure to sunlight, genetics, or an eye injury. It can also occur after the use of certain medicines or as a result of health problems such as diabetes.

There is no proven way to prevent cataracts. However, certain lifestyle habits may help slow their development. These include:

  • Wearing a hat and sunglasses when exposed to the sun.
  • Avoiding sunlamps and tanning booths.
  • Eating a healthy diet including fruits, vegetables, and fish (Omega-3 fatty acids).
  • Quitting tobacco.
  • Keeping diabetes under control.
Additional health and wellness information
If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website that provides information about cataracts and ways to manage this condition.

To access your Highmark member website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Health & Wellness" tab and type "cataract" in the search field.