Did you know that cataracts are the number one cause of vision loss across the globe? In the United States, they affect 22 million Americans who are 40 and older. But somehow, cataract misconceptions are still commonplace.
Let’s start sorting through the fiction to find the cataract facts you need to know.
Cataract Myth #1: Eye drops can remove existing cataracts
Cataract Fact #1: Unfortunately, this is false. There are plenty of products claiming to remove cataracts, but no eye drop has FDA approval.
The only way to treat cataracts is with cataract surgery. When cataracts become too large and impede vision, cataract surgery is necessary.
Cataract Myth #2: Cataracts Can Be Reversed
Cataract Fact #2: Cataracts cannot be reversed. Cataracts also are not preventable. They can only be treated with cataract surgery. The development of cataracts and clouded lenses are a natural part of the aging process.
When your lenses become too cloudy, cataracts appear. And while you can’t reverse cataracts, you can slow their growth rate.
This includes wearing protective hats outdoors, eating healthy, and quitting smoking. By avoiding bad behaviors, you can slow down a cataract’s development. Eventually, you will have cataracts if you live to be old enough!
Cataract Myth #3: Any activity that calls for close vision makes cataracts worse
Cataract Fact #3: Close-up activities do not make cataracts worse. Cataracts are not in any way tied to how cataract patients have used their eyes.
They might be more noticeable when doing detailed work such as sewing or reading a book.
Take note if you have recently begun to need more light for your regular activities. This can be a sign that it’s time to see your eye doctor.
Cataract Myth #4: A cataract can grow back
Cataract Fact #4: A cataract develops as proteins in the lens of the eye die and clumps together to form the cataract. A cataract cannot grow back since it did not actually grow. When having cataract surgery, the lens with the cataract is removed.
This ensures that another cataract cannot develop. However, you can develop what’s known as a secondary cataract.
This forms on the IOL which replaces the lens. If you do have a secondary cataract, they are easy to remove!
Cataract Myth #5: Cataract surgery is not safe at all
Cataract Fact #5: Cataract surgery is a safe procedure with a 95 percent success rate. All surgical procedures have risks to consider, including cataracts surgery. There are risks with cataract surgery, but they are extremely rare! The benefits of getting your vision back outweigh the risks of cataract surgery.
Before surgery, make sure to discuss any fears you have with your cataract surgeon. They’ll be able to answer any questions and go over your IOL (intraocular lens) options. It’s important to choose the IOL that’s best for your lifestyle. Consider whether you want to wear glasses after cataract surgery.
Though cataract surgery can seem scary, it doesn’t have to be! After cataract surgery, you’ll have clear vision and your life back.
Ready to schedule your cataract surgery consultation? Contact Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN today!