Cataracts involve a clouding of the eye lens. We may have a relative who has had cataract surgery, but what are the natural ways to prevent and treat cataracts, you might wonder. We’re going to tell you what cataracts are right here, as well as the specific dietary treatment and popular remedies you can use to target them.
What are cataracts?
When we look at something, light rays go through into our eye through the pupil , are focused through the little lens in our eye onto the retina, so our brain can then interpret the image. If the lens isn’t clear, we won’t be able to see clearly. Cataracts cloud up the lens, and may produce the following symptoms:
- painless cloudy, blurry or dim vision
- difficulty seeing when it’s dark
- sensitivity to light and glare
- seeing halos around lights and bright objects
- the need for stronger lights when reading and other activities
- double vision in one eye
- the need for new glasses on a regular basis
Things may simply look less bright and colourful than they were before. You might feel like you’re looking through a dirty window, but one or both eyes may be affected.
Dietary Treatment for Cataract Treatment
Experts say that those who consistently follow a healthy diet that includes colourful fruit, veggies and whole grains are less likely to get cataracts. Antioxidants and phytochemicals like vitamins A, C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin may really help us avoid getting them in the first place.
We recommend you consume the following foods and nutrients to prevent cataracts:
- Fish. High in omega-3 oils, fish has been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and their progression.
- “Eye vitamins”, which includes beta-carotene. When taken in combination with zinc and vitamins C and E, beta-carotene may reduce the progression of macular degeneration. You can find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and butternut squash.
- Vitamin A, another eye vitamin. It may protect against night blindness and dry eyes. It’s in beef and chicken liver, eggs, butter and milk. Increase your consumpution if pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Biolavonoids (flavonoids), which are found in tea, red wine, citrus fruits, blueberries, cherries, legumes and soy. They nourish the eyes.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin. It doesn’t matter if you can’t pronounce these nutrients, you can simply eat spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens and squash to get them into your body.
- Selenium. Found in seafood like crab, halibut and salmon, its is also in Brazil nuts and brown rice.
- Vitamin C. Eat sweet peppers, kale, strawberries, broccoli, cantaloupe and oranges to get enough vitamin C, or you can take wholefood supplements, like camu camu.
- Eat more salmon, sardines, milk, mackerel, and make sure you go out in the sun at least once a day to get the benefits of vitamin D. Try to expose as much skin as possible, but sunbathe responsibly for the best results.
- Almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts, which contain vitamin E, an eye-nourishing nutrient.
- Oysters, beef and turkey, which contain zinc, a mineral that reduced night blindness.
A diet that’s lower in carbohydrates may increase the risk of getting cataracts, so make sure you completely cut out processed, white sugar and flour, cakes, pastries and bread but replace them with whole grains for better protection against cloudy vision. Eat a healthy carb with every meal.
Cataracts may develop slowly, meaning you don’t notice anything to begin with, but it’s worth going to see an optician as soon as you notice changes in your eyesight.
While cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss as we age, they are treatable with cataract surgery. They cannot be reversed any other way, and there are no medications or eye drops that will make them go away.
You may not need to have them removed right away. It depends on how much they are affecting your lifestyle. Your optician should monitor your vision regular for any changes.
Garlic is generally very good for your health, but it has been discovered to work wonders on the eyes too. Try consuming 2-3 cloves of garlic every day, and monitor the changes in your general health and your eyes.
Raw vegetables and wheatgrass
Raw vegetables, either as a salad or juice, can do wonders for the eyes. They contain the nutrients discussed above, and enzymes to help with the digestive process. Make yourself a carrot juice and be smug about how well you’re taking care of yourself.
Wheatgrass has been tested on dogs and is very beneficial for the eyes. It can be grown at home or juiced for you at a juice bar.
Almond and milk cure
Soak almonds overnight in milk so that the nutrients penetrate the milk and fortify it. Apply the milk drops on the eyelids to reduce the redness of the eyes and general irritation caused by cataracts. You can then consume the almonds too, for clear-looking skin and extra vitamin E.