Cataract is one of the most common eye conditions, especially in the elderly. They occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing blurred vision and can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Despite their high prevalence, many cataract myths and misconceptions persist, causing confusion and unnecessary anxiety. We’ll debunk some common cataract myths and provide facts to help you better understand this condition.
Here are 7 cataract myths debunked by facts:
Myth 1: Cataracts only occur in older people
Do: While it is true that cataracts mostly affect older people, it is essential to note that they can develop at any age. Younger people can also suffer from cataracts due to genetic factors, trauma, certain medications or underlying medical conditions. Therefore, regardless of age, regular eye exams are imperative for early detection.
Myth 2: If we do surgery early, cataracts can come back
Do: Cataract is a progressive disease of clouding of the lens which is eliminated by cataract surgery and replaced by an artificial lens (IOL). Once the operation is performed, cataracts can no longer develop. Very rarely, IOLs may exhibit PCO formation that can decrease vision, but this is resolved with OPD-led care. Therefore, once the cataract operation is performed, the patient cannot develop cataracts again, whether the operation was performed earlier or later.
Myth 3: Cataracts can spread from one eye to the other
Do: Cataracts do not spread from one eye to the other. However, an individual can independently develop a cataract in both eyes. Additionally, cataract progression can vary from eye to eye, requiring personalized treatment approaches.
Myth 4: Eye drops can dissolve or prevent cataracts
Do: It is important to specify that no eye drops or medicine can dissolve or prevent cataracts. Although some lifestyle changes, such as protecting the eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light and maintaining a healthy diet, can help delay cataract formation or slow its progression, surgery remains the only effective cataract treatment.
Myth 5: Cataract surgery is a risky procedure and should be postponed until absolutely necessary
Do: Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed and safest surgical procedures in the world. The cloudy lens is removed during surgery and then replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Complications are extremely rare, and the benefits of better vision and improved quality of life far outweigh the minimal risks associated with the procedure. It is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist to determine the optimal time for cataract surgery based on individual circumstances.
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Myth 6: Cataracts can be cured naturally with alternative remedies
Do: It is important to point out that despite the claims of some alternative remedies, there is no scientific evidence to support their ability to reverse or cure cataracts. Cataract is a progressive disease that affects the clarity of the natural lens, and surgery is currently the only viable option to effectively restore vision.
Myth 7: Cataracts can be prevented
Although cataracts cannot be entirely prevented, certain lifestyle decisions can help reduce the risk or delay their onset. Wearing UV protective eyewear, eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, quitting smoking, and fighting underlying medical conditions like diabetes can all make a major difference in maintaining good health. eye and possibly reduce the risk of developing cataracts.
Keep in mind that regular eye exams, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and seeking prompt treatment from qualified professionals are crucial steps to effectively managing cataracts!