Cataract is a huge problem in many people, especially at old age. However, there are many cases where patients are youth and even children. It can be simply understood as a clouding of the lens of the eye. A white cloudy layer is formed inside the lens which obstructs vision. Its simple solution is operational and it is not highly risky. But scientists are working in a Cataract dissolving eye drops. This could help reduce surgery and make treatment easier.
Most people have cataract due to aging. Our lens is made up of water and protein and after a long time the proteins clump. This causes the clouding or cataract. Aging is the main reason but it is not the only cause. It is also affected by a person’s health and habits. Smokers, drinkers are at high risk with people who have diabetes and hypertension. A cataract causes blurry vision which is irritating and bad. There are surgeries available and they do treat the issue. In traditional way surgery with the incision is done. But nowadays there is laser surgery which is safer and better. In Nepal, a laster assisted surgery can cost about $140 per eye at Tilganga Institute of Opthalmology.
If the treatment is done in time, the cloud can be removed. But if there is a big delay, the layer can solidify and it may be harder to remove. This can also cause blindness. In many rural parts of the world, people don’t have access to the hospital nearby. Some may not be able to afford the surgery. So eye drops can solve these because they can be cheap and they can be transported easily. Also replacing surgery with just medicines is a good thing.
Special Eye Drops
The scientists from the University of California have made special eye drops that can shrink the cataract. This can then dissolve it and remove the cloudy layer. The experiment is led by Professor Kang Zhang. They tested with rabbit’s lens with eye drops made with Lanosterol. This molecule helps to prevent clouding in the eye. The experiment was conducted with dogs with cataract and it showed progress. Clinical trials are yet to be performed on humans.
The current problem is that it was not permanent. The clouding began sometime after leaving medication. It can’t replace surgery totally for now. They believe its use can help the patient at an early stage. They are still working to make a drug with multi-dimension and permanent effect. The eye drops are based on Lanosterol. Scientists are studying this steroid for its application on cataract.
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This came actually after studying one group of parents and their children. The parent’s body produced Lanosterol and didn’t get contact. But their children didn’t produce Lanosterol and they caught it. In the International Science journal named Nature, there is a paper on this saying that Lanosterol reverses protein aggregation in cataracts. It means that this steroid can help to shrink that protein lump or cloud in eyes and dissolve it. Therefore it seems like there is a good chance we can get working eye drops soon.
Eye care and protection
It is very important to take care of our eyes. They are part of our human senses. Vision is very very important for any living being. So we must be very careful with it. Everyone should be very careful with hygiene and cleanliness. We must always wash our eyes with clean water free of contaminants. Proper care is needed in case of any infection of allergy. Use sunglasses to protect from UV rays and dust. Always use protective glasses while doing work like welding or any work that can create splinters.
One must be very careful with health. Metabolic diseases can dangerously affect eyes. So, always be careful of body weight, sugar, diabetes, and blood pressure. People with high blood pressure and diabetes are at high risk of having an eye problem.