As the eyes age, the normally clear lens of the eye that focuses light behind the iris and pupil begins to turn yellow and clouded due to a breakdown of proteins. Vision then becomes hazy or blurry like looking through a frosted or fogged-up window. When a cataract interferes with a person’s ability to complete usual activities, cataract surgery is recommended to replace the cloudy lens with a clear, artificial lens. Cataracts are very common with more than 200,000 cases per year, as more than 50% of Americans aged 80 and older develop cataracts. 

Due to misinformation and confusion that still, surrounds cataracts, in relation to how they develop, how they impair vision, and what you can or cannot do to prevent and treat cataracts, Pendleton Eye would like to help our patients sort out the details regarding common myths and misconceptions about cataracts. 

Myth #1: Only old people develop cataracts. Although most cataracts are attributed to aging, cataracts can develop in anyone. Congenital cataracts are present in some babies at birth and can develop in early childhood. Secondary cataracts can develop due to other conditions or diseases such as diabetes or steroid use. Traumatic cataracts are the result of an accident or injury affecting one or both eyes. 

Myth #2: Cataracts grow on the eyes and can be dissolved with eye medication or eye drops. Unfortunately, cataracts are not growths but permanent changes to the eye’s natural lens. The only way to effectively treat a cataract is to have it removed and replaced with a synthetic lens. 

Myth #3: Cataract surgery is dangerous. Cataract surgery has a 95% success rate and is considered one of the most common and safest eye surgeries. As cataracts develop gradually over years, you may be able to delay surgery for quite some time if your vision is not impaired. Inevitably, most patients do end up requiring cataract removal surgery.

Myth #4: Cataracts can be treated or reversed with lifestyle changes. While good habits can preserve the health of the lens, it does not guarantee that cataracts will not develop. And once they do, the only treatment is surgery. A healthy diet of fresh fruits and veggies along with proper eye protection against UVA and UVB rays will improve your overall eye health. 

Myth #5: Cataracts grow back after surgery. Once the defective lens is removed, it will not grow back. Should a patient develop cloudy vision again due to aging of the membrane that holds the artificial lens, a quick laser procedure will safely and easily resolve the issue. 

If you have recently been diagnosed with a cataract, need to find out if you have cataracts, or wish to schedule cataract surgery, call Pendleton Eye at 760-758-2008 or book conveniently online at WEBSITE.