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The Dark Side Of The Sun

The Dark Side of the Sun

(Written by Sarah Dardarian, Sales and Marketing Specialist, I-MED Pharma)

The summer solstice, which happens in June, marks the astronomical start of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning longer days, more hours of sunlight, and generally more pleasant weather. While June is an important month for marking the start of the summer season, Prevent Blindness America has also declared June to be Cataract Awareness Month,[1] and I-MED Pharma would like to join in this campaign to help spread public awareness on this prevalent and manageable condition.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye which obstructs the passage of light and is the leading cause of blindness in the world as well as a leading cause of blindness in Canada and the United States.[2] Risks for cataract development can include multiple factors such as increased age, genetics, lifestyle (such as UVB exposure), diet, systemic medical conditions, and ocular disorders.[3]

While the summer season is associated with more time spent outdoors in the Sun, the ultraviolet-B radiation that is part of sunlight increases the risk of cataract formation.3 Wearing appropriate eye protection to shield from the Sun’s UV rays can decrease this risk factor for cataract development.

Like dry eye disease (DED), the development of visually symptomatic cataracts is common and often both conditions are managed either simultaneously or sequentially.[4] The current management standard for a visually significant cataract is surgery, which is safe and effective,3 although this treatment option can cause or exacerbate pre-existing DED.[5]

Proper DED management following cataract surgery can reduce uncomfortable ocular symptoms that affect quality of life. Using preservative-free lubricating eye drops post-operatively,4 such as I-MED Pharma’s I-DROP® line of artificial tears, can aide in DED symptom management.

With the start of the summer season, June is the perfect month to raise awareness on cataract development. Remember to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays when outdoors by wearing sunglasses and know that I-MED Pharma products can help to relieve uncomfortable ocular symptoms that can go hand-in-hand with cataracts, so that more time can be spent having (safe) fun in the Sun.

[1] https://preventblindness.org/cataract-awareness-month-2020/

[2] Rachmiel, R, G E Trope, M L Chipman, and Y M Buys. 2007. “Cataract Surgery Rates in Ontario, Canada, from 1992 to 2004: More Surgeries with Fewer Ophthalmologists.” Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology 42 (4): 539–42. https://doi.org/10.3129/I07-105.

[3] Liu, Yu-Chi, Mark Wilkins, Terry Kim, Boris Malyugin, and Jodhbir S Mehta. 2017. “Cataracts.” The Lancet (British Edition) 390 (10094): 600–612. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30544-5.

[4] Donthineni, Pragnya R, Anthony V Das, Swapna S Shanbhag, and Sayan Basu. 2020. “Cataract Surgery in Dry Eye Disease: Visual Outcomes and Complications.” Frontiers in Medicine 7: 575834–575834. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.575834.

[5] Naderi, Khayam, Jack Gormley, and David O’Brart. 2020. “Cataract Surgery and Dry Eye Disease: A Review.” European Journal of Ophthalmology 30 (5): 840–55. https://doi.org/10.1177/1120672120929958.

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