At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. William Segal and Dr. Marc Lay routinely treat patients for a variety of different conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, many of which could potentially rob an individual of their eyesight permanently. Fortunately, because we have access to the most advanced technology and treatment methods for the eyes, our patients can typically find relief relatively easily. For example, even though cataract surgery requires a great deal of skill and the use of our state-of-the-art LenSx® laser system, the procedure itself is painless and can be completed in less than half an hour. Because patients in the United States have such easy access to these advanced treatment methods, it can be easy to forget that others are not so fortunate. This is why Dr. William Segal plans to join with the Eradicating Cataracts Honduras Outreach, or ECHO Foundation later this year. They will be traveling to Honduras, where they will help provide vital eye care services to patients in need.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cataracts affect an estimated twenty million people and are the leading cause of treatable blindness worldwide. Amazingly, the condition can generally be corrected through cataract surgery in about fifteen minutes with as little as $100 worth of resources. Unfortunately, for the approximately 160,000 people afflicted by cataracts who live in Honduras, those resources are almost impossible to obtain. Fewer than ninety ophthalmologists are surgically active in Honduras, giving the country the lowest cataract surgery rate in Latin America.
The ECHO Foundation and its founders have been leading cataract surgery brigades to Honduras for more than twenty years. In that time, their efforts have resulted in more than 6,000 sight restoring surgeries for the people of Honduras. Additionally, in 2011, ECHO Foundation began exploring ways to further expand the existing ophthalmology sector in Honduras, and as of last year these sustainability efforts have helped to affect a 10% increase in national cataract surgery volumes. Dr. Segal’s mission trip is currently only in the early planning stages, but he is excited to get underway and grateful for the opportunity to work with the ECHO Foundation’s cataract surgery brigade.
If you are interested in learning more about the worldwide efforts to combat cataracts, would like to donate to the ECHO Foundation, or just want to schedule an appointment for diagnostic eye exam, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons today. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more to keep your vision healthy.