Twenty-five percent of the population will develop cataracts by the time they reach age 65, according to the National Eye Institute. The likelihood of cataract development increases with each decade of life as the clouding of the natural eye lens worsens with age.
It is not possible to reverse cataracts without surgery. While there has been preliminary research for homeopathic treatments of cataracts, none are approved by the FDA, and researchers have published the need for much further exploration to prove efficacy. Scientists, doctors, and the FDA agree that traditional and laser cataract surgeries remain the only effective means to eliminate cataracts.
Here’s what you need to know about cataracts and how to treat them:
Cataracts can be deceptive. Often, they develop slowly and painlessly over time. Symptoms may be so mild that you don’t even notice your vision changing.
Because of this, surgery may not be the recommended treatment in the early stages of cataract development. They can often be managed with a new eyeglass prescription and improved lighting, when possible. While there is no way to reverse cataracts without surgery, eyeglasses may improve vision in their early stages.
However, as a cataract grows larger, it will cloud more of your eye’s natural lens and further impair vision. At this point, when vision impairment begins to interfere with daily activities, cataract surgery is the best option to restore most of your vision and thereby improve your quality of life. Currently, there is no non-surgical treatment that has been approved by the FDA.
Cataract Surgery Options and Benefits
The first cataract surgery was performed more than 250 years ago with a 50 percent success rate. Today, cataract surgery is considered one of the safest, most effective procedures, with a current success rate of 99 percent according to UCI Health. Most patients recover quickly, with the outpatient surgery lasting mere minutes and the total recovery time being less than a week.
When it comes time for surgery, there are different options that your surgeon will discuss to choose which is best suited for your individual vision needs. Both have effective results and similar recovery times. Traditional cataract surgery is a manual technique that has proven reliable and safe and is still often performed, despite technological advances. However, laser cataract surgery has become the leading option as it is more precise, more consistent, and can treat additional eye conditions such as astigmatism.
At Florida Eye Specialists, we will educate you on every treatment option available. Our specialty-trained team of Surgery Coordinators and Cataract Consultants will discuss the variety of options available to you, and your surgeon will then make their recommendations. To learn more about the latest technology in cataract surgery, download this free guide.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for cataracts, and researchers and scientists have not identified a means to slow cataract progression. However, a healthy lifestyle has been proven to improve overall long-term eye health.
Reducing alcohol consumption and limiting smoking, eating a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables, and protecting your eyes from the elements by wearing sunglasses can help preserve vision.
But perhaps the most crucial course of action to prevent cataracts is to schedule annual comprehensive eye appointments with your eye doctor. Our cataract surgeons use the latest research and most advanced technology to determine and perform the best course of action for our patients. There is no reason to let clouded vision affect your quality of life; schedule an appointment today with our cataract specialists.
About Florida Eye Specialists
Florida Eye Specialists is one of the largest multi-specialty ophthalmology private practices in Northeast Florida. Our offices are located in Fernandina Beach, Gate Parkway/295, Mandarin, Northside, Ponte Vedra Beach, Riverside, San Marco, Southpoint, and St. Augustine. Schedule an appointment at one of our nine locations.