You may have heard warning from your parents, or grandparents, about cataracts when you were younger. They may have spoken about how staring into the sun for too long, or not properly shielding your eyes from the elements may cause permanent damage that will lead to cataracts. While there is an element of truth to this, the fact is, your elders were perpetuating certain pervasive myths about cataracts that are not widely understood. That in mind, here are four myths about cataracts, that are commonly believed, and reasons why they are incorrect.
Cataracts Can Grow Back
Its often thought that cataracts can re-grow over time, like other regenerative diseases. However, this is simply not the case. Once a cataract is removed from the eye, it is permanently removed. This misconception probably comes from the fact that it is possible for a separate, secondary cataract to develop in your eye, years after removal. This is due to the membrane, which holds the new lens in your eye, can become cloudy, if it is not cared for properly. Fortunately, this secondary cataract can easily be removed using laser surgery, by making a small hole in the membrane and allowing light to enter through and clear it up.
Cataracts Can Be Removed Using Lasers
While a secondary cataract can be removed using laser surgery, an initial cataract cannot. This is because, unlike the secondary cataract, the initial cataract grows on the actual properties of the lens instead of the surface. As a result, typical cataract surgery requires your natural lens to be removed with a tool called a phaco probe. The natural lens is then replaced with an artificial one that adapts naturally to the eye around it and is called an intraocular lens.
Cataract Symptoms Can Be Reversed
Although it is presumed that laser surgery can reverse the symptoms of cataracts, this is also untrue. Once the cataracts have set in, there is no known treatment that can lessen the effects. However, a well balanced diet, and limited exposure to UV rays, are some of the methods that can keep the cloudiness in your vision at bay, if surgery is not an immediate option.
Cataracts Cannot Be Removed Until They Ripen
While surgery is necessary once cataracts set in, it is often thought that it is best to wait until the cataract hits an advanced stage before it can be removed. Although medical technology was limited in the past, modern advances have allowed for surgery to take place as soon as it begins to affect the quality of your vision and your life.
Dispelling these myths about cataracts only helps create an environment where open discussions can take place on how cataracts affect people and lessen their quality of life. If you are a loved one believe you have any symptoms of cataracts, you should consult Dr. Ghosheh, as soon as possible, to discuss immediate treatment.