Last Updated: 27th December, 2020
Cataract or cataracts are type of clouding of the eye’s lens that eventually result in declining vision. Cataracts mostly grow gradually and have the potential to damage one or perhaps both eyes. Cataract symptoms mostly include blurred or double vision, faded colors, trouble seeing at night halos around light, trouble with bright lights, and halos around light. If a cataract comes into conflict with somebody’s normal daily activities, a clear, artificial lens might replace the blurry sight. Typically, this is a secure, outpatient procedure.
Cataract estimated to affect 95 million individuals globally as shown in a 2017 report released in the Journal Lancet. Three surveys conducted in India have projected that the number of people suffering from cataract will reach 8.25 million by 2020. Hence, knowing about the condition and the common misconceptions surrounding cataracts can play a key role in the treatment of this leading cause of preventable blindness.
June month is marked as a month of Cataract Awareness.
Cataract: 7 Common Cataracts Misconceptions Unclouded
There are many misconceptions about cataract including its treatment and prevention. In this article, we discuss some of the common misconceptions about cataracts such as:
Misconception 1: Cataracts Are An Age-Old Problem
Reality: Although cataracts usually occur at an old age, it can occur at any age. It can be congenital, occur at birth, or can occur due to genetic predisposition. It can also be caused because of smoking, eye injury and certain conditions such as nutritional deficiencies, hypertension, diabetes, stress and glaucoma.
Misconception 2: Cataracts Can Be Prevented By Diet, Yoga, And Exercise
Reality: It is one of the common cataracts misconceptions that most people believe. However, it is not true. Cataracts cannot be prevented by medicines, diet, yoga, or exercise. There is no prevention for cataract.
However, going for regular eye exams, quitting smoking, eating foods rich in antioxidants, maintain a healthy weight, and protecting the eyes from UVB rays by wearing sunglasses can help to lower the risk of developing cataract and slow down its progression.
Misconception 3: Eye Drops Can Prevent Or Dissolve Cataract
Reality: There are no eye drops that can prevent, cure or dissolve cataract as claimed by many products in the market. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved of any eye drops which can cure, prevent, delay or dissolve cataracts.
It is important to understand that cataract occurs as a natural process of aging or due to other reasons mentioned before, which should be diagnosed and treated for healthy vision.
Misconception 4: Cataracts Are Reversible
Reality: Unfortunately, no. Cataracts cannot be reversed. This is because, the lens becomes cloudy naturally with age or disease and hence, the process is unavoidable. However, you can slow down the progress at which the lens is affected by following simple measures.
These include eating a balanced diet, saying no to smoking and using sunglasses to protect the eyes against the harmful UV radiations.
Misconception 5: Cataracts Can Grow Back
Reality: As we all aware that cataracts develop as the cells of the lens die and accumulate, leading to the formation of a cloudy substance which blocks the vision.
So when a person undergoes a cataract surgery the cloudy lens is replaced with a new artificial lens. The new lens is implanted or fitted into the lens capsule. This is the reason why cataracts cannot grow back.
Misconception 6: Cataract Surgery Is Painful And Dangerous
Reality: It is one of the most common belief why people with cataract avoid getting the surgery done. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataract surgery is one of the safest surgical procedures with a 95 percent success rate.
Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of the surgery to get a clear idea about your recovery rather than falsely believing claims.
Misconception 7: Cataract Surgery Takes Months To Recover
Reality: Most people do notice an improvement in vision immediately after the surgery. However, in some people, there might be a gradual improvement over a few weeks after surgery. As soon as the eye patch is removed, which is done in the next day post-surgery, patients can resume their normal activities.
It’s unfortunately true that cataracts cannot be prevented, but it can be always treated. As the risk increases with age, it is important to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist every year as you age to know any changes, if any in the early stages, and keep your eyes healthy.