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A cataract is a clouding of your eye’s lens that ultimately affects your vision. It occurs when crystallin proteins in your eye break down and start clumping together. This can happen in one or both eyes, but it doesn’t spread from one to the other.
Symptoms may vary but generally include the following:
There are three types of cataracts:
If you or someone you know has a cataract, don’t worry. Cataracts are not uncommon. In fact, by the age of 80, more than half of Americans either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. There are treatment options available to slow the progression of a cataract formation and ultimately cure cataracts.
There are various factors that can cause cataracts. While some cataracts come on as a result of health conditions like diabetes and eye diseases — or follow eye injuries, an eye surgery, or sun damage — most cataracts happen with age. Cataracts can also be hereditary. Ultimately, any factor that changes your eye lens’ tissue makeup can cause cataracts.
Regardless of how cataracts develop, you may not notice cataracts at first. However, over time, they may significantly impair your vision and affect your day-to-day activities, even despite a healthy eye care routine.
Eye drops have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cataracts.
2015 research discovered a molecule that can actually bind and re-solubilize misfolded proteins in the eye.
Scientists believe that, in an eye drop, this solution could slow the progression of cataracts and even reverse early-stage, age-induced cataracts. Until that research comes to fruition, however, eye drops may only be used to fight infections and irritation following cataract surgery. To date, surgery is the only way to cure cataracts.
Nevertheless, there are some general eye care and lifestyle changes you can make to slow the progression of cataracts:
An eye drop called 'Can-C' that contains N-alpha-acetylcarnosine (NAC) claims to reverse, reduce, and slow senile cataract development.
Professor Babizhayev, a bio-physicist and Executive Director of Innovative Vision Products (IVP), patented and developed these eye drops. However, this has not been proven. Eye drops are not shown to cure or reverse cataract progression.
A cataract can cause lasting, detrimental damage to your natural lens. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to total blindness and critically impact your lifestyle. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness.
Cataract surgery may be necessary if your cataracts are worsening to the point of severe vision impairment. An eye care routine can help to minimize your symptoms, but you cannot get rid of cataracts on your own or reverse the protein aggregation.
While new, more accessible, and affordable treatments are underway, cataract surgery is currently the only way to cure cataracts. Not everyone will recover from cataract surgery with perfect vision, but it can drastically improve your condition.
There are a few ways to slow the progression of cataracts.
Some of these include avoiding prolonged UV light exposure, not using steroid eye drops, checking the side effects of medications before taking them, and living a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind that cataract surgery may be the only option if your cataracts have progressed too far.
You cannot get rid of existing cataracts naturally.
However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to slow their progression.
These changes include, but are not limited to, quitting tobacco, drinking alcohol in moderation, wearing sunglasses outside, eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients/antioxidants, and avoiding activities that cause eye strain.
You should also get regular eye exams to check your eye health.
An eye drop called 'Can-C' that contains N-alpha-acetylcarnosine (NAC) claims to reverse, reduce, and slow senile cataract development. Professor Babizhayev, a bio-physicist and Executive Director of Innovative Vision Products (IVP), patented and developed these eye drops. However, this has not been proven. Eye drops are not shown to cure or reverse cataract progression.
Antibiotic eye drops, like Vigamox, Besivance, and Zymaxid (gatifloxacin) are often prescribed after cataract surgery to prevent infection.
Without insurance, the average cost of cataract surgery is between $3,500 and $7,000 per eye in the United States. However, Medicare and private insurance plans often cover all or a portion of the costs. This can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by 80 percent or more.
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