Healthy Living

Alternative Treatments For Cataracts

Alternative Treatments For Cataracts

Key Takeaways

  • Over 22 million Americans have cataracts, and the number is expected to increase to more than 30 million by 2020
  • Some researchers argue that formation of cataracts can be caused by persistent exposure to ultraviolet light and radiation
  • Almonds and uncontaminated milk are effective remedies for the irritation of cataracts

Approximately, a fifth of all people above the age of 60 have at least mild cataracts, and at the age of 75, that number increases significantly.

A cataract presents itself as a reduction of clarity in the eye lens. A normal eye lens is comprised of clear water and variety of proteins. The lens becomes opaque as a result of damage of free radicals and non-enzymatic glycosylation. The opaqueness causes the eyesight to become a blur, since light is unable to pass well through the eye to the retina.

Cataract development initiates around the lens’ exteriors. This leads to the appearance of white circles around light sources and may cause unclear vision.  If the early changes are not detected or diagnosed in an eye checkup, they can deteriorate to an extent, damaging the whole vision area. The treatment and prevention of further cataract complications are more effective if the cataracts' formation is detected early.

According to scientific reports, researchers have found a compound that heals cataracts and can be used as eye drops since it is highly soluble.

Causes

Aging and injury are considered the primary components responsible for cataracts. Injuries are apparent in causality, while aging is slightly more interesting.  As you age, the lens of your eye becomes more flexible, affecting the the way in which light is captured, causing blurry images, and halos around street lights.  The lens is also known to become thicker and more transparent.  This in turn leads to the widely recognizable visual signs of cataracts, which is a hazy, bluish color engulfing the entirety of the eye.

Apart from the degradation of the eye through various factors, inherited genetic disorders and other health problems have shown a correlation between each other and cataracts.  It is also known that long term use of steroid medications and diabetes can also lead to the development of cataracts.  There are four known types of cataracts, and each has its own causes and levels of severity.  Each case must be individually examined in order to provide the best treatment for a patient.

Treatment options

Over 22 million Americans have cataracts, and the number is expected to increase to more than 30 million by 2020.

Some of the signs are cloudy sight, reduced night vision, "blaze" when looking at unnatural light or sunlight, and later the entire eyesight is lost. Experts are yet to discover the causes of cataracts, but they assert that small fields of cloudiness are caused by clumping of eye-lens protein.

Some researchers argue that formation of cataracts can be caused by persistent exposure to ultraviolet light and radiation. Factors such as hormone replacement therapy, diabetes, steroids, tranquilizers, smoking, and harmful heavy metals increase the risk of cataracts formation. 

Surgery is usually the last option in line for most diseases and conditions. It is generally a more serious treatment method, and its implementation is usually withheld unless the quality of life on behalf of the patient is greatly reduced by the condition.  However, with a patient suffering from cataracts, the only true treatment strategy consists of surgery on the affected eye. The surgery involves the removal of the clouded lens produced by the cataract.  

Upon removal of the lens with a special tool, an intraocular (artificial) lens (IOL) is implanted where the natural lens resided.  It is a permanent fixture of your eye, and occasionally contact lens or eyeglasses are required post-surgery. Recovery periods for cataract surgery can vary; however, the eye is usually fully healed within an eight week period.

Although it is not backed by concrete research, anecdotal evidence shows that there are a number of natural substances that are effective in preventing and suppressing the seriousness of cataracts.

Treatment options for home

Surprisingly, some effective methods for managing cataracts can be practiced in your own home. It is important to note that these measures aren't meant to cure cataracts, but rather to manage their symptoms in-between doctor visits and eye exams. First off, it is important that your prescription glasses or contacts are as close to the necessary prescription that your eyes require.

Another simple fix related to managing cataracts includes having ample lighting within your home. Whether you're trying to read the paper, open the front door, or read a book in bed, good lighting cannot go unstated.

Prevention

Preventing cataracts has not been clinically proven; however, there are some methods that doctors would recommend you practice. As previously mentioned, regular eye exams are a must. Whether it be annually or biannually, screening with an ophthalmologist can help detect and prevent future complications associated with cataracts. Early detection is often considered the best treatment approach for any disease or condition.

There are factors which can exacerbate conditions, which include smoking cigarettes and excessive alcohol consumption. Both of these vices have drastic consequences on a variety of bodily functions when consumed in high quantities. They can also affect the health of the eyes, leading to cataracts. If you are having trouble quitting or stopping either of these activities, there are a variety of treatment strategies that can help you suppress the urge for both. Talk with your doctor about available treatment options tailored to your personal needs.

A rich diet

Another strategy that can reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts as well as many other conditions, is the implementation of a good diet with a balanced amount of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and nutrients. A good diet isn't just good for your weight, just like plenty of water isn't just good for keeping you hydrated.  The associated benefits of a good diet will support healthy eye functions, as well as many other bodily functions.

Raw vegetables are good for your eyes. The nutrients in them, particularly vitamin A, wonderfully restore the health of your eyes. You can supplement your diet for a salad with lemon juice, carrot juice, and olive oil. Ensure that the vegetables are well washed before you eat them raw, to avoid contracting other conditions.

Pascalite, bentonite clay

Pascalite is a type of bentonite clay that has a creamy-white color, and you can only find it in the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains. Although some people may not be convinced, application of the clay paste and eye drops (made by filtering water through bentonite clay) to the eyelids of cataract patients is reported by the victims to cure cataracts.

Cineraria Maritima (dusty miller)

Juice from Cineraria Maritima, a popular plant used for medicine, is recognized in dissolving cataracts. The Central Council for Research in Homeopathy in India has observed that Cineraria tincture can prevent cataract development. 

Milk and almonds can reduce irritation and redness due to cataracts

A red and irritated eye is common in cataract victims, and it needs attention since it is a serious issue. Almonds and uncontaminated milk are effective remedies for the irritation. Immerse almonds in the milk for a night so that the nutrients get into the milk and strengthen it. Application of the milk drops on the eyelids lessens the redness of the eye and irritation. Consumption of almonds makes your skin appear clear. 

Final Thoughts

Cataracts are a condition that requires immediate medical attention. Whether you opt for streamlined methods or alternative treatment options, it is important to see a doctor and create a proper treatment plan that will be tailored to you.