Cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. The lens of the eye become clouded, so that the eye is unable to properly focus on objects. In advanced cases, the lens is becoming opaque, so that blindness is setting in. Only part of the eye is generally cloudy or opaque; but this can gradually extend to the entire eye.

Causes: Cataracts occur as a result of structural changes to protein fibers within the lens. These changes cause part or all of the lens to become cloudy. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes; but generally one eye is more severely affected. If it is in the central part of the lens or in the whole lens, total loss of clarity and detail in vision can result. But it will still be able to detect light and shade.

Congential cataracts occur if the mother had rubella during the first three months of pregnancy or if the infant has galactosemia. This is an inherited inability to properly digest galactose. These cataracts generally do not get worse. Not using milk products at all can help prevent this in adults. Smokers, those who take steroids, and those who have heavy metal poisoning can get cataracts.

Traumatic cataracts result from blows which rupture the anterior lens capsule, harmful chemicals, intense infrared radiation, or X-rays. Radiation causes free-radical damage in the eyes. This causes the lens to absorb aqueous humor. The lens becomes cloudy and must be removed in order to restore eyesight. People living closer to the South Pole are more likely to develop cataracts.

Other causes include hypoparathyroidism, Down's Syndrome, and atopic dermatitis. High blood sugar levels and low calcium levels can also bring it on. Higher blood sugar levels in diabetics and hypoglycemics causes the cells in the lense to absorb large amounts of glucose. This is converted into sorbitol, an insoluble form of sugar. This gradually crystallizes in the ey, forming a cataract. The longer one has diabetes, the greater the risk of cataracts.

Hair dye has been shown to cause cataracts. Only 23% of those not dying their hair got cataracts. Whereas 89% of those who dye their hair develop them.

Complication of tumors, detached retina, iritis, glaucoma, and severe myopia can also bring it on. Other studies reveal that people with stress, allergies, or who eat seafood are more likely to develop cataracts.

It is now known that lack of vitamin C or B2 in the diet over an extended period of time can help produce cataracts.

Cataracts are the most common form of blindness in older people, and should not be ignored when they are beginning to develop.

Natural remedies for cataracts:

  • Obtain adequate rest at night. Do not sit up watching television till late at night. You are tiring your eyes and irradiating them with X-rays at the same time.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and the nutrients listed below. Eat whole grains, nuts, and legumes. It is important that you eat a good nutritious diet. Get enough vitamins E, C, B complex (B1 and B2 is very important), selenium, zinc, bioflavonoids, 1-glutamine, 1-arginine, 1-cysteine, and glutathione. If diabetes is involved, add chromium supplementation. Avoid excess cholesterol, sorbitol, unsaturated fatty acids, and mercury tooth fillings. Take a good high-potency multivitamin. It should include at least 50 mg of most of the B vitamins, 15 mg of beta-carotene, 30 mg of zinc, and 200 mcg of selenium. Vitamin C (1,500 mg daily) is extremely important. B2 (200 mg) protects the crystalline lens of the eye. Also helpful: copper (3 mg) with manganese (5 mg) and flaxseed oil (1-2 Tbsp. daily).
  • MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is important for good vision. Take ½ tsp. of the powder, per 100 lbs. body weight once a day.
  • The flavonoid, quercetin, is known to block sorbitol accumulation in the eye. Lipoic acid (15 mg daily) is also recommended by some.
  • Do not drink milk or eat cheese, ice cream, seafood, or grease.
  • Place a drop of honey in the corner of the eye at night. This will help absorb the crystals.
  • Antioxidants prevent cataracts from forming. That which cloudsl the eye is damage for oxidation, caused by free radicals. Antioxidants newtralize free radicals.
  • Sources of antioxidants: The best antioxidants are vitamin A, which you want to get from food in the form of carotenoids, like beta-carotene. Green and yellow fruits and vegetables are full of it. Other antioxidants include vitamins C and E, flavonoids, and selenium. Taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily definitely slows cataract formation. Magnesium and manganese are also important in helping antioxidants. One Harvard study found that getting 50 mg of carotenoids every other day will significantly reduce your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts. Carrot juice is an excellent way to obtain carotenoids and antioxidants.
  • The mint herbs are good antioxidant sources: Catnip, peppermint, and rosemary. Other sources include ginger and turmeric.
  • Subtances such as nicotine, heavy metal poisoning, insecticides, etc., make free radicals and destroy antioxidants in the body. Saturated fats and fried foods also have lots of free radicals. Steroid drugs can induce-cataracts at any age. Avoid aspirin, commercial antihistamines, cortisone.
  • Certain foods contain anthocyanosides, which improve visual aculty: blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries, raspberries, grapes, plums, wild cherries, and bilberries.
  • Papain in papaya helps digest protein. If not digested properly, protein can concentrate in the lens.
  • Exercise early in the morning and avoid long exposure to the sun. Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight can cause and worsen cataract problems. Sunglasses should be designated Z80.3. Prescription lenses should have a UV-protective film. Tanning booths intensify the risk.
  • Relaxing at times during the day is good for your eyes. Alternative hot and cold showers stimulates circulation and proper hormonal balance.