All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Cataract’

An eye with a cataract

Statins increase the risk of Cataract

A recent Canadian study has reported that people prescribed Statins- drugs used to reduce cholesterol, have a 50%  increase in the likelihood of developing age related cataract. The report also found that Type II (mature onset) Diabetics (who already have an increased risk) are at an even greater risk.

Because raised cholesterol does not co-exist well with Diabetes, many (perhaps most) Diabetics are on cholesterol lowering medicines.

The increase in cataract has been explained by the crystalline lens membrane’s need for a high cholesterol  level to ensure proper cell development and therefore normal clarity.

This was a large study (about 6400 people), so the results are pretty clear, but commentators would agree that the impact of a cataract (which is fixable) on as person’s quality of life is much less, compared to a stroke or a heart attack, and many people in this age group would have likely have developed cataract anyway.

The full article can be seen here (you may be required to register and login).

UV – Protect the Children

Sunlight ThreatUltraViolet “light” causes cataracts – that is a fact.

This UV radiation exposure is actually worse for those (like us) who live in temperate climates, than those in hotter places- Australians, Americans and South Africans for example know about the risk of UV damage to skin and eyes, and protect themselves and their children routinely. But we don’t perceive being outdoors as being such a threat, and take little or no precautions, except on the brightest and most sunny days. Remember the saying “you can burn on a cloudy day”, that is because the UV comes through the clouds which are opaque to VISIBLE light- the UV risk is all day, every day!

UV damage to the eye is cumulative, and adds up over a lifetime, but here is the bad news- most people get 80% of their UV exposure by the age of 16- children play outside, walk to school or the bus, cycle, sent out for school breaks. Adults maybe go home to car to office to car to home.

This post explains that all children should have UV protective eyewear on at all times they are exposed to UV. Parents- you may not be around for the children to thank you when they are 70, but it will make a difference. UV protective lenses can be tinted like sunglasses or clear (UV is not light, so they eye doesn’t see it, and cutting it out will not darken the lens).

As a parent I understand that nobody wants their children to have to wear glasses, but if it is only temporary (outdoors), and obviously such a benefit- cut their lifetime exposure to UV by 80%.

Local eyecare for all the family