A cataract can be confirmed by looking at the lens of the patient’s eyes, which start turning cloudy and progress to an opaque white in the most extreme cases.
Cataracts are mostly brought on by age and are common in the elderly. More than 50 percent of U.S. citizens are ether diagnosed with cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery by the time they turn 80 years old. The different types of cataracts are secondary cataract, traumatic cataract, congenital cataract, and radiation cataract. A confirmed and effective treatment for the condition is surgery which includes replacing the occluded lens or the clouded lens with a new one made of plastic. In cases where these replacements or implants cannot completely cure the condition, the vision is then corrected by using spectacles and contact lenses.
The five top drugs for cataracts are:
- L-lysine salt of bendazac has proven to denature protein in vivo as well as in vitro. The drug entry into the lens has been shown by radioassay and HPLC and can be used for cataract treatment as well.
- Recent studies in Israel have also found that blood pressure-lowering compounds including statins are also beneficial in cataract treatment. However, this has not been approved by a regulatory authority yet. Off label use of these drugs may be underway in certain countries.
- After surgical intervention, drugs are also used for maintenance therapy. Cataract drugs include cycloplegics, corticosteroids, and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs including topical formulations like ketorolac tromethamine 0.5% and diclofenac sodium 0.1% are found to be as efficacious as corticosteroids to prevent inflammatory responses from the body for rejection of the implant and other adverse events.
- Eye drops containing N-acetyl carnosine have been studied in Russia for the treatment of cataracts and have been found to be successful. However, these drugs are not FDA approved and can be bought off the shelf as "lubricants."
- Natural therapies that have been investigated and may be successful in cataract treatment are lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids, bilberry extract, and combinations of antioxidants with vitamins, zinc, and bioflavonoids.
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