Cataract surgery has come a long way in recent years. It's come so far that most people in this country who develop cataracts don't go blind. But that's not true in many developing countries.
In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Cataracts form when the lens of the eye clouds. Cataract surgery removes the lens and replaces it with an implant. Some opt for using glasses instead of the implant. Either way, vision is close to normal after the surgery. However, not everyone wants to undergo surgery. And those treating people in developing countries don't have this option. Fortunately, there may be a new way to give hope to those where surgery isn't an option.
This new treatment is a special eye drop that chemically displaces the cataract rather than surgically removing it. The drops are made out of an injected pancreatic enzyme, which dissolves the small fibers that hold the lens in place. The injected drops displace the cloudy lens just below the pupil. At that point, the patient can use glasses to see normally.
Dr. Louis Girard, an 82-year-old former professor and chairman of ophthalmology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, says the eye drops definitely work. He also said it will become the simplest and most inexpensive way of curing cataract blindness. In fact, the therapy costs just $3 per person.
Currently, the eye drop has to be injected into the eye, so it has to be administered by an ophthalmologist. However, Girard is hoping to make it into a drop or ointment that can be administered by any health professional, including nurses and social assistants.
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While this new treatment is a huge innovation in treating cataracts, it's not the only non-surgical way to treat cataracts. In fact, we're now seeing tremendous advances in eye drops. Some of these eye drops have reversed cataracts when patients began treatment early enough. In many cases, they avoided surgery completely.
Some of the most effective eye drops use the amino acid glutathione. Your body produces glutathione naturally. But, as we age, our levels drop considerably. This is why cataracts typically form in people over the age of 50.
It's tough to increase your glutathione levels sufficiently to reverse cataracts. One reason for this is that your body doesn't absorb glutathione easily. As a result, you have to take extra selenium or a supplement called N-acetyl carnitine (NAC) just to raise your levels. This works great for prevention. But doctors have found that the best way to improve your eyes with cataracts is to use a glutathione-based drop. Here again, we have to use NAC to make it work right. But it does work.
One of the most researched drops is Can-C, made by Innovative Vision Products. You can find these drops at Amazon.com and other places on the Internet. Make sure you use the drops for at least six months before deciding if they work or not. You can't reverse a cataract overnight.
My friend and colleague Dr. Robert Rowen has found that glutathione mixed with vitamin C and DMSO works a little better. But this formula can be hard to find. There's not a pre-mixed product you can buy. So your doctor has to get a compounding pharmacy to make the mixture. And it's tough to find a doctor willing to go to that trouble. You can talk to the doctors at www.acam.org to see if they can help.
If you've just found out you have cataracts forming in one or both eyes, start now to fight it with eye drops. You might be able to reverse it and completely avoid surgery.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.