Cataracts, an eye disease caused by the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, are the most common cause of blindness in the world. But despite their prevalence, there are many myths and misconceptions about cataracts, some which may prevent patients from getting the treatment and care they need. Dr. Kerry Solomon, a trusted cataract surgeon serving Charleston and the surrounding area, regularly meets with patients who have questions about some of the facts they have heard or read about cataracts. Here, he clears up some of the most common myths about the disease.
Only Older Adults Develop Cataracts
While cataracts most frequently affect adults age 40 and older, they can also occur among young adults and even children. Factors that may lead to someone developing cataracts at a younger age include genetics, eye injuries, smoking and overexposure to UV rays.
Cataracts Can Be Prevented
There is no irrefutable proof that cataracts can be prevented. However, there are certain things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. These include eating a healthy diet rich in eye-friendly nutrients, protecting the eyes from UV damage, not smoking and managing health conditions linked to cataracts (e.g., diabetes).
Eye Drops Can Dissolve or Cure Cataracts
Currently the FDA has not approved any eye drops or other form of medication that can cure or delay the formation of cataracts. The only proven way to treat cataracts is to have them surgically removed. Beware of products that claim to “dissolve” cataracts, prevent or slow down the progression of the disease.
Cataracts Can Grow Back
Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens that contains the cataract and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Once the cataract is removed, it cannot grow back. Occasionally, former cataract patients may experience blurry vision caused by posterior capsule opacity, a condition referred to by many as “secondary cataracts.” Fortunately, posterior capsule opacity can be easily treated through a quick and painless procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy.
Cataract Surgery Is Dangerous
Cataract surgery is one of the safest operations performed today and holds a 95 percent success rate. Of course, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with the surgery. The best way to ensure a safe and successful outcome is to work with a highly trained and experienced cataract surgeon, like Dr. Solomon, who has a proven track record of performing thousands of successful cataract surgeries.
To learn more about cataract surgery, please schedule a consultation with board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Solomon. Contact his office by calling (843) 881-3937 or filling out our contact form online.