New Research On Cataracts And The Prognosis Of The Condition

Scientists and medical professionals are always conducting new research on cataracts and their formation, with the hopes of finding a way to reverse the process without surgery. Vitamins, supplements and potential new cataract medicines are under intense scrutiny, but so far no conclusive alternatives have been found.

Prognosis: A Fully Curable Condition

While the progression of cataracts is still irreversible, the good news is that the technology to remove cataracts and restore vision already exists. Corrective surgery for cataracts, which includes the removal of your clouded natural lens and implementation of a new intraocular lens, is successful for 98 percent of patients who undergo the procedure.
New technologies are always being tested with the hopes eliminating the need for surgery, but no successful alternatives have been established. Still, this type of surgery is a quick and relatively painless outpatient procedure that renders living with cataracts completely unnecessary.

A Link Between Cataracts and Antidepressants?

New studies by the University of British Colombia (UBC) Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute have linked the occurrence of cataracts with the prescription of a certain class of drugs called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (2010).
The study surveyed 200,000 residents in Quebec aged 65 and over, and showed that persons taking SSRIs exhibited an increased need for corrective cataract surgery.
The study did not account for persons below 65 years, and did not include any statistics on the effects of smoking within the sample population. The institute eventually plans on conducting additional population-based studies to account for these variables (UBC, 2010).

The Lens and Cataract Program

The Lens and Cataract Program, an initiative made by the National Eye Institute in 2011, is currently studying physiological, biochemical, and biophysical components of lens transparency on cellular and molecular levels to determine the cause of age-related changes that may contribute to cataracts.
This initiative includes mapping new genes that are associated with the formation of cataracts in humans and mice. New and unexpected genomic evidence has provided clarity into some of the molecular mechanisms that may lead to retinal clouding.
These studies have inadvertently revealed close links to other conditions commonly brought on by age, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Scientists and doctors hope that the conclusions of the experiment may be used to benefit further studies on these conditions, as well.
As science makes new strides toward understanding cataracts and their underlying causes, new methods and medicines will hopefully become available.