When most people think of cataract treatment, surgery is usually the first thought that comes to mind. While cataract surgery effectively treats the eye condition, many people are reluctant to undergo surgical treatment for cataracts. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy some of the benefits of cataract treatment without surgery. Know more about the possible cataract treatment options available right now.
Options You Can Try For Cataract Treatment Without Surgery
In this article:
- About Cataracts
- Surgical Cataract Treatments
- Cataract Treatment without Surgery
- Natural Remedies
Cataracts affect the lens of the eye which alters vision quality. Light carries visual information about the objects around us. Light passes into the eye through the pupil, which appears as the black spot in the middle of the eye’s colored iris. The light hits a light-sensitive layer of tissue, known as the retina, at the back of the eye. This retinal tissue converts information from the light into an electrical impulse. Your brain then turns that impulse into the image you see.
The lens of the eye sits just behind the iris and pupil. Its job is to focus the light so that the image is as clear as possible when it hits the retina. The lens is made up of mostly protein and water. The way the protein is arranged inside the lens keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through it easily. As you age, though, the protein can clump together and cloud the lens.
Scientists do not yet know what causes cataracts, but they do know that certain factors increase the risk of cataracts. Risk factors include ultraviolet radiation from the sun, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, eye injuries, the use of certain medications, as well as a family history of cataracts.
A cataract usually starts out small and has a very little effect on your vision. Some people say that it is like looking through a foggy or cloudy window.
As the cataract grows larger, you might begin to notice other symptoms. Light from a lamp or sunshine might seem too bright, for example, or headlights from oncoming cars may seem to cause more glare at night than before. You might even notice that colors do not seem as bright as they once did.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people who are over the age of 40, according to All About Vision, and are the primary cause of blindness in people around the world. In fact, there are more cases of cataracts globally than there are cases of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma combined.
About 22 million Americans already have cataracts. By the year 2020, the condition will probably affect 30 million people in the country.
Surgical Cataract Treatments
There are two main types of surgical treatment for cataracts: traditional cataract surgery and laser-assisted cataract surgery.
When performing traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon uses a scalpel blade to make a small incision on the side of the cornea. The surgeon then inserts an instrument through the incision to create a hole in the lens. The doctor then inserts a probe through the incision into the lens and applies sound waves. These sound waves, known as ultrasound, break up the cloudy center of the lens. The surgeon then implants an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to replace the cloudy lens.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery involves the use of a camera/ultrasound imaging device that maps the surface of the eye. The imaging device sends information about the lens to a computer, which uses the information to program a laser to make the incision into the cornea and create a hole in the lens. The surgeon may use energy from the laser to break up the cloudy lens before implanting the IOL.
Cataract Treatment without Surgery
Some people try anti-inflammatory eye drops, such as Oclumed and Can-C. Castor oil is also another alternative treatment some patients opt to use. Others prefer a more natural approach to cataract treatment.
Eat more nutrients
Green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus, contain glutathione and antioxidants that improve eye health and vision. Grapefruit, strawberries, and avocados also contain glutathione.
Corn, collard greens, eggs, and turnip greens contain carotenoids that are good for eyes. The lens of the eye also contains carotenoids, so eating foods high in these compounds may boost the number of carotenoids in the eyes. These carotenoids may help prevent both the formation of cataracts and another vision problem, macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration causes the loss of central vision, so this disease prevents you from seeing things directly in front of you.
Take it easy on the sugar
Avoiding excessive sugar intake can help prevent cataracts. This is especially true if you have diabetes, a condition where the body has trouble controlling sugar levels in the blood. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts than people without diabetes.
Your body absorbs sugar from the foods and beverages you eat and drink. This sugar moves into your bloodstream, which delivers it to all the organs and tissues in your body, including your eyes. Exposure to high sugar levels causes the lens to swell, affecting the sharpness of your vision.
The lens of the eye also has an enzyme that turns sugar into sorbitol, which also causes swelling of the lens. Furthermore, sorbitol affects proteins in the eye in ways that cause the lens to cloud.
Drink more water
Toxins can build up inside the body and inside the eyes. Water helps flush the toxins from the body.
Reduce your stress
Stress affects your eyes. Stress can also raise your blood pressure and cause overheating, which may trigger the risk factors of diabetes and obesity.
Making certain lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Keep diabetes and high blood pressure under control, maintain a healthy weight and wear sunglasses.
Using essential oils is another cataract treatment without surgery. Watch the video below to find out how castor oil can help get rid of cataracts.
You can reduce your risk of developing cataracts by making healthier choices in life. If you develop cataracts, though, you can talk to your ophthalmologist about options of cataract treatment without surgery to improve your vision.
What cataract treatment have you tried before? Which ones helped? Share your experience in the comments section below.
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