Cataracts Awareness Month
June is dedicated annually to promoting awareness about cataracts, a prevalent yet often overlooked condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Cataracts rank among the primary causes of visual impairment, significantly impacting an individual’s quality of life. During Cataracts Awareness Month, it is crucial to delve into the importance of comprehending cataracts, encompassing their causes, symptoms, and treatment alternatives.
By addressing cataract blindness, The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation tackles one of the root causes of extreme poverty. When individuals regain their sight, they can rejoin the workforce, provide for their families, and actively contribute to their communities. This ripple effect creates a brighter future for all.
Cataracts manifest when the natural lens of the eye, typically transparent and clear, becomes cloudy or opaque. This clouding impedes the lens’ capacity to focus light onto the retina, resulting in blurred or distorted vision. Cataracts can develop in either one or both eyes, gradually progressing over time.
Causes of Cataracts
While the ageing process constitutes the most prevalent cause of cataracts, multiple factors can contribute to their formation, including:
- Age: The natural progression of ageing induces structural alterations in the lens, fostering the development of cataracts.
- Genetics: A familial history of cataracts heightens an individual’s predisposition to their onset.
- Trauma: Eye injuries can contribute to the development of cataracts.
- Lifestyle factors: Extended exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and inadequate nutrition augment the risk of cataracts.
- Medical conditions: Diabetes, hypertension, and the prolonged use of specific medications such as corticosteroids can increase an individual’s susceptibility to cataract development.
In the early stages, cataracts may not produce noticeable symptoms. However, as the condition advances, individuals may experience:
- Blurred or hazy vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Increased sensitivity to light and glare
- Faded or yellowed colours
- Double vision in one eye
Cataracts represent a common ocular condition that affects individuals across various age groups. By leveraging Cataracts Awareness Month, we can promote early detection, encourage regular eye examinations, and provide education on available treatment modalities. Remember to prioritise eye health and undertake necessary measures to mitigate risk factors. Through collective efforts, we can ensure a brighter future for individuals living with cataracts, granting them renewed clarity to perceive the world.
In the developing world, cataract blindness continues to afflict millions, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and isolation. However, hope shines brightly through the work of The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation. This remarkable NGO is on a mission to eliminate cataract blindness by providing free cataract surgeries in low-income countries.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, particularly in regions where access to quality eye care is limited. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation recognised this urgent need and took action. Founded by Tej Kohli and Dr Ruit, the foundation is fueled by a deep commitment to making a lasting impact.
The foundation’s approach is simple yet profound: they bring together highly skilled eye care professionals and state-of-the-art mobile surgical units, and they travel to remote areas where individuals are most in need. These surgical camps not only restore sight to those suffering from cataracts but also offer hope, dignity, and new opportunities.
Dr Sanduk Ruit, the visionary ophthalmologist who co-founded the foundation, has played a pivotal role in developing a safe and cost-effective surgical technique that enables high-quality cataract surgeries even in resource-constrained settings. His expertise has transformed countless lives and inspired a new generation of eye care professionals.
To ensure sustainable impact, the foundation also collaborates with local healthcare organisations and governments, empowering them with knowledge and resources to continue the fight against needless blindness. Together, they work towards a world where no one is left in the darkness of cataract blindness.
The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation was founded in March 2021 by London philanthropist Tej Kolhi and Kathmandu ‘God of Sight’ Dr Sanduk Ruit. As of November 2022 the NGO had screened 170,022 patients and cured 22,663of blindness at 91 outreach camps in Nepal, Bhutan and Ghana. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a restricted fund operating under the auspices of Prism The Gift Fund, registered UK charity number 1099682. The Foundation targets the #1 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of reducing poverty by making large-scale surgical interventions to cure blindness at the grassroots in the developing world. All treatments are provided completely free, with 100% of the funding coming from Tej Kohli and the Kohli family.