Cataract is a common eye disease, which generally occurs in older people. People who are over 60 often experience blurry or cloudy vision and the culprit here is none other than cataract. It can affect one or both the eyes.
You will be surprised to know that cataract is the main cause of blindness in the world. According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA) over 30 million Americans are going to be affected by cataract by the year 2010.
What Causes Cataract
The lens of our eyes mainly consists of water and protein. The protein is arranged in such a way that it keeps the lens the clear and allows the light to pass through the lens. But as the person gets older, the protein starts to build up in the lens of the eyes. It first affects a smaller portion of the lens but as the days pass by it may affect the whole lens and makes it difficult to see.
Age is the most common cause of cataract but apart from that, there are many other reasons due to which cataract can occur to a person.
Medical Conditions: It occurs due to certain medical conditions like diabetes, atopic dermatitis, eczema, ichthyosis, basal cell nevus and pemphigus. It also occurs due to hypertension and obesity.
Medication: There is a chance that you may get affected with cataract if you are using some medication like corticosteroids.
Smoking and alcohol consumption: If you are abusing your body by regularly consuming alcohol and smoking, then there is a chance that cataract may affect you soon.
Vitamin deficiency: Insufficient beta carotene, selenium, Vitamin C and E in your body can make you prone to cataract.
Trauma: In this case, the person gets cataract due to some eye injury or inflammation.
Radiation: Radiation of ultraviolet rays from the sun is another known cause of cataract. Radiation from microwave and X-rays can also cause cataract.
Congenital: Sometimes babies born with cataract. It may be caused due to some infections in the womb or due to poor development of the baby in the womb.
What are the Symptoms of Cataract
Cataract can lead to blindness if it is not diagnosed in its earlier stage. So it is important for you to know the symptoms of cataract and go for proper treatment to prevent it or stop it from progressing further.
- The gradual decline in vision
- You can find the light from the sun or lamp too glaring
- Driving at night becomes difficult
- Blurry and cloudy vision
- You may experience double vision
- Need to change eyeglasses frequently
- Experience of the fading of colors
- Older people with cataract experience nearsightedness
- Discolouration of the pupil
- Your eyes become sensitive to bright light
Types of Cataract
There are basically three types of cataract which include:
Nuclear Cataract: In this type, cataract affects the center of the lens. It generally occurs to old people. It’s the most common type of cataract.
Cortical Cataract: In this type, white wedge-like opacities form on the outer edge of the lens cortex.
Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts: This type of cataract affects the back side of the lens. The people who suffer from diabetes or who are on steroid medications are prone to this type of cataract. This type of cataract spreads fast in comparison to other types of cataracts.
Home Remedies for Cataract
Surgery is recommended for the advanced stage of cataract when it becomes almost difficult for the person to see and to perform the daily activities like reading, driving, seeing at night etc.
Cataract is a curable eye disease but can lead to blindness if it is not treated at the earlier stage. There are many home remedies for cataract that you can use to treat it in its initial stage.
Aniseed, Coriander and Brown Sugar Mixture
This simple herbal mixture may help to prevent cataract if it is in its early stage.
What You Need:
- Aniseed powder – 2 tbsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
- Brown sugar – 1 tbsp
- Mix all the ingredients well and consume it.
- Take this mixture regularly in the morning and evening to get effective results against cataract.
Spinach contains a lot of beta-carotene and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health and decreases the damage of the eye that is caused due to the exposure to the UV rays.
What You Need:
- Spinach – 100 grams
- Water – 1 glass
- Clean the spinach leaves properly with water and chop them.
- Take a sauce pan and add 1 glass of water to it, and boil it in medium flame.
- Add the chopped spinach leaves and boil for 10 minutes.
- Strain the spinach leaves and make a paste of it by grinding it.
- Sieve the paste to extract the juice.
- Drink this spinach juice thrice daily for one month to reverse the effect of cataract.
Almond and Milk
It is one of the simplest methods that you can follow to treat cataracts. Loaded with essential vitamins for the eye, almond can strengthen the vision and reduce the redness and irritation of the eyes.
Things You Need:
- Almonds – 4 to 5
- Unadulterated milk – 1 cup
- Soak the almonds in the milk overnight and next day morning, grind the milk and almond to make a mixture.
- Apply this mixture on your eyes to soothe your eyes.
- Follow this process to get rid of the irritation of the eyes that is caused due to cataract.
Almond, Black Pepper and Honey
There is also another method of using almond to prevent cataract. This home remedy for cataract is simple, effective and easy to make.
What You Need:
- Lukewarm water – 1 glass
- Almonds – 7 to 8
- Black pepper powder – a pinch
- Honey – 1 tsp.
- Take the almonds and crush them finely.
- Add the crushed almonds, black pepper powder and honey to the water.
- Mix all the ingredients well.
- 4. Drink this mixture daily once to keep a distance from cataract.
Green Tea for Cataract
Green tea is a storehouse of antioxidants and natural chemicals that protect the person from free radical damages. Green tea contains antioxidants like, lutein, Vitamin C and zeaxanthin that protect the person from eye diseases. It also contains flavonoids that help to protect the eye from cataract.
What You Need:
- Green tea leaves – 1 tsp
- Honey – 1 tsp
- Lemon juice – 1 tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Take a cup of water and boil it in low flame.
- Add the green tea leaves and boil it for some time.
- Off the flame and cover the tea with a lid and let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain the tea and add lemon juice and honey for taste.
- Consuming green tea at least twice daily can improve your eyesight.
Rose Petal and Raspberry Leaves
It is a powerful natural home remedy for cataract. You can use this home remedy as an eyewash to soothe your cataract-affected eyes.
What You Need:
- Rose petals – 1 cup
- Raspberry leaves – 4 tbsp.
- Water – 1 cup
- Boil the water in a pot and add both the rose petals and raspberry leaves.
- Leave for 2 to 3 minutes and then off the flame.
- After it cools down, strain it.
- Use this rose petal and raspberry liquid to wash your eyes.
- Regular use of this liquid may help to improve your vision and prevent further progress of cataract.
Consume Some Garlic
Garlic has the properties that help to decrease the crystallization of the eye lens, so it is said to provide an effective cure for cataract.
Things You Need:
- Garlic cloves: 2 to 3
- Water – 1 glass
- Take the garlic cloves and chop it into very small pieces.
- Take the garlic pieces and gulp it with a glass of water (chewing garlic creates bad breath).
- Consuming garlic everyday morning will help you to get rid of cataract.
We know from our childhood that carrots are good for our eyes. Carrot is a good source of beta-carotene and it gets converted into Vitamin A in our body, which helps to improve our vision.
What You Need:
- Medium size carrots – 4 to 5
- Water – 2 cups
- Clean the carrots properly with water and cut them into small pieces.
- Grind the carrot pieces with the water.
- Strain the mixture to get the juice and then drink it.
- Drink this juice twice daily to improve your eyesight and to keep cataract at bay.
Carrot and Parsley Juice Mixture
This is another carrot home remedy to improve your vision and treat cataract. Parsley is a good source of vitamin A and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin help to cure cataract which is caused due to UV radiation.
What You Need:
- Fresh parsley juice – 1 tbsp.
- Carrot juice – 1 tbsp.
- Mix both the juices to get an eye drop.
- Apply this juice to your eyes daily to maintain eye health and to get rid of cataract.
Ginger, Onion and Lemon Juice:
Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to subside cataract problem. Onion is a rich source of material quercetin that is particularly helpful for treating cataract that is caused due to diabetes.
What You Need:
- Ginger juice – 10 gms
- Onion juice – 10 gms
- Lemon juice – 10 gms
- Take 10 gms each of ginger, lemon and onion juice in a bowl and mix them well to make an eye drop.
- Store this eye drop in a cool place to use it for your cataract-affected eyes every day to get rid of it gradually.
Cardamom and Milk:
Cardamom is a good source of riboflavin. It also contains bioflavonoids and vitamin C which are beneficial to treat eye-related diseases like cataract and also help to keep the eyes healthy. It also improves the vision.
Things You Need:
- Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
- Milk – 2 cups of milk.
- Take 2 cups of milk and add cardamom powder to it. Mix well.
- Make the mixture warm and drink it once before going to bed.
- Regular use of this home remedy for cataract can give positive results by improving the eyesight.
Other Home Remedies to Prevent and Get Rid of Cataract
Rose Water and Lemon Juice: This remedy works best when the cataract is in its initial stage. Prepare an eye drop by mixing one tsp. each of rose water and lemon juice. Use this mixture as an eye drop to soothe your eyes and treat cataract.
Papaya: Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which has the property to digest protein. The people who suffer from cataract have the problem in digesting protein. A person gets cataract when protein clouds the lens of the eyes. So when you consume papaya regularly, the protein buildup in the body will decrease, which in turn will also prevent the protein buildup in the lens of the eyes, the main cause of cataract.
Pumpkin Juice: Pumpkin is a rich source of alpha-carotene, which prevents the occurrence of cataract as well as prevents it from spreading further. You can consume pumpkin juice daily to keep this eye disease at bay.
Pumpkin Flower Juice: Like pumpkin juice pumpkin flower juice also helps to treat cataract. Take some pumpkin flowers and crush them to take out the juice. Apply this juice on your eyelids twice daily to get effective results against cataract.
Gingko Biloba: It helps to cure cataract by supplying oxygen to the eyes. It also contains various essential nutrients that help to keep the eyes healthy and improve the vision.
Bilberry: You can include bilberry in your daily diet as it has properties that heal cataract effectively. Application of bilberry extract on the eye area also reduce the pressure on the blood vessels and veins that surround the retina area, thus helps to stop the further progression of cataract.
Honey Eye Drop: This is probably one of the oldest home remedies for cataract. You need to put 3 drops of honey to your eyes daily before going to bed. It helps to reduce the effects of cataract.
Ashwagandha: It is believed that the daily consumption of ashwagandha may help to prevent cataract. It is easily available in all ayurvedic stores.
Carrot, Spinach and Indian Gooseberry Soup: You can make a soup by taking equal quantity of all these three ingredients. Take this soup every day once for three months to tackle cataract properly.
Cow Milk: Vitamin-rich cow milk can help you to keep cataract at bay. Drink 2 glasses of cow milk every day for healthy eye and improved vision.
Coriander Eye Drop: The regular use of this eye drop works as a magic for cataract. Boil 1 tsp. of ground coriander in 1 cup of water. Leave it for few minutes to become cool and then strain it. Use this liquid as an eye drop and see the results soon.
Aniseeds: Consumption of six grams of aniseeds daily can help you to treat cataract effectively. You can take it once in the morning on an empty stomach and once in the evening (3 hours before dinner) to get fruitful results.
Sweet Potato: Sweet potato contains a good amount of beta-carotene which fights free radicals that cause cataract. So include sweet potato in your daily diet to fight cataract and its symptoms.
Grape Seed: Grape seed extract is known to slow the progress of cataract. Consumption of grape seed extract may lower your chances of getting cataract. You can also apply grape seed extract to the eyes to soothe your eyes.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a powerhouse of antioxidants that fight against cataract. You can drink a cup of rosemary tea to prevent cataract.
Turmeric: Turmeric contains a good amount of antioxidants and carotenoids, which helps in treating cataracts. Use turmeric while preparing your meal to get the daily dose of turmeric. Its curcumin content also helps to reduce inflammation in eyes.
Brazil nut: Brazil nut is a good source of Vitamin E and selenium. This herb can be consumed to treat the cataract that is caused due to the deficiency of selenium.
Purslane: Take half cup of purslane daily to avoid cataract as it contains a lot of cataract-preventing anti-oxidants and carotenoids.
Mint: You can consume a cup of mint tea daily to keep decrease the symptoms of cataract.
Acacia Arabica Bark: Make a paste from the bark of acacia Arabica (babul) and apply it on the eyelids externally. It will offer a cooling effect to the cataract-affected eye and will gradually heal the cataract.
Indian Sorrel: It contains effective properties that can treat cataract. Take some leaves of Indian sorrel. Take out the juice and put few drops to your eyes to keep your eyes healthy and free from cataract.
Precautions for Cataract
It is always better to prevent the disease in the first place. You need to follow as well as include certain things in your day to day life to prevent cataract effectively.
Avoid junk food: Junk food consumption is one of the main reasons for many health disorders. To keep cataract at bay, stop excessive consumption of junk food, coffee and tea.
Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables: Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Including leafy vegetables in your daily diet is a good option to fight cataract. Drink fresh fruit juices, mainly orange and grape juice. Raw vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Eat the vegetables that can be eaten raw like cucumber, tomatoes, carrot, radish, etc.
Include the foods that are rich in Vitamin E and carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet. Eat almonds, sunflower seeds, kale, spinach, etc., to stay away from cataract. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids can also prevent cataract.
Practice Pranayama: Practicing pranayama every day will improve blood circulation to your eyes and prevent cataract occurring to your eyes.
Do not go out in the sun: Avoid going out in the sun to avoid the exposure of your eyes to the direct sunlight, which contains UV rays. Even if you are going out during the daytime always use sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Control your sugar level: Diabetes is one of the reasons for cataract. So try to take measures to control your sugar level.
Limit the consumption of dairy products: Lessen dairy products in your daily diet as consumption of dairy products accelerates the free radical generation which causes cataract.
Avoid smoking: The people who suffer from cataract should avoid smoking as well as the consumption of alcohol as it may deteriorate the condition.
Eye exercises: Perform some eye exercises for proper blood circulation to the eye area, which in turn will keep your eyes healthy to fight cataract effectively.
Do not use sea salt: Avoid the use of sea salt in your food as it contains certain minerals that are harmful to the eyes. Replace sea salt with rock salt.
Massage your head with cooling oil: Massaging your head with cooling oil will de-stress your eye, keep it healthy and improve the vision.
Wash your eyes: After coming back from outside, wash your eyes with cooling water to de-stress your eyes and clean it from outside impurities.
Even if you are not suffering from cataract and your eyes are healthy, you need to go to the doctor regularly for an eye check-up. This routine check-up may save you from cataract attack.
You need to take the advice of doctors if the cataract is in the advanced stage. The doctor may suggest you go for surgery. But definitely, these home remedies can give you ample relief from cataract if it is in its initial stage. And also the natural herbal remedies can prevent the occurrence of cataract to a great extent.
It is advisable to use the home remedies for cataract after proper research and guidance.