What is curable blindness?
Curable blindness is any form of blindness which can be prevented and/or cured (including glaucoma, cataracts, trachoma, and others), but remain untreated for approximately 40 million people (mostly in the developing world), due to a lack of financial resources and/or a lack of awareness of treatment options.
What is cataracts?
Cataracts are the cause of approximately half of global blindness (18-20 million people) despite the fact that it is a curable disease. A cataract is a clouding which develops in the natural lens of the eye, obstructing the passage of light, and gradually leads towards blindness if left untreated.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve becomes damaged, progressively leading to irreversible loss of vision. It is often associated with an increase in pressure of the eye fluids. Because damage from glaucoma is irreversible, it is essential to detect and treat this condition in the early stages to prevent vision loss and blindness. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye.
What is trachoma?
Trachoma is an infectious eye disease caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, and is a leading cause of preventable blindness. Approximately 41 million people suffer from active infections, with around 8 million visually impaired as a result of being infected. Largely eliminated from the developed world, trachoma is still a major issue in parts of the world which lack access to clean water and sanitation. The disease is spread from person to person via eye, nose, and throat secretions.
What is onchocerciasis (river blindness)?
Onchocerciasis or River Blindness, is a parasitic disease caused by Onchocerca volvulus, slender threadlike roundworms which are spread under the skin via black flea bites. Approximately 18 million people are infected, with roughly 300,000 blind as a result. 99% of cases occur in Africa. River blindness is both preventable (by controlling black fly populations in fast flowing rivers), and treatable (through the use of pharmaceutical and antibiotics).
How can you help?
Our resources section has a list of prominent international organizations working on curable blindness. Donating to one of these organizations can help further the cause of eradicating curable blindness. On each country page, we list more country-specific organizations which could benefit from contributions.
Also, if you know of curable blindness related information which is not included in our website, please let us know and we will be sure to include it in our periodic updates.