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Natural Remedies to Cataracts: Do These Actually Work?

Homeopathic, natural, complementary, or at-home cataract “cures” or “treatments” do not work. They can put you at risk of damaging your vision.

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People who develop cataracts may wish for a cure to avoid surgery. Unfortunately, there are no effective homeopathic alternatives to surgery.

If you have cataracts, they can be cured with a surgery that replaces your clouded lens with a new, artificial version. 

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a common eye disease in older adults, as proteins in the lens of your eye begin to break down.

You are not likely to notice cataracts until they have grown for several years, leading to significant vision changes, including the following:

  • Blind spots
  • Hazy or blurry vision
  • Less colorful vision

Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will diagnose a cataract when they see one forming, often well before the spot changes your vision.

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Homeopathic Cataract Treatments Can Be Dangerous

Many homeopathic “remedies” involve mixing chemicals that claim to have certain properties. These treatments range from the ineffective to the outright dangerous.

Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a system of alternative treatments predominantly developed in Germany about 200 years ago. It borrows concepts from other cultures’ medical traditions, like ayurvedic medicine from India or energy work from Chinese medicine.

Some remedies contain ingredients such as herbs like lavender, poisons like belladonna or arsenic, and chemicals that can interfere with other medications like St. John’s wort.

No Scientific Evidence

There is no scientific evidence that homeopathic treatments work. While some complementary or integrative health treatments can support allopathic or traditional Western medical treatments (like providing massage to those undergoing cancer treatment, for example), using only homeopathic and “natural” remedies can damage your health.

There is no cure for cataracts that can stop their progression once they form, so homeopathic, natural, and complementary treatments do not work. While you can take some steps to reduce your risk of developing cataracts, genetics and environment play the two biggest roles in whether you will develop cataracts or not.

Homeopathic Remedies to Watch Out For

For people at higher risk of developing cataracts, it can be frustrating to learn that there are no methods for slowing or reversing cataracts once they form. Purported homeopathic cataract remedies include the following:

  • Calcarea carbonica
  • Calcarea fluorica
  • Causticum
  • Silicea or silica
  • Natrum muriaticum
  • Phosphorous

These treatments might be applied in different ways (as eye drops, drinks, or poultices, for example), but they are ineffective and can even further damage your eyesight.

Can Cataracts Be Cured?

Surgery is the only approved way to treat cataracts. After surgery, about 95% of people have improved visual acuity. 

During cataract surgery, your doctor removes a lens clouded by age. That damaged piece is replaced with a synthetic version that’s clear. Since it’s synthetic, this lens won’t break down like your natural lens did. 

After surgery, your cataract is considered cured and it will not come back. 

Diet, Nutrition & Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Risk 

Although homeopathic, natural, and complementary cataract treatments do not work, some lifestyle changes may reduce your risk of developing cataracts. 

Here are some options:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun.
  • Limit your use of steroids.
  • Eat eye-healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. 
  • Protect your eyes from injury while you’re participating in sports or using power tools. 

Stick With Your Ophthalmologist’s Plan 

Your doctor will create a plan to monitor and treat your cataracts. If you’re at risk of developing cataracts, your doctor may help to mitigate your risks too. Follow those instructions carefully. 

Homeopathic, natural, at-home, and complementary treatments do not work to slow, stop, or reverse cataracts. They might further damage your vision. 

Don’t use these approaches without talking to your doctor first. Chances are that your doctor won’t recommend them at all. 

References

  1. What Are Cataracts? (September 2022). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

  2. Homeopathy: What You Need to Know. (April 2021). National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

  3. Cataract Surgery. (July 2023). StatPearls.

  4. Cataracts. (August 2023). National Eye Institute.

Last Updated October 6, 2023

Note: This page should not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice from a doctor or specialist. Please review our about page for more information.

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