Why Cataracts?

The HelpMeSee Mission to End Cataract Blindness

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Over 100 million people around the world are blind or severely visually impaired by cataracts, even though a cost-effective solution already exists.

20 million are blind from cataract.

82 million more are visually impaired from cataract & will likely go blind without care.

90% of blind & visually impaired live in developing countries.

2/3 of all blind people are women.

Cataract removal is the most common medical procedure in the United States, yet untreated cataracts are one of the most common, unaddressed health crises in the developing world. Without a dramatic increase in the number of cataract surgeons in the developing world, millions more will go blind.

But there’s hope.


A HelpMeSee patient in New Delhi, India seen before surgery (left) and just a day after her sight was restored (right).

A solution already exists, and we have a plan to scale it worldwide. Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) offers a high-quality, affordable procedure to treat someone blind from cataracts. The procedure can take as little as 5 minutes, and in some regions costs just $50.

With their sight restored, patients return to work, earn more income, send their children back to school, and live a longer, healthier life.


Cataract slider shows effects of cataract blindness in day-to-day life. Patient's grandchildren, etc.

Economic Benefits
After surgery, patients can return to work to support their families. The World Bank considers cataract surgery to be one of the most cost-effective health interventions.

Education Benefits
Children often have to leave school when a blind parent can no longer pay tuition. Now they can return to school and pursue their dreams.

Greater Life Expectancy
Patients have a 40% lower mortality risk after cataract surgery (AAO).

Greater Quality of Life
After surgery, men and women who have their sight restored can become far more self-sufficient. Cataract surgery restores hope and allows them to return to their place as leaders in their families and communities.