Did you know that by the age of 80, half of Americans will have cataracts? That’s a 50/50 chance that you, reader, will get cataracts if you don’t already have them. The number of people with cataracts grows with every passing year.
According to the organization Prevent Blindness, by the year 2020 there will be over 30.1 million people suffering from cataracts. Currently, it is estimated that there are 22 million Americans who have cataracts.
We’re always told that cataracts will cloud our vision and will inhibit our ability to see, but what if there were ways to prevent that from happening? Living with cataracts doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be, don’t get me wrong, but with a few lifestyle tweaks, you and your cataracts can live happily side by side.
Natural Treatments for Cataract Clouding
Let’s just be clear about one thing, when your eyes are affected by cataracts you won’t ever get full vision back. Even surgery can’t guarantee 20/20 vision. Sometimes the protein buildup that causes cataracts is so aggressive in a person that they redevelop cataracts on the new artificial lens after cataract surgery.
For the time being, there is no non-invasive cure to cataracts. Your options are surgery (which costs thousands and doesn’t always guarantee results) or treating them naturally.
Before you get your hopes up, natural treatments for cataracts can’t cure the disease. What they can do is something almost better. Natural treatments will help you not only cope with the disease but also to strengthen your vision and keep the lens clear.
Natural treatments may sound like a cure, but the disease will always be there. The disease is there even after surgery, as seen in patients who have relapsed. It’s important to know that natural treatments aren’t miracles. They are legitimate treatments that require time and dedication, otherwise you won’t see results.
Enough preamble, what are the treatments, you ask? Let’s find out.
1. Cut Back on Carbs
This first tip sounds more like a weight loss tip, but we promise it may help to prevent your cataracts from clouding your vision. As we age, our eyes become natural targets for cataracts, so the least we can do is reduce our risk of getting them.
Carbohydrates are not responsible for cataract development. However, a study found that those who consumed high amounts of carbs were three times more likely to develop cataracts.
When we think carbs we think bread, rice, pasta and various other grains. However, fruits and vegetables are also carbs, but the good kind. It’s important to have a balanced diet.
Even if the only carbs you eat come from unprocessed foods like fruit and veggies, you still need good fat and protein, otherwise your body can’t properly function. Make sure to have one carbohydrate element, one healthy fat (oil, nuts) and one protein for every single meal.
2. Get Your Daily Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin in the body. One of its main duties is to produce collagen. Collagen in the body is used to quickly heal wounds. In our eyes, vitamin C is the vitamin that most combats age-related eye disease like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
There’s a reason why people who smoke or use steroids have a higher risk of developing cataracts. It’s because both of these habits deplete the vitamin C in the lens of the eye, thus leaving the lens vulnerable.
A study took a group of women and had them take vitamin C supplements for 10 years. By the end of the study, the women were 64 percent less likely to develop cataracts.
Whether you have cataracts or are in the early stages of development, boosting your vitamin C intake is highly recommended. Vitamin C will help to protect the lens and keep it clear for sharper central vision.
Some foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruit (lemon, oranges, limes, etc.), dark leafy greens, apples, and strawberries.
3. Drink Tea
Herbal tea has long been used as natural medicine for a variety of ailments, especially in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tea is great for digestion, treating inflammation and it will help you sleep better.
Did you know that tea will also help reduce your risk of diabetes-related cataracts? Drinking herbal tea throughout the day will help you relax and decompress and it will also counter the symptoms of cataracts, which include clouded vision, eye pain, and redness in the eye.
The top herbal teas to treat diabetes-related cataracts are green tea, ginkgo biloba tea, rosemary tea and mint tea. For best results, you’ll want to consume three to four cups of herbal tea a day.
4. Try Bilberry Extract
Bilberries are tiny blue fruit that come from the same family as blueberries. This fruit, mainly found in Nordic European countries and Asia is packed with antioxidants and is said to improve night vision.
Bilberries in their berry form are rarely found in North America, but the benefits of them are just too good to pass up. If you can’t get your hands on the actual berries, bilberry extract will get the job done.
When cataracts cloud the lens it makes seeing at night very difficult. Light is not entering your eyes the way it should be and can cause the appearance of halos around light sources at night. This can cause flash blindness, leaving you temporary blinded. If that were to happen while driving, you’d be in trouble.
Bilberry extract can help to reduce the halo effect and increase your ability to see at night. British pilots in World War II regularly ate bilberry jam to help them see while flying at night!
5. Wear Sunglasses
This last remedy can help to prevent developing cataracts and help to prevent the clouding from getting worse. Sunglasses are an absolute necessity. They aren’t just a fashion accessory. They protect our eyes from UV rays and other sun damage.
UV rays can cause early onset cataracts if your eyes are repeatedly exposed to the sun without protection. UV rays affect the protein in the eye by changing its structure in the lens. When this happens, there’s a chance that cataracts may begin to form.
Wearing UV blocking sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat offer the ultimate protection. Be sure to check the amount of UV blocking. 100 or 99 percent blockage is recommended.
Are cataracts scary? Yes, they definitely can be, but they don’t have to be. A big part of taking care of yourself is knowing what options are available. Natural remedies are highly effective when it comes to treating cataracts. Talk to your doctor for more information on understanding this disease.