Grey Cataracts by Anni Dahms

grey cataracts
By Anni Dahms
Qualified nurse, educated in nutrition and Naturopathy.

Cataracts
I have a very narrow garage door. I’ve always felt very proud of being able (after a little struggle) to dodge it in order to get in and out with my old car, until one day I hit the door. At that moment I was aware that it was time to visit an eye doctor. The ophthalmologist diagnosed me with cataracts in both eyes, but determined that just one required surgery.
After a successful operation, I am able again to get in and out of the garage without problems. Furthermore, I could pass the driving license renewal exam with no need to wear glasses.
From the moment I had eye surgery, I have become much more aware that the eye is one of the many masterpieces of nature in our body, we must take care, is not just ¨out of the blue¨ that we get a good vision. Now I know that we can do many things to reduce, as far as possible, the visual problems.
A good vision means that we are able to focus correctly and see from near and afar colors and shapes.
There are many things that could possibly go wrong with our eyes, ailments as (for example) myopia, which implies difficulty to see things from afar, and farsightedness which is the opposite, implies difficulty to see nearby things clearly. Diabetes can cause many eye complications as, for example, retinal detachment. Currently, macular degeneration is becoming quite common. The macula is the part of the eye that is responsible for central, high resolution vision. The macula enable our eyes to see details and its deterioration is a major cause of blindness in people over 50.
Cataracts can be “green” and also “grey “. With “Green cataracts” there is an increase of the fluid pressure in the eye, which can damage the optic nerve, while with “grey cataracts” the lens becomes as opaque as to finally cloud the vision.
Symptoms of “grey cataracts” often start being noticed when having to give up driving at night as the reflection of the lights seem to us too strong to be able to drive comfortably, or when in spite of having an incredibly good light to read, we are unable to read properly, every word and color appearing blurred and undefined. We get more sensitive to sunlight and to bright lights glow as well as more prone to ophthalmologist visits in order to check our vision and eye health. As a result of having “grey cataracts”, the lens of the eye becomes yellowish.
The number of people suffering from cataracts increases with age, one of the reasons that could account for this is a lasting eye exposition to ultraviolet light, so be aware it is important to use good quality sunglasses.
If you think maybe there is something wrong with your eyes, go visit an eye doctor. Fortunately, there are very good surgical possibilities to recover our vision if we suffer from grey cataracts.

The diet
Nowadays, there are many things we can do with a good diet and supplements to prevent or delay the development of cataracts.  Good vision requires a good diet.
Eye health can be achieved and kept with lots of vegetables and fruits, rich in: antioxidants, beta – carotene, vitamins C and E, which are found mainly in yellow, orange and green fruits and vegetables, for example kale, broccoli, spinach, corn, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, peas, beets, green beans, tomatoes, mangoes, peaches, etc. The lens of the eye and the retina contain a lot of carotenoids.
Other dietary nutrients that help maintain the health of your eyes are onions, apples, kiwi, grapefruit, blueberries and apricots. It has been discovered that cranberries help improve both normal vision and night vision.
Vitamin E and Selenium are also very important. They are present in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, seeds of flax, avocado, etc.
The diet should be also rich in vitamin A that can be found, for example, in: fatty fish liver, beef, etc.
Preferably drink green tea of good quality.
Juices should be part of your daily menus. Juices can help to slow the development of cataracts, they must be high in beta carotene and vitamin C. You can buy many prepared juices, but I strongly recommend that self prepared ones. Buy a good juicer and a good blender, they will provide you with the great pleasure of making your own food and are really worthwhile in the long run. Experiment with your favorite flavors. For smoothies that are made specifically for the eyes, it is a good idea to put a lot of carrots and parsley and celery. If you need a little inspiration, search for Mads Bo Petersen, he is an author that has written several books on recipes for smoothies. If you are beginner I recommend to start with the recipes in the book “High on smoothies” or to look for any book in English that provides you with a variety of easy smoothie recipes.
Be careful with alcohol. Alcohol is toxic for our liver. According to Chinese medicine, liver and eyes are connected with each other. Chinese medicine says that the eyes are the opening of the liver in our body, so a person having eye problems will also suffer from liver conditions, and vice versa.
Be careful with chocolate and do not take too many foods with caffeine, such as coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, etc. There are studies indicating these may have a negative effect on the ability of the eye to focus. If you’re a big coffee drinker, reduce the intake to two cups a day.
Watch out for the levels of sugar in sweets and other foods. If you feel the need of something sweet, eat a bit of dark chocolate, which is full of antioxidants. Avoid white bread, pasta, etc. Do not use too much salt in your meals and get a good quality one as the salt from the Himalayas or a good herbal salt.

Supplements
• Keep in mind that some medications can have a negative impact on the eyes. Talk to your doctor regarding this.
• It is important to have a good base of multivitamins / minerals. Make sure that they are of good quality and contain lots of vitamins of Group B, inositol and vitamins C and E.
• Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen and strengthens the capillaries that nourish the retina and protects against UV rays. The eye is the organ has the highest concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. You should take between 500-3000 mg per day to preserve your eyes health.
• Also take a supplement of vitamins / minerals such as Omnimin Pure Mivitotal, Spectro 2.
• Studies have shown that alpha lipoic acid protects the eye lens from the loss of vitamins C and E. Take 250 mg per day.
• Carnosine is a powerful antioxidant. Take 400 to 600 mg per day. It helps counteract the damage caused by sunlight exposure.
• Acetyl L – Carnitine is a powerful antioxidant. Take 500 mg a day. It protects the lens, especially in older people who consume sugary foods.
• Ginkgo Biloba is also an antioxidant. Take from 100 to 200 mg a day. It improves blood flow in the retina.
• Blueberries are a great help for vision in all directions. It is available in tablets, for example: Blueberry, Bio – vision, Lutein eyes, etc.
• Cysteine is an amino acid that is also important to the eye, especially to maintain our lenses healthy. Take 500-1000 mg per day.
• Taurine, also an amino acid, is another important antioxidant with a high concentration in the eye. It is vital to keep our eyes and its tissues healthy. There are studies showing it also protects from dangerous solar light. Moreover, there are studies that indicate it is very useful against age-related vision loss. Take 500 mg a day. Stress depletes our taurine. If you suffer from stress, you should take taurine supplements. If you are vegetarian you should take it as well. Taurine is not significantly present in vegetable proteins or dairy products, though it can be found in meat and fish.
• Astaxanthin is a carotenoid which comes from a micro – algae, which are not yet well known. It is a very powerful, 550 times more potent antioxidant than vitamin E and 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C. There are some scientists who believe that astaxanthin is perhaps the best help discovered so far for eye health. In addition, astaxanthin has a wide range of other beneficial health effects. Krill oil, is a pure fish oil contains astaxanthin which is available in the form of capsules. You should wait between 2-4 weeks before you see results. It should be taken with a little fat as it is soluble in fat.

Tips
• Take some reflexology sessions that work areas that have to do with the liver, kidneys, eyes, ears, neck, the pituitary and thyroid.
• Yoga can help to strengthen the muscles of the eyes and therefore improve the view.
• Enjoy the sun, is good for us, but do so with moderation and prudence. Do not take the sun during the hottest hours, and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your eyes.
• Buy good sunglasses, which guarantee the protection against UV rays.
• If you smoke, quit or reduce your cigarettes consumption. Be sure to take enough vitamin C, each cigarette, ¨steals¨ from your body at least 25 mg of vitamin C.
• The book of exercises of Dr. Stephen T. Chang includes exercises for the eyes that help strengthen vision. If you spend many hours in front of the computer or television, the author advices to pay special attention and do eye exercises every day.
• Visualization can be very beneficial. Louise Hay pronounced the theory that “being unable to see the future with joy” can be the cause contributing to the formation of cataracts, a “dark future¨. She recommended the visualization of a new pattern of thought: “life is eternal and full of joy. I wait for, and live, each moment with enthusiasm.”

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