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How To Get Rid Of Cataracts

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How To Get Rid Of Cataracts August 24, 2018

According to WHO, cataract is the major cause of blindness. Over 20 million Americans over the age of 40 suffer from cataracts in one or both the eyes (1). This eye disorder is known to make your vision cloudy initially and may cause blindness if not treated in time. Hence, it is important to treat this condition at the earliest. While eye operations and surgeries are the conventional methods of treating cataracts, you can also treat this condition with home remedies. In this article, we will talk about effective home remedies that not only treat cataracts but also prevent their recurrence. Let’s begin!

Table Of Contents

What Is A Cataract?

The formation of a cloudy and dense area in the lens of the eye is medically termed as a cataract. It is usually a result of clumping of proteins in the eye. This clumping prevents the lens from sending clear images to the retina.

A cataract develops eventually and may even interfere with your vision. Although you can develop a cataract in both eyes, it may not necessarily be at the same time.

Cataracts can be classified into different types based on their cause and where they develop.

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Types Of Cataracts

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The different types of cataracts include:

  • Nuclear Cataracts: These are formed in the center of the lens and may cause the nucleus of the lens to turn brownish or yellowish.
  • Cortical Cataracts: These are wedge-shaped and are formed around the nucleus (center) of your lens.
  • Posterior Cataracts: These affect the backside of your lens and are formed faster than the former types.
  • Congenital Cataracts: These cataracts are present at birth or may surface during your child’s first year.
  • Secondary Cataracts: Secondary cataracts are often a result of health conditions like diabetes and glaucoma or medications like steroids.
  • Traumatic Cataracts: Cataracts that are a result of trauma to your eyes over the years are called traumatic cataracts.
  • Radiation Cataracts: As the name suggests, this type of cataract occurs after an individual undergoes radiation for cancer.

The following are some of the most common signs that surface with the development of cataracts.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Cataracts

The signs and symptoms of cataracts are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Reduced vision at night
  • Colors look faded
  • Your sensitivity to glare increases
  • Visibility of halos while looking directly at the light
  • Double vision
  • Power of your prescription glasses keeps changing

So, what causes these cataracts to form? And who are at a greater risk of developing this condition? Let’s find out.

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Causes Of And Risk Factors For Cataracts

Cataracts can occur due to:

  • Overproduced oxidants
  • Trauma or injury
  • Radiation
  • Medications like steroids
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation
  • Medical issues like diabetes and glaucoma
  • Smoking

Factors that put you at a higher risk of developing cataracts include:

  • Advancing age
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Past injuries to your eye
  • A history of cataracts in your family

If you exhibit any of the symptoms listed above, get your eyes tested immediately. Faster diagnosis assures faster treatment and can prevent further complications to your eyes.

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Diagnosis

Your doctor may run the following tests to look for a developing cataract:

  • A comprehensive eye test that includes an eye chart test to check your distant vision and a tonometry test to measure your eye pressure
  • Testing your eyes’ sensitivity to glare
  • Testing how you perceive colors

While you can always seek medical intervention to treat cataracts, here are some natural remedies that can help accelerate your recovery.

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Home Remedies To Cure Cataracts

  1. Castor Oil
  2. Vitamins
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Essential Oils
  5. Aloe Vera
  6. Coconut Water
  7. Flaxseed Oil
  8. Garlic
  9. Ginger
  10. Ginkgo Biloba
  11. Green Tea
  12. Honey
  13. Lemon Juice
  14. Onion Juice
  15. Wheatgrass Juice
  16. Olive Oil

Natural Ways To Treat Cataracts

1. Castor Oil

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You Will Need

1-2 drops of hexane-free castor oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Pour a drop of castor oil in both your eyes before sleeping.
  2. Leave the oil in overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily for 1 to 6 months.

Why This Works

The powerful antioxidant properties of castor oil help repair the oxidative damage caused to your eyes (1).

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2. Vitamins

Vitamins C and D can help prevent or slow down the progression of cataracts (2), (3). So, consume foods rich in these vitamins like citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, avocados, and almonds. You can also consult your doctor if you want to take additional supplements for these vitamins.

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3. Apple Cider Vinegar

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix well and consume this mixture daily.
  3. You can also use carrot juice instead of water for added benefits.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar is packed with antioxidants that are extremely beneficial for your health. Regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can help repair the damaged lens (4).

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4. Essential Oils

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You Will Need

1-2 drops of frankincense or lavender oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take one or two drops of frankincense or lavender oil and rub it in between your palms.
  2. Apply it to closed eyes and leave it on for a few minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Frankincense and lavender oils are popular remedies to treat cataracts due to their antioxidant potential. They can help improve your vision by repairing the damage caused to your eyes by oxidative stress (5), (6).

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5. Aloe Vera

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract a tablespoon of fresh aloe vera gel.
  2. Refrigerate it and apply it to closed eyes.
  3. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse it off with water.
  4. You can also consume a cup of aloe vera juice daily to speed up your recovery.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this a few times daily for faster results.

Why This Works

Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant. It provides nourishment to your eyes and fights signs of cataracts and other eye abnormalities (7).

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6. Coconut Water

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You Will Need

• A few drops of coconut water
• A clean washcloth

What You Have To Do
  1. Pour a few drops of chilled coconut water
  2. into your eyes and close them.
  3. Place a warm washcloth over your closed eyes.
  4. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least twice daily.

Why This Works

Coconut water is believed to work like magic for cataracts. It is packed with electrolytes that provide instant nourishment to your eyes, and its antioxidant potential helps your eyes recover faster from oxidative damage (8).

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7. Flaxseed Oil

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You Will Need

½-1 tablespoon of cold pressed flaxseed oil

What You Have To Do

Add half to one tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your favorite dish or smoothie.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this on a daily basis for best results.

Why This Works

Flaxseed oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, making it one of the best remedies for treating cataracts. Omega-3 fatty acids exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that work well against eye disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts (9).

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8. Garlic

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You Will Need

Peeled garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Chew on one or two garlic cloves daily.
  2. You can also add garlic to your favorite dishes if the flavor is too strong for you.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Garlic contains allicin, which is a strong antioxidant that can repair oxidative damage in your eyes (10).

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9. Ginger

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You Will Need
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger juice
  • ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do

1. Mix half a teaspoon each of lemon juice and ginger juice.
2. Add a teaspoon of water to this mixture.
3. Soak two cotton pads in the mixture and place them over closed eyes.
4. Leave them on for 15 to 20 minutes and then take them off.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

The topical application of ginger juice is a good way to cleanse your eyes and repair the damage. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and can help soothe inflammation in your eyes, and its antioxidant effects can repair oxidative damage (11), (12).

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10. Ginkgo Biloba

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You Will Need

40-120 mg of ginkgo biloba supplements

What You Have To Do

Take 40 to 120 mg of ginkgo biloba supplements.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Gingko biloba has strong antioxidant properties that have a positive effect on cataracts. This was proved in a study published in the Japanese Journal Of Ophthalmology in 2004 (13).

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11. Green Tea

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Simmer and strain.
  3. Allow the tea to cool a little before drinking it.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this twice daily.

Why This Works

Green tea is packed with polyphenols that are powerful antioxidants. These polyphenols can help protect your lens from further damage and reverse existing cataracts to an extent (14).

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12. Honey

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the honey with water.
  2. Pour this solution into your eyes and blink away the excess water.
  3. You can also consume a teaspoon of honey regularly.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Honey is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. It can help treat existing damage to your lens and also prevent future ones (15).

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13. Lemon Juice

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You Will Need
  • ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Dilute half a teaspoon of lemon juice with a teaspoon of water.
  2. Mix well and soak a cotton pad in it.
  3. Place the cotton pads over closed eyelids and leave them on for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the cotton pads and rinse your eyes with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

Regular use of lemon juice can help soothe eye irritation and other symptoms due to its citric acid content. It also has antioxidant properties that can help reduce cataracts (16).

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14. Onion Juice

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh onion juice
  • 2 teaspoons of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two teaspoons of water to a teaspoon of fresh lemon extract.
  2. Mix well and pour a drop of this solution into both the eyes.
  3. Blink away the excess mixture.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

The daily use of onion juice as eye drops enhances the functioning of your eyes. It also helps prevent cataract formation in the eyes as concluded by a study published in the Indian Journal Of Ophthalmology in 2009 (17).

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15. Wheatgrass Juice

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You Will Need

1-2 ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice

What You Have To Do

Consume 1 to 2 ounces of wheatgrass juice daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this for a few weeks to see results.

Why This Works

Wheatgrass is an excellent home remedy for treating cataracts. It is rich in beta-carotene, which helps enhance your vision and prevent cataracts (18).

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16. Olive Oil

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You Will Need

Olive oil (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Add olive oil to your favorite dishes and salads.
  2. You can also pour a drop of olive oil into your eyes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this on a regular basis.

Why This Works

Olive oil is the perfect alternative to your regular cooking oil if you wish to fight cataracts. It is packed with antioxidants that help repair damaged lens and keep your eyes nourished and moisturized (19), (20).

In addition to following these remedies, you must also eat right. Given below are some foods that you must include in your daily diet to help fight cataracts better.

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Best Foods For Cataracts

Since excess oxidative stress is believed to be one of the main causes of cataracts, foods rich in antioxidants can help. Consume foods like:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Guavas
  • Bell peppers
  • Papaya
  • Broccoli

Beta-carotene rich foods can also help delay or prevent cataract formation. A few of them include:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Turnip

You can also follow these prevention tips to prevent the recurrence of cataracts.

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Prevention Tips

  • Quit smoking.
  • Wear shades while you are out in the sun.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Keep a check on your blood sugar levels.
  • Get your eyes tested regularly.
  • Do not strain your eyes for long periods.

Cataracts can develop in anybody at any point in time. Hence, they need to be treated as early as possible to prevent them from progressing and worsening your eyesight.

Hope this article helps you in your fight against cataracts. For further doubts, feel free to get in touch with us via the comment box below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the average age for cataracts?

Individuals aged between 41-60 years and above are commonly affected by cataracts. This clearly shows that advancing age is one of the leading risk factors for this condition.

What will happen if a cataract is left untreated?

Cataracts can cause legal blindness if left untreated. And when not treated for longer periods, they can cause total blindness.

Can you remove a cataract without surgery?

Currently, some eye drops are being tested for dissolving cataracts without the need for surgery. Also, the natural remedies mentioned above can help in treating cataracts.

How long does it take to get a cataract removed?

Surgery for cataract hardly takes 10 minutes. However, the blurriness after a surgery may take anywhere between 24 hours to even 2 weeks (in rare cases) to clear.

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