Steroid Eye Drops Found to Dissolve Mice Cataracts: What This Could Mean for Us

As of right now, the only way to remove cataracts (clouding of the eye’s natural lens) is through surgery. A recent study conducted on mice, however, has found promising results on an alternative method for restoring vision after cataracts. Here, Dr. Edward Hedaya of InVision EyeCare discusses the findings and their implications.

About the Study

A cataract forms when a natural protein (crystallin) clumps and folds together, causing the eye’s lens to lose its transparency. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco found that steroid eye drops dissolved clumps of crystallin in mice, restoring a clear natural lens and clearer vision. Additionally, the steroid drops were able to prevent crystallin from clumping together in the first place.

In order to develop the steroid eye drop, the research team used a process called high-throughput differential scanning fluorimetry. This method allows scientists to measure the temperature at which a protein begins to melt (dissolve). Through this method, the researchers identified one compound, called Compound 29, that effectively decreased the melting temperature of crystallin that had clumped together. It was found that one single drop of Compound 29 administered three times a week significantly improved lens cloudiness in mice that had age-related or hereditary cataracts.

This study joins a growing body of research showing the promising results of eye drop use as a non-surgical alternative to cataract removal surgery. A study published in the scientific journal Nature found that eye drops containing the naturally occurring steroid lanosterol melted away cataracts and prevented them from returning in children with congenital cataracts.

About Cataract Surgery

As researchers continue to test out the effects of steroid eye drops for cataracts, surgery continues to serve as a safe and effective method for cataract removal. Dr. Hedaya specializes in lifestyle cataract surgery, an advanced procedure that has proven to achieve results superior those produced by traditional cataract surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Hedaya is able to remove the clouded lens and correct other vision issues a patient may have such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. Dr. Hedaya then implants an artificial intraocular lens to replace the clouded lens. The procedure has helped thousands of Dr. Hedaya’s patients regain visual freedom. Following lifestyle cataract surgery, many of his patients no longer need glasses or contacts to see clearly.

To learn more about lifestyle cataract surgery or cataracts in general, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hedaya. Please call InVision EyeCare at (732) 210-0140.


Diseases that Can Be Detected During an Eye Exam January is a common time to set resolutions and make plans for the upcoming year. InVision Eyecare encourages you to consider your eye health when setting resolutions, and make it a point to schedule your annual eye exam. Regular eye exams are important to stay on top of your vision prescription and test for  such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal problems. But did you know that eye exams are also important for your overall health? Here’s why:

More than 30 health conditions, including life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, can show symptoms in your eye. Some of these symptoms may be obvious to you (e.g., dry eye), and others may be invisible to anyone but an ophthalmologist.

Here, the InVision Eyecare team shares more about the diseases that can show signs and symptoms in the eyes. By the time you’ve finished reading, we hope that you have the phone nearby to call us and schedule your eye exam!

Diabetes

Vision changes are one of the two most common symptoms of diabetes (extreme thirst is the other). The small blood vessels of the retina can start to leak or hemorrhage, indicating a possible case of diabetes. During an eye exam, the ophthalmologist will dilate the eye to examine blood vessels directly.

High Blood Pressure

Bends, kinks or tears in the blood vessels of the eye may signal high blood pressure (hypertension). These can also be detected during a dilated eye exam.

High Cholesterol

Elevated levels of cholesterol can give the corneas a yellowish appearance, or produce white or yellow rings around the eyes. Another possible sign of high cholesterol is yellowish bumps on the eyelid.

Autoimmune Disorders

Inflammation in the eye could be a sign of lupus or another autoimmune disorder. Dry eye symptoms could also potentially point to Sjögren’s syndrome.

Thyroid Disease

Graves’ disease, or hyperthyroidism, can cause the eyeballs to protrude and the eyes to bulge.

Cancer

Irregular pigmentation in the eye may be a sign of ocular melanoma. Other cancers can cause changes to the structures of the eyes, or unusual growths or lesions. A droopy eyelid or irregularly shaped pupil could signal a neck tumor or aneurism.

Schedule an Eye Exam

Ready to schedule your annual eye exam for 2015? Give us a call today at (732) 210-0140

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