Here are some natural interventions that slow down (and sometimes even reverse) cataracts

Image: Here are some natural interventions that slow down (and sometimes even reverse) cataracts

Regardless of your actual age, your eyes are often the last thing that stays young. However, this is only possible if you regularly follow a healthy diet.

Preventing and reversing cataracts

While cataracts are linked to poorer eyesight and even blindness, they are believed to be an inevitable part of aging. However, certain modifiable risk factors and natural interventions may help slow and even reverse this condition.

  1. Curcumin (turmeric extract) – There is significant data that confirms the health benefits of curcumin in the animal model of cataract formation. Study data revealed that curcumin, a highly therapeutic polyphenol that’s responsible for turmeric’s bright yellow color, can help prevent the formation of cataracts.
  2. Don’t use cholesterol-lowering statin drugs – For more than 20 years, data from animal research has determined that statin drugs are linked to cataracts. In the post-marketing surveillance of statin drug users, findings have shown that when taken, “either alone or in combination with other drugs which inhibit their metabolism,” the drugs increase the risk of cataracts in individuals who take them. An identified mechanism for the cataractogenic potential of these drugs is the fact that they can gain systemic distribution in the body, which happens when they pass through the blood-brain-barrier and enter the eye itself, specifically, the outer cortical region of the lens where cholesterol synthesis is critical. This mechanism is responsible for the damage in the lens. (Related: 8 Eye issues you can’t afford to ignore.)
  3. Lutein – According to a two-year double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study, lutein can help improve visual function in individuals with age-related cataracts. Sources of lutein include egg yolks, kale, and marigold.
  4. Wheatgrass – Data from a 2005 study, which was titled “Aging reversibility: from thymus graft to vegetable extract treatment — application to cure an age-associated pathology” and published in the journal Biogerontology, wheatgrass can potentially reverse lens opacity linked to cataracts. Researchers explained that for the study, the lens opacity of old dogs who received oral dosages of wheatgrass for one month was measured before and after the treatment. The results revealed that there was a 25 to 40 percent reduction of lens opacity. The study authors posited that the wheat sprouts can help in “the recovery of age-related alterations and in treating age-associated pathologies” because they contain “regulatory acid peptides, a remarkable level of highly energetic phosphoric radicals and antioxidant molecules. These compounds in wheatgrass can potentially help reduce lens opacity.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are dense and cloudy areas that can form in the lens of your eye. A cataract often develops when proteins in your eye form clumps that prevent the lens from sending clear images to your retina.

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The retina works by turning the light that comes through the lens into signals. The signals are then sent to the optic nerve, which is finally sent to the brain.

A cataract forms slowly and in time, it will interfere with your vision. You might get cataracts in both eyes, but they rarely form simultaneously.

Older people often develop cataracts. The National Eye Institute reports that more than 50 percent of individuals in the U.S. have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery the moment they turn 80 years old.

Some common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision in the affected eye
  • Frequently needing changes in prescription glasses
  • Halos surrounding lights
  • Increased sensitivity to glare
  • Trouble seeing at night

Some underlying causes of cataracts may include:

  • Certain diseases (e.g., diabetes)
  • The long-term use of steroids and other medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Smoking
  • Trauma
  • Ultraviolet radiation

Don’t wait until your eyesight starts to worsen. Follow a healthy diet today to delay and maybe even reverse your cataracts.

Find more ways of taking care of your eyes naturally at

Sources include:

A Newborn with Thrombocytopenia, Cataracts, and Hepatosplenomegaly

A Newborn with Thrombocytopenia, Cataracts, and Hepatosplenomegaly

How common is the use of the rubella vaccine worldwide?

The acronym TORCH (toxoplasmosis, other [syphilis, varicella, parvovirus B19 infection, HIV infection], rubella, cytomegalovirus infection, and herpes simplex virus infection) is often used to identify possible congenital infections.

Clinical Pearls

Q: What are some of the clinical manifestations of the congenital rubella syndrome?

A: Cataracts, thrombocytopenia, bony abnormalities, and deafness are consistent with the congenital rubella syndrome.

Table 2. (10.1056/NEJMcpc1706110/T2) Manifestations of the Congenital Rubella Syndrome.

Q: How is the congenital rubella syndrome diagnosed?

A: Newborns with the congenital rubella syndrome shed rubella virus in the throat, nasopharynx, and urine. Because growth of the virus in cultured mammalian cell lines is relatively slow and cultivation and identification of the virus are labor-intensive, nucleic acid amplification tests have been developed to directly detect rubella virus RNA in clinical samples.

Morning Report Questions

Q: Can serologic testing also establish the diagnosis of the congenital rubella syndrome?

A: In addition to direct viral detection, evidence of the production of antibodies to rubella virus in an infant can be used to establish a diagnosis of the congenital rubella syndrome. Affected newborns produce IgM antibodies to rubella virus. These antibodies can usually be detected at birth with the use of a capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; the level increases during the first 3 months of life and then declines over time. At birth, tests for IgG antibodies to rubella virus cannot be used to distinguish between transplacentally acquired maternal antibodies and antibodies produced by the neonate. However, another means of establishing a diagnosis of the congenital rubella syndrome is showing that the level of IgG antibodies to rubella virus does not substantially decrease during the first few months of life, as the maternal antibodies decay. Finally, IgG antibodies to rubella virus that are produced by infants with congenital infection are typically of low avidity; therefore, a diagnosis of the congenital rubella syndrome can be established by detecting low-avidity antibodies in the blood after the maternal antibodies have waned.

Q: How common is use of the rubella vaccine worldwide?

A: The estimated number of cases of the congenital rubella syndrome worldwide is still approximately 100,000 per year. Rubella and the congenital rubella syndrome have been eradicated from the Western hemisphere because of good vaccine coverage. Unfortunately, although rubella has been controlled in many countries in Europe, opposition to vaccination in some countries has prevented the elimination of rubella, and there is much work to be done. In contrast, routine vaccination against rubella has just begun in some Asian countries, including India, Thailand, China, Japan, and Indonesia. Coverage in Africa is spotty, but a few countries have introduced the vaccine. In Nigeria, vaccination is limited to private providers, and coverage is less than 10%. There is a campaign to introduce the combined measles–rubella vaccine throughout the world, and all regions have goals to eradicate both diseases.