No, cataracts cannot grow back.
How the Eye Works
The eye requires light to see. Light passes through a clear lens and is passed to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, which sends the image to the brain. Aging and other conditions often lead to the lens of the eye gradually clouding over which can begin to affect vision. It is this clouding of the lens that is defined as a cataract.
Causes of Cataracts
Age is the primary cause of cataracts. The lens of the eye is comprised of water and protein. As you age, the protein begins to shift and clump causing cataracts. Over half of all people over 80 experience cataracts. Cataracts can form by other means as well and have been linked to:
- Formation following eye surgery for other problems
- Steroid use
- Congenital cataracts present at birth
- Eye injury
- Radiation exposure
Cataract surgery is routine and is widely successful. During surgery, the clouded lens of the eye is removed and is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Because the natural lens comprised of water and protein is removed, it can no longer clump to form a cataract. In some cases, the tissue that encases the new artificial intraocular lens can become cloudy and is referred to as an after-cataract. This condition can be treated easily with laser and is relatively painless.
“The Eye Associates – Cataract Treatments.” The Eye Associates. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. http://www.theeyeassociates.com/html/cataracts.html.
“Congenital cataract: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001615.htm.
“Facts About Cataracts [NEI Health Information].” National Eye Institute [NEI], of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts.asp.