Get Free Cataract Surgery and Eye Exams with Sight and Vision Grants

| August 22, 2013 | 30 Comments

Free Cataract SurgeryFree cataract surgery is available in much of the United States through a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those that can’t afford to pay for this on their own. Additionally, your local Lions Club may be a place you can turn to for help. A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s lens and is the most common cause of blindness. The condition can easily be treated with surgery which normally costs around $3,500. The procedure is usually handled on an outpatient basis. Cataract surgery involves having the lens removed and replaced with an artificial lens.

Mission Cataract USA
This organization was started in 1991 by a California doctor, performing 21 cataract surgeries in its first year alone. It has now grown into a coast to coast network operating in 16 states. To be eligible to receive help from Mission Cataract USA, you must experience a lack of vision caused by cataracts which affects your daily life. Your condition must not be able to be corrected by simply wearing glasses. You must have no access to Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance coverage or any other way to pay for surgery. If this describes you, check this listing of participating doctors and clinics that provide free surgery and apply with the location closest to you in your state. It is Mission Cataract USA’s overall goal to offer this service in all 50 states. If you are a medical professional interested in volunteering your services through the program, please fill out this contact form and a representative with Mission Cataract USA will contact you about adding your practice or clinic to its list of service providers.

Lions Clubs International
The Lions have an almost 100 year history of fighting blindness. They provide eye exams for kids and participate in eyeglass recycling efforts. They also provide financial assistance to people struggling with sight problems. Over the years, they have funded nearly 8 million cataract surgeries. If you are fighting blindness and need help, use this club locator and contact the club nearest you.

Free Eye Exams
While they do not offer free surgery, look into these programs if you are having vision problems and feel you would benefit from an eye exam. These programs provide free comprehensive eye assessments to low-income individuals that qualify for their services.

Eye Care America
The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology provides the Eye Care America program to several types of uninsured patients. Under the program, patients receive a comprehensive eye exam and follow-up eye care. The program does not cover the cost of surgery or provide eyeglasses. If you are 65 years old or older, uninsured and have not received an eye exam for three years, the program will see you at no charge. Seniors covered by Medicare can also work with the program and all co-pays associated with the service will be waived. For uninsured patients who have an increased risk of glaucoma and have not had an eye exam for one year, the program will provide a free glaucoma examination. Find out if you are eligible by completing the questionnaire on the Eye Care America website.

Vision USA
This service is provided by the American Optometric Association through the AOA Foundation’s Optometry Cares program. It offers free eye exams to low-income patients through volunteer optometrists participating in the program. In some states, eyeglasses can even be provided at little or no cost through Vision USA. Contact lens examinations and contacts are not offered under the program. To be eligible to receive a free eye exam, you must lack any government or private source of medical insurance. You must be considered low-income and receive less than the household income amounts shown on the Vision USA income chart. You must not have had an eye exam in the last two years. If you meet these requirements, find out how to apply for an eye exam on the organization’s website. To contact Vision USA, email

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Category: Medical Grants, Other Grant Information, Personal Grants

About the Author ()

Kipp is the Contributing Editor for, covering sources of potential funding in the world of grants. His mission is to assist people like you by locating and sharing private, non-profit and government grants. Got a question or a tip on a neat grant? Connect with him now at Facebook Twitter

Comments (30)

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  1. Oscar says:

    I have cataract and I would like some to help me get my vision back. It is getting worse and currently the most important thing in my life. I also have no money.

    • Kipp Shives says:

      What state do you live in? Check this listing with Mission Cataract USA and if you live close to any of those doctors, call their office directly to see if you can get some help. Otherwise, please let me know where you are located and I’ll look into it for you.

      • oscar says:

        I am in Miami, Florida. I would thank you in advance.

        • Kipp Shives says:

          Oh, well, that’s great news then. Mission Cataract USA has two clinics in Florida. Try contacting Center for Sight in Venice at 941-488-2020 or Eye Specialists in Sarasota at 941-957-4987 and tell them you would like to apply for free cataract surgery.

  2. Tina says:

    I developed a cataract overnight about 5 years ago which is getting worse. My doctor laughed and said it couldn’t happen and since I lost my insurance won’t help me. I have tried mission cataract but they have no one in Alabama. Nor does anyone else it seems. But one more try couldn’t hurt so here’s hoping you might have a solution thanks for reading this

    • oscar says:

      I need help we my vision,I have cataract but I live in Miami Florida,I would like help but its hard sometime toget in contac we. Any one thank u

  3. Gary Pyle says:

    I have a bad cataract on my right eye. I have had it checked out and it needs to be removed. I live in Oklahoma and I am the state insurance, but it will not pay for any type of eye care. can you please help or refer me to someone who might. thanks, Gary Pyle

    • There is a lot of support and resources for cataract surgery. I would like to have you contact first Carol Pearson & Rhonda Howard at 806-354-8891 they are located in Amarillo TX. I do not know if they will support you in Oklahoma but this could open up a door. Also Cindy Brandon at 901-685-2200 who works with Eye Specialty Group out of Tennessee they are listed as a Mission Cataract supporter. Let me know how these phone calls go.

  4. Rebecca Roach says:

    My husband found out today he needs cataracts surgery…we live very low insurance and he is our sole source of income for a family of three…one eye is completely covered in a cataract while the other has one small one in it…is there anything we can do right now I am just trying to keep a roof over our heads.

  5. Zeidy says:

    I lost my job and can’t see well, can’t drive anymore cause I am afraid. Need cataracts removed but no money. Do you know of any help in Georgia. I am a female, 58 y/o and I really need to go back to work.

  6. Wayne says:

    I know a lady of about 65 who lives in Jackson, Tennessee who has cataracts and what she refers to as “floaters”, (I have no idea what they are), and she has no means of getting treatment for them, is there a place that can offer her help? Thank you.

  7. Betty Diaz says:

    I really need cataract surgery. I am in pain and blind in my the left eye. I don’t have insurance. I would like someone that can help me get back my vision.

  8. Nina Freeman says:

    I live in South Bend IN, I have a lazy right eye , poor vision at birth that has gotten worse as I get older . Unemployed, no funds, no type of insurance , not qualified for Medicare , just turned 50 years old and I am scared because my eyes are developing cataracts . I use my left eye to guide me the right lazy eye is worst . I had to stop pursuing my education and as an Administrator no one will hire me due to my poor vision. I am in desperate need of eye care please assist me to resources in my area. Thank you

    • Hello Nina, There is a local Lions Club Chapter in your area. They have a program called Sharing The Vision Campaign. I would start by reaching out to the Club President James Rubleske you can email him buy searching his name in the Lions Club Directory. They also have a club meet up twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday 12:00 Le Peep of South Bend 127 S Michigan Street.

  9. Brenda Snyder says:

    Hello. My husband survived cancer treatment last year but the treatment left him with cataracts. He does have insurance and they will pay most but we still need $636 to have surgery. He is on over 10 medications a day, still paying copay on doctors visits and medications. He is now strong enough to get around but can not see well enough to drive. He also has to fly 900 miles away for cancer rechecks. Look forward to any help or advice you can give us. Most programs say low income or no insurance. He is 62 yrs old.

  10. Teresa says:

    I have cataract in both eyes and I don’t have any medical insurance. Do you know where I can go for help to get the cataracts removed for free. I live in Herndon VA 20170

  11. William Nienow says:

    I had detached retina surgery 3 months ago and currently have cataracts I can’t afford to have it removed… 305-731-5740

  12. Marcia says:

    I have cataract in my left eye and cannot afford to pay for surgery. I would really appreciate some help getting my vision back. I live in Los Angeles. Is there any where here that I can turn to for help?

  13. Gwen Davis says:

    My husband and I are trying to start over after losing everything. He has only painted for a living. His Cataracts are so bad, he cannot see to work. We live near Dallas, Tx. We have no money for his eye surgery, Can anyone tell me where to call or go? Thank You

  14. Sandra Stevens says:

    I am in desperate need of cataract surgery in both eyes I live in Fostoria Ohio

  15. Vicki Chaloupk says:

    I have cataracts and no insurance. I am currently living in Riviera Texas. Is there any help for me around this area?

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