September 13, 2019

Top Four Cataract Myths Debunked


Read the full NZ Herald article here

If you’ve been looking into treatment for cataracts, chances are you’ve come across some information which may not be reliable or scientifically sound. Today, we’re going through some of the most common myths that we see regarding cataracts, so we can offer a little bit of clarity! 

Myth 1: Taking eye drops can prevent or treat cataracts

Don’t believe this if you hear it—there’s no indication that eye drops can help repair or prevent cataracts. We understand why this is such an attractive idea. If only it were so easy! In the future, it’s possible that an eye drop treatment might be created, but as it stands, only surgery can correct cataracts.

Myth 2:  It takes a long time to recover from cataract surgery

This is also completely untrue. Cataract surgery is—in fact—one of the fastest operations to bounce back from! The eye has incredible healing properties, and many of our clients find that they are back to normal with clear vision within 24 to 48 hours.

The procedure itself is very quick and only takes a few minutes per eye. 

Myth 3: Cataracts are contagious

Many people are unaware that a cataract’s area clouding of the lens inside your eye, and are mistakenly led to believe that they are caused by some sort of film that grows over the eye. Often, this is what appears to be happening form the point of view of someone developing cataracts. Some people believe that this film is capable of spreading, and has the ability to jump from one eye to the other. 

Thankfully, this myth is also false. Since cataracts are result of a natural clouding of the lens within your eye, there is no way for it to spread to other eyes. Typically, if you have a cataract in one eye only, you will get one in the other eye, but this is not because it has spread. They are two separate cataracts that have developed independently of each other. 

Myth 4: You are guaranteed to get cataracts as you get older

This isn’t strictly true, but there is some truth in it. Cataract formation is indeed a natural part of ageing and is more common for people over 60, so most people will likely develop cataracts at some stage of their life. However, the rate at which they develop isn’t set in stone, as age is not the only reason or cause why cataracts form.

Smoking has been proven to increase your likelihood of developing cataracts at a younger age. Likewise, excessive exposure to the sun can cause cataracts early. Finally, other medical conditions can cause cataract formation, such as diabetes and inflammatory eye or skin conditions.

There are some simple precautions you can take in order to mitigate these risks, and luckily, they line up with other general health guidelines. Quitting smoking, wearing sunglasses during the summer months, and keeping an eye on your diet can all help prevent cataracts from forming early. 

Finally, cataracts can be caused by some medications—like steroids—so your doctor may be able to tell you the risks associated in that area. 

Want to see clearly again?

If cataracts are getting in the way of you living your best life, talk to the team here at Re:Vision Sight Correction Centre. You may have a number of questions about cataracts and treatment, check out our FAQ section. Don’t wait, get your vision back today!

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