Eye Drops for Treating Cataracts
by Dr. Rhett Bergeron,MD
Cataract surgery has come a long way in recent years. It’s come so far that most people in this country who develop cataracts don’t go blind. But that’s not true in many developing countries. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Cataracts form when the lens of the eye clouds. Cataract surgery removes the lens and replaces it with an implant.
Some opt for using glasses instead of the implant. Either way, vision is close to normal after the surgery. And now, medical missionaries may have a new way to give hope to the blind in places where surgery is not an option.
This new treatment is a special eye drop that chemically displaces the cataract rather than surgically remove it. The drops are made out an injected pancreatic enzyme, which dissolves the small fibers that hold the lens in place. It injected drops displace the cloudy lens just below the pupil. At that point, the patient can use glasses to see normally.
Dr. Louis Girard, an 82-year-old former professor and chairman of ophthalmology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, says the eye drops definitely work. He also said it will become the simplest and most inexpensive way of curing cataract blindness. In fact, the therapy costs just $3 per person.
Currently, the eye drop has to be injected into the eye, so it has to be administered by an ophthalmologist. However, Girard is hoping to make it into a drop or ointment that can be administered by any health professional, including nurses and social assistants.
While surgery is still the most effective way to restore eyesight, it’s possible the day may come when submitting to surgery is a last resort. And this treatment holds great promise for medical missionaries who have been frustrated by cataract-induced blindness.
The best eye drops I’ve found use an amino acid called glutathione. Your body produces glutathione naturally. But, as we age, our levels drop considerably. This is why cataracts typically form in people over the age of 50.
It’s tough to increase your glutathione levels sufficiently to reverse cataracts. One reason for this is that your body doesn’t absorb glutathione easily. As a result, you have to take extra selenium or a supplement called N-acetyl carnitine (NAC) just to raise your levels. Doctors have found that the best way to improve your eyes is to use a glutathione-based drop. Here again, we had to use NAC to make it work right. But it does work.
The best drops I’ve found are Can-C, made by Innovative Vision Products. You can find these drops at International Aging Systems and other places on the Internet. Make sure you use the drops for at least six months before deciding if they work or not. You can’t reverse a cataract overnight. Some doctors have found that glutathione mixed with vitamin C and DMSO works a little better. But this formula can be hard to find. There’s not a pre-mixed product you can buy. So your doctor has to get a compounding pharmacy to make the mixture.
And it’s tough to find a doctor willing to go to that trouble. If you live near the Atlanta area, and can come by my office, I’ll see if this is the best solution for you. Call my office at 678-990-5401 for more information.If you’ve just found out you have cataracts forming in one or both eyes, start now to fight it with eye drops. You might be able to reverse and completely avoid surgery. Dr. Bergeron is the director of the Covenant Health Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about the clinic or to set up a phone consultation with Dr. Bergeron, call 678-990-5401.