Friday, July 24, 2015

Veterinary Highlights: Eye Drops that Dissolve Cataracts?

Cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, making it progressively opaque. This causes blurred vision and blindness over time. In some dogs, cataracts are an inherited condition and can develop at any age. Diabetes is the main cause of cataracts in dogs. The go-to treatment is surgery.

Image Tufts University

Scientists are now testing a solution in dogs that might dissolve the cataract out of the lens.

Out of all things, it seems that a steroid-based eye drops might just do the trick.

Cataracts develop because proteins that make up the lens (crystallins) scramble and form a sheath-like obstruction. One of the steroid compounds naturally produced in the body seems to be involved in keeping the lens healthy.

When applied to an eye with naturally occurring cataract, it leads to its dissolution.

The scientists don't know how exactly it works but the improvement was readily visible.

Eye drops instead of surgery? That is a very exciting premise.

Source article:
Eye drops could dissolve cataracts

Further reading:
Cataracts in Dogs
Cataracts and Cataract Surgery in Dogs
Lanosterol reverses protein aggregation in cataracts


  1. This is exciting. I'd surely be interested as our dogs age.

    1. Quite interesting, isn't it? Almost didn't have anything post for this column this week but then this popped up in the vets' stream.

  2. Wow, this could an exciting development if these drops really work! So many dogs suffer from cataracts. Thanks for the news!

    1. Yes, hopefully it will make its way into "real life."

  3. This sounds really promising! I wonder if it might be an option for humans too if the trials continue to be impressive. Very interesting!