We all know it: aging and cataracts go together like salt and pepper. 90% of those age 65 and older develop cataracts, and by 75, as many as 50% have developed vision loss as a result of the cataracts. And currently, the only remedy to restore cleared vision has been surgery.
Enter the latest news in the control of cataracts, which may be available in as early as five to ten years: eye drops that can dissolve the damaged crystalline proteins of which cataracts are made. Tested in mice and humans, Jason Gestwicki of the University of California at San Francisco and leader of the study explained, “We did see very promising improvements in transparency and protein solubility in the lens … although not a complete reversal.”
Research is continuing, and the outlook for an effective eye drop-based treatment is bright, expected to be both inexpensive and non-toxic, according to J. Fielding Hejtmancik of the US National Institutes of Health.