Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure for patients more than 50 years of age. The economic impact on Indian economy is Tremendous with an average cost of Rs.35000/- per surgery & cataract blindness cases are 8.25 million.
The lens of the eye collects & focuses the light on the retina. In order to perform its job properly, it must remain clear throughout the lifetime. As age advances, various components of the lens may get damaged and opacities may occur, leading to age related cataracts.
Various Medical researchers believe it is essential to determine if supplying adequate levels of antioxidants nutrients to the eyes early in life will preserve lens function, protecting them from cataract formation. Basic research studies support the theory that free radicals are once again the culprit, they arise from ultraviolet sunray damage and form cataracts.
Antioxidants found in the fluid around the lens of the eye are critical in protecting the lens it self. Therefore, cataract development takes place at a much faster rate if this fluid around the lens contains low levels of additional antioxidants. The most important antioxidants in this fluid is vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water soluble and is found in high concentrations around the lens. Other antioxidents found in this fluid are Vitamin E, alpha –lipoic acid and beta-carotene. Several studies have demonstrated the association between the levels of vitamin C, E and beta-carotene and the risk of developing cataracts.
Many medical evidence exists showing that the natural antioxidant protection of young lenses decreases significantly with age. Different clinical studies have shown that antioxidant supplements protects the aging eye. Researches have shown that the higher the level of Vitamin C found in the aqueous fluid around the eye, the greater the protection against cataract formation. Because of its synergistic effect, alpha lipoic acid has been shown to embellish the work of all these antioxidants in protecting the lens of the eye. Recently studies also revealed that both alpha lipoic acid and vitamin c have the ability to regenerate the intracellular glutathione so that it can be used again & again and therefore I believe that there is sufficient evidence exists how to encourage patients to consume antioxidants patients to consume antioxidant supplements as a relatively in expensive way to decrease the high incidence of cataract formation.