An Introduction To Alternative Cataract Treatments

Alternative cataract treatments include natural supplements and mindful nutrition. Medical experts estimate that observing certain measures can help slow the progress of cataracts by as much as ten years, which would reduce the annual number of cataract surgeries by 45 percent (American Optometric Association (AOA), 2011).

Natural Alternative Cataract Treatments

Many different studies have been conducted over the years to prove the effectiveness of certain antioxidants in fighting cataract formation. Beta carotene and vitamins E and C have been the most successful natural forms of cataract medicine.
Beta carotene, the substance that gives carrots, yams, watermelon and other foods their red-orange color, is a powerful antioxidant. Some tests have shown that beta carotene can help lower the risk of cataract progression, especially in men, however other studies negate this theory.
Vitamin E contributed to a lower instance of nuclear cataracts, and a lower level of progression for patients who already had these cataracts. Vitamin C was especially successful in contributing to a reduced risk for both cortical and nuclear cataracts, especially in women (Bastyr Center for Natural Health, 2011).
Other substances currently under scrutiny for their cataract-preventing and slowing properties include lutein and zeaxanthin. These two substances are the only natural carotenoids found in the lens. Scientific studies link increased amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin in the bloodstream to a reduced need for cataract surgery. They’re believed to slow the development of established cataracts and reduce the instance of posterior subcapsular cataracts (AOA, 2011).

Foods That May Help Fight Cataracts

While supplements are available for these helpful vitamins and minerals, many nutritionists cite eating foods rich in these substances as the most beneficial.
Common foods rich in these potential cataract fighting ingredients include:
• Beta carotene: Carrots, turnips, yams, pumpkins, winter squash, watermelon and tomatoes, and leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce, spinach, kale and collard greens
• Lutein: Egg yolks, spinach, broccoli and zucchini, tomatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, carrots, squash and corn
• Vitamin C: Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, peppers, strawberries, kiwi, papaya and many green vegetables
• Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, olives, almonds, blueberries and leafy green vegetables
• Zeaxanthin: Green vegetables like kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, peas, Brussels sprouts and zucchini.

Other Ways to Slow Cataract Formation

If you want to avoid a cataract diagnosis, or slow the progression of existing cataracts, protect your eyes from UVA/UVB radiation caused by the sun.
A study of the epidemiology of cataracts reveals that smoking and alcohol use are connected to the formation of cataracts, so these activities should be minimized or cut out entirely.