By simple definition, cataract refers to the clouding of the natural clear lens of your eyes – the part of your eyes that helps focus light or an image on the retina.
This disease is one of the leading causes of blindness. According to America’s National Eye Institute, the number of people affected with cataract can hit 50 million by 2050. As this eye problem is a very much popular topic even beyond the health community, laymen may have probably heard many misconceptions about it.
Be knowledgeable and distinguish which is which. In this feature, we’ve listed some of the most interesting myths surrounding cataract.
Cataract is an exclusive disease for old people
While it is true that cataract is common among seniors, anyone can actually be inflicted with this disease. It is just that commonly, a cataract is so small that its effects can only be noticed in your more senescent years.
Moreover, there are other kinds of cataract that are not just “age-related.” There is a type called traumatic cataract, which can be the result of an eye injury. There is also the so-called secondary cataract, which can be obtained after an eye-related surgery.
Cataract is some kind of a film that grows over your eyes
As previously mentioned, cataract is the clouding of your eyes’ lens. It is not some sort of a film that grows and covers your iris. Thus, the claims that there are eye drops that can “dissolve” a cataract are also considered myths. Another related misconception is that a cataract can grow back even after a surgery.
The only way to get rid of a cataract is through surgery
A cataract can range from mild to severe. You can have your eyes checked in some of the most sought-after optical clinics in United States (Sam’s Club, for example).
Mild ones usually have the following symptoms – your eyes can become more sensitive to glare, and colors appear to be faded, to name a few. To treat this kind of cataract, you may only resort to getting a pair of sunglasses (especially anti-glare ones). If it is the severe form of cataract (the one that can cause extremely blurred visions), that’s the only time when surgery is required.
Undergoing cataract surgery can be too risky
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) considers cataract surgery as one of the safest surgical procedures in the field of medicine. In fact, it has a whopping success rate of 95 percent. With the use of modern technology, this surgery can be performed in about an hour or less. Furthermore, only tiny incisions are involved – there are no sutures done, most of the time.