Cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have cataracts. (Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology; Report Title: Eye Statistics at a Glance; Last Updated: May, 2009: URL: http://www.aao.org/newsroom/press_kit/upload/Eye-Health-Statistics-June-2009.pdf). The good news is that treatment for senile cataract is a relatively safe and effective procedure in the mainstream and conventional medical system.
The preferred option for those in the initial stages of a cataract is to rectify their vision using eyeglasses backed by supplements and medicines such that the immediate requirement for surgery is averted. In the due course of time and as the cataract "ripens" to make the lens more unclear for vision or the time when symptoms of haze, glare and opacity are aggravated, surgery may be recommended. The surgery is now done with laser and is minimally invasive and safe. It also has a short recovery time. The surgery removes the opaque lens and a clear artificial lens replaces it.
Surgery as a treatment for cataract has a high success rate as more than nine out of 10 patients enjoy a complete restoration of vision. It is classified as a routine or minor surgery and is performed in the outpatient department of hospitals. It involves the use of local anesthesia. It is a preferred option of treatment for persons over 65 years of age. (Source: American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine; Report Title: Senile Cataract & N-acetylcarnosine Eye-Drops; Author: Robert Mason, Ph.D; URL: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/senile_cataract_and_n-acetylcarnosine_ey/). Though complications may arise after a cataract surgery such as that of detachment of the retina, corneal edema, or opacification of the posterior capsule, the chances of such occurrences are very slim due to improved technology and precision instruments.
Surgery can be either an intra-capsular extraction procedure or extra-capsular extraction procedure, depending upon the nature and location of the cataract. Intra-capsular extraction involves removal of the lens capsule along with the eye lens. Extra-capsular extraction leaves the lens capsule and extracts the eye lens only using high frequency sound waves.
Alternative treatments are also available though they may not be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some therapies have been mentioned hereunder. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before implementing them:
The Nutrition Approach: As is obvious by its name, this approach looks at preventing further deterioration and arresting of cataract condition through diet and supplement and involves inclusion of all eye-benefiting nutrients in the diet. Some tips:
• Include foods high on beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E
• Drink 8 glasses of water a day
• Reduce sugar intake
• Eat foods high in antioxidants, including garlic, onions, beans, celery, apples, tomatoes, broccoli
(Source: VisionWorks USA; Book Name: Natural Eye Care- A Comprehensive Manual For The Practitioners Of Oriental Medicine; Author: Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac, and Michael Edson, M.S., L.Ac; Published 2002, 230 pages; URL: http://www.visionworksusa.com/cataract_chapter.htm)
The Eye Exercises Approach: This approach expounds the benefits of keeping the eye healthy through ocular exercises. (Source: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life; Report Title: 5 Ways To Improve Your Vision; Author: Steven Aitchison; URL: http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/5-eye-exercises-to-improve-your-vision/). Some examples of eye exercises are:
• Blinking exercises
• Panning exercises
• Close and far focus exercises
• Following the figure 8 exercise for the eye
Homeopathy: An effective and tested alternate medical system, homeopathy offers benefiting treatment for cataract patients. It is important that you consult a registered, licensed and practicing homeopathic doctor before getting on a homeopathic medicine program for your condition. Some medicines that are said to benefit cataract patients are:
• Cineraria Maritima Succus eye drops
• Arnica and Conium are effective in cases of a cataract brought on due to eye injury
• Causticum is prescribed for cataract in young adults and post injury
• Kali Muris is advised when cataract is associated with white discharge from the eyes
• Mag Carb is suggested for cataract accompanied by swelling and a blurred vision
(Source: Life Positive; Article Title: Eye Care - Counteract the Cataract; Issue: December 2004; Author: Roohi Saluja; URL: http://www.lifepositive.com/Body/Eye_Care/Counteract_the_cataract122004.asp)
INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. ALL INFORMATION GIVEN IS TO BE CHECKED WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE IMPLEMENTING OR TAKING THEM AS STANDARD OR VERIFIED.
Reviewed Jun 8, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton
Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co. URL: http://www.amazon.com/Migraines-Informed-Woman-Tips-Sufferer/dp/8129115174/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298990756&sr=1-2), the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India) and Mentor Your Mind (Publisher: Sterling Publishers). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Please visit www.mamtasingh.com