What is a cataract?
The eye’s lens is present behind the iris (a coloured part of the eye). It focuses the light on the retina, forming a clear and sharp image. When a person gets older, all their body parts get older.
In the same way, the lens gets old and forms a cloudy layer which blocks the passage of light. That cloudy lens is called a cataract. When left untreated, cataract leads to loss of vision.
Causes of cataract
Though ageing is a common cause of cataract formation, it also has other reasons, like poor lifestyle and chronic diseases. A cataract is not a problem that develops overnight. It takes years to develop in the eye.
The position and its thickness determine the intensity of the vision loss. Even though surgeries and eye operations are obvious for treating cataracts in this century, you can prevent them through the effective home remedies discussed here.
Symptoms of cataract
Cataracts disturb the eyes, making it difficult to focus on things and get a clear picture of what the person sees. Apart from unclear vision, there are certain symptoms to identify cataracts, which are as follows.
- You may seek additional light for reading and other activities
- Appearance of halos around lights
- Double vision
- Fading of colours
- Sensitive to glare and lights
- Difficulty seeing things at night
- Blurred vision
- Often change in eyesight power
Risk factors of cataract
Certain things may also increase the risk of cataracts in your eyes. Some of them are listed here.
According to the research of NCBI on “Hypertension and risk of cataracts,” hypertension induces the structural alteration of proteins in lens capsules and exacerbates the formation of cataracts.
In the research paper of NCBI, the chronic renal insufficiency cohort study says that the severity of retinopathy is correlated with chronic kidney disease levels. This relation may cause the same microvascular damage causing retinopathy and nephropathy.
NCBI states that Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic systemic disease that develops over time. Diabetes mellitus may affect all the ocular structures, including cataracts, the most common ocular complication.
Though cataracts can be cured with safe surgery procedures, people with Diabetes mellitus are at high risk of vision loss due to cataract formation.
A research article by NCBI states that though the underlying mechanisms are unclear, obesity has been considered to be a risk factor for cataract development.
It also says that even though obese person stops smoking and avoids alcohol consumption, there is a high risk of cataracts due to their increased body weight.
So, maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the risk of cataracts. Prevent yourself from cataracts by following the below-listed home remedies.
Home remedies for cataracts
Free radicals are released in the body while smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. This may increase cataract development.
Apart from causing cataracts, it may also cause other ailments and gradually damages the body. So, it is better to avoid smoking and quit drinking alcohol for a healthy lifestyle.
Focus on nutritious food intake
An NCBI case study states that a diet rich in the following food items delayed the age-related cataract.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Starchy foods such as potatoes, bread and whole grains
- High vitamin C and E foods like almonds, peanuts, avocados and sunflower seeds
- Carotene-rich foods like carrots, spinach, tomatoes and sweet potatoes
- Low fat and cholesterol consumption
Limit your exposure to UV
Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun may lead to cataract in the eye. As UV light oxidises the proteins in the eye, it may form a cloudy lens called a cataract.
So, the more exposure to the sun’s UV rays, the more risk of cataracts is observed. To avoid such risk, wearing sunglasses will be beneficial.
Restrict alcohol consumption
As already mentioned, alcohol consumption may release free radicals in the body, causing the risk of cataracts. Along with the cataract, consumption of alcohol damages the other body parts, including the brain cells and the nervous system, says NCBI.
Manage your stress
Increased fear of cataract surgery and anxiety lead to excess stress due to local anaesthesia. This may worsen the cataract as many people will not opt for surgery out of fear, says a research paper by NCBI.
So before opting for surgery, it is mandatory to give counselling and educate the patient about the surgery.
Keep yourself hydrated
The eyes are surrounded by fluids which protect them from dust and debris when a person blinks their eyes.
The deposition of dust and debris may block the light passage and cause fog or a smoky lens called a cataract. So, keeping yourself hydrated will help to maintain the fluid levels in your eye and protects your eye from dust and debris.
Regular eye checkup
Regular eye checkup helps to detect eye problems, including cataract, macular degeneration and glaucoma in the early stage. All these conditions, when left untreated, may result in vision loss.
Maintain blood sugar and blood pressure levels
Increased blood sugar level increases the risk of cataract formation. High blood sugars form new blood vessels on the light-sensitive retina. They tend to leak fluid as well as blood leading to retinal swelling and haemorrhages. So, controlling or maintaining your blood sugar levels will help reduce the risk of cataract formation.
When to see a doctor?
Whenever you experience the signs and symptoms of cataracts like double vision, blurry vision and too much stress or pressure exerted to focus an image, you are advised to see a doctor who confirms the development of cataracts in your eye to cure it in the initial stage.
A cataract is the most common problem in the eye, especially for aged people. Following the home remedies mentioned earlier will help you to prevent cataracts and expand your lens’ lifespan, and delay lens ageing.
How can I get rid of cataracts?
Development of cataracts is unavoidable, but the remedies mentioned earlier will slow down the appearance of cataracts. Some tips like,
1. Reducing alcohol intake
2. Restrict yourself from smoking
3. Wear sunglasses
4. Eat nutritious foods
What will dissolve cataracts?
Till now, no solutions have been found to dissolve cataracts without surgery. Removing the cataract-affiliated lenses surgically from the person affected by severe cataracts is mandatory, and those lenses must be replaced with artificial lenses.
Can vitamin D reverse cataracts?
According to NCBI research, patients with early-stage primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) were given 5,000 international units (IU) of 25-hydroxy vitamin D daily for vitamin D deficiency. The results reported that their cataracts were resolved during the follow-up period of 2 years. So, the research proved that vitamin D intake would resolve cataracts gradually.
How can you stop cataracts from getting worse?
You can stop cataracts from getting worse by following the listed steps.
1. Eating nutritious food
2. Keeping check of your blood sugar levels
3. Having regular eye check-ups
4. Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption
5. Wearing sunglasses.
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