In recent years, as people have become more involved in their healthcare and treatment options, there has been a growth in so-called natural cataract treatment methods that claim they can prevent and cure cataracts without cataract eye surgery. What is true and what is not? Let’s debunk some of these myths to better help you understand cataracts.
How Do Cataracts Form?
There are four general causes that can lead to cataracts, including age-related, eye injuries, medical conditions, and congenital conditions prior to birth. The development of cataract occurs when proteins in the eye start to clump together. This formation is noticeable by the white color that develops in the eye lens.
If the cataracts are left untreated, eventually they can lead to blindness. In addition, if a cataract forms in one eye, there is a strong likelihood the other eye will also develop a cataract at some point.
For most people, age-related cataracts do not begin to develop until after they are 40. Then they can take several decades before they become a major issue and cause vision problems. Yet, addressing cataracts sooner rather than waiting until your vision gets so bad is highly recommended.
How Did Myths About Curing Cataracts Arise?
The myths about reversing the declining vision common with cataracts and curing them naturally arose out of prevention methods that can help slow the progression of cataracts. Many unofficial websites, social media pages, and other online sources took information that was being shared as preventative and turned it into a natural remedy or cure for cataracts.
For instance, one source claims using various herbal supplements can prevent, reverse, and cure cataracts. Yet, since herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, the claims on herbal supplements can be misleading and inaccurate.
Currently, there is no scientific-supported or FDA-approved natural remedy for curing cataracts. Cataracts are treatable with cataract surgery and the implantation of intraocular lenses (IOLs). That being said, there are several preventative measures one can take to reduce the development and progression of cataracts.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Cataract Development and Progression
Certain lifestyle choices have been linked to increased risks of cataracts. These include:
- Heavy Alcohol Consumption
- High Blood Pressure
- Prolonged UV Light Exposure
- Unhealthy Diet
By addressing these lifestyle choices and improving upon them, one can reduce risks associated with cataract development by:
- Quitting Smoking
- Limiting or Stopping Drinking Alcohol
- Wearing UV Protection
- Eating a Healthy Diet
- Exercising to Lose Weight
Eating healthfully and losing weight can also help reduce high blood pressure. Furthermore, eating various foods rich in nutrients like antioxidants, omega-3s, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, zeaxanthin, and lutein can help reduce the risk of cataracts.
What About That Eye Drop Cataract Cure?
Scientific studies using eye drops and sterol on mice with cataracts found that it did help to reverse some of the effects of cataracts, although, at this time, no human testing has been conducted. While this does seem promising, it may still be years away before we know more.
Cataract Eye Surgery Is the Only Current Cure
While natural cataract treatment lifestyle changes can reduce and slow the progression of cataracts, the only current cure is cataract eye surgery at an advanced laser and cataract center like ADV Vision in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Paso Robles
To learn more about cataracts and to schedule a cataract consultation and exam, please feel free to call ADV Vision Centers at (805) 987-5300 today!