The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have not approved any non-surgical cures for cataracts. However, there is ongoing research into topical treatments for cataracts. Researchers in the US are developing drugs that can be delivered directly into the eye via an eye-dropper to shrink down and dissolve cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in humans.
The drugs have not yet been tested on humans, but a team from the University of California, San Diego is attempting to reproduce the findings in clinical trials to offer an alternative to the only treatment that’s currently available to cataract patients – cataract surgery.
“The new drug is based on a naturally-occurring steroid called lanosterol. The idea to test the effectiveness of lanosterol on cataracts came to the researchers when they became aware of two children in China who had inherited a congenital form of cataract, which had never affected their parents. The researchers discovered that these siblings shared a mutation that stopped the production of lanosterol, which their parents lacked.
“So if the parents were producing lanosterol and didn’t get cataracts, but their children weren’t producing lanosterol and did get cataracts, the researchers proposed that the steroid might halt the defective crystallin proteins from clumping together and forming cataracts in the non-congenital form of the disease.
“The next step is for the researchers to figure out exactly how the lanosterol-based eye drops are eliciting this response from the cataract proteins, and to progress their research to human trials.” While there are high hopes that this will provide another option for treating Cataracts the only proven option currently available is surgery.
Do you need cataract surgery? Contact us at (843) 553–2477 to speak with a specialist that can find the answers you need and walk you through the entire process.