Millions of North Americans suffer from eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cornea degeneration. Some patients quickly turn to surgery to address their deteriorating eye health, yet there are alternatives to operating.
Our eyes have a lens that is clear, like a window that has just been carefully cleaned but if that lens becomes cloudy like a dirty window…that is a cataract. Cataracts are most often associated with age but not always. Well over 22 million people in North America over the age of 40 report having cataracts. By age 80 over half of Americans suffer from cataracts.
In 90 per cent of the cases people who have cataract surgery, have better vision and improved overall eye health afterwards. Some people prefer to avoid any kind of operation. Cataract surgery can pose a risk of infection and bleeding. If you are being treated for other conditions you may have to go off your medication temporarily if you opt for eye surgery to correct the blurred vision created by the cataracts.
So what are the alternatives? Doctors say that cataracts actually form quite slowly. In the early stages a change in eyeglass prescription may be all you need. Since glare is a big issue, anti-reflective coating on glasses is a big help. Cataracts form hardening and yellowing of the eyes. Sufferers can use stronger lights above and behind them in order to read and counteract the blurred vision. When outside, proper eye protection is also required. Proper eye protection means sun glasses that provide both strong UVA and UVB protection.
The role of food and herbs in the treatment of cataracts is a relatively new area of research; however, many natural medicine experts believe that aniseed, pumpkin flower extract, raspberry leaves, as well as honey, are all helpful in the fight against cataracts. They also believe a diet high in vitamin A is essential to overall eye health.
The Effect on Sufferers of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye ailment that 2.3 million Americans are currently grappling with. In North America about 250 thousand people are inflicted with the eye problem. Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve and leads to blurred vision and vision loss. It is the second leading cause of blindness.
Research shows that exercise can relieve pressure inside the eye of those who suffer from glaucoma. There are two types of glaucoma though, and one type can be aggravated by aggressive exercise so it is prudent that you discuss physical activity with your physician. Caffeine consumption can add to eye pressure so it should be avoided. As well, alcohol should be eliminated since it constricts the blood vessels. Studies on eye health show Alpha lipoic acid, often called the “universal antioxidant”, can be found in some red meats, organ meats such as liver, and in yeast.
Fruits and Vegetables for Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is the breakdown of the central portion of the retina. There are two types of degeneration; wet and dry. Only those with wet degeneration can be operated on. Research shows that a diet high in Omega 3, fresh fruits, and dark green, leafy vegetables can reduce the risk of developing disease.
When it comes to macular problems, cornea degeneration and many other eye related diseases, diet appears to play a significant role. Many in the medical field believe the number of eye health problems would decrease if people simply used good eye protection, followed a healthy diet, and consumed the right amount of essential vitamins and minerals in their diet.
Blurred vision is associated with cataracts, glaucoma and a number of other eye diseases that we can’t eradicate overnight; however, researchers are determined to lower the statistics and improve eye health around the globe. To put it is perspective.