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New Drug Could Prevent Blindness From Cataracts

October 25, 2011

New studies report that a new drug may help prevent cataract side effects.

When it comes to the natural aging process, there are certain changes and adjustments that you must come to accept that relate to your body and health.  Your skin may no longer give off the fresh, smooth glow that it had in your younger years, muscles that used to stretch and build now ache with even the most minor of activities, and slowly but surely, you may begin to lose the clear focus and complex abilities of your eyesight.

There are many different problems and diseases that can affect our vision as we begin to age. In fact, it is not uncommon for many older individuals to have frequent changes in glasses and contacts as cataracts begin to form. While this is one way to offset some of the minor vision problems that may affect your golden years, there are many different treatments for seniors who suffer from age-related vision problems, from glaucoma to diabetic retinopathy.

However, there is one particular vision problem that affects nearly 22 million Americans aged 40 and older―cataracts. When it comes to this common vision disease, there are more cases of cataracts then there are of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined. In fact, it is estimated that by the year 2020, more than 30.1 million Americans will develop some form of cataracts.

This disease occurs as a part of our natural aging process and is caused when the eye’s natural lens begins to cloud and distort vision. This can happen when the fibers and water that is arranged within the eye’s lens begins to break down and cluster together, clouding our vision. At first, these cataracts will not have a significant impact on our vision, but they become more dense as time goes on. At this point, cataract surgery is often necessary to help restore clear vision to the eyes.

One day cataract surgery may be a thing of the past!  There are reports of a new drug in its preliminary stages that may just be able to slow the growth of cataracts so much that surgery may no longer be required.  The idea behind this innovative drug is that, by utilizing the treatment early enough in your diagnosis, you can slow the development of cataracts so that they will not be able to develop. By delaying the need for surgery for a number of years with this drug, people may end up not needing cataract surgery in the long run.

While this drug is still in its trial stages, it holds much excitement in the world of ophthalmology, as there has never been drug that delays the forming of cataracts to the point where surgery may not be needed. However, until this drug becomes a reality for those suffering from age related problems, the key to preventing vision loss is through regular eye exams, and the main treatment to restore lost vision from cataracts remains cataract surgery with the implantation of an intraocular lens implant (IOL.)

If you are 65 years or older, you should be sure to get a complete eye examination every year in order to ensure that everything is in precise, working order. Be sure to contact OCLI today to ensure that your vision is in top shape during your senior years.

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