You may not know that cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss worldwide. Recently, researchers from the National Eye Institute (NEI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with NASA worked together to create a very simple and safe eye test for measuring a protein that is associated with cataract formation. If subtle protein changes can be detected before cataracts develop, people may be able to reduce their risk of developing cataracts by making slight behavioral changes. Decreasing exposure to the sun, quitting smoking, controlling their diabetes and avoiding certain medications are just some of the changes that can be made early to prevent the development of cataracts.
If a person’s eye appears cloudy from cataracts, it’s too late to reverse the process or even treat it medically. The new technology can detect the earliest damage to the len’s proteins, which is a red flag for the development of cataracts.
The NEI is our country’s lead agency for vision research that leads to sight-saving treatments. The NIH is the country’s leading agency for conducting and supporting medical research. The NIH investigates the causes, treatments and cures for common and rare diseases.
If you feel you may be developing cataracts, please contact an ophthalmologist in your area today to see about having your eyes tested for cataracts and other vision problems.