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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.

People who develop cataracts may wish for a cure so they can avoid surgery, but unfortunately, there are no alternatives to eventually removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.

healthy older couple doing yoga

Cataracts: Management With an Ophthalmologist Is Necessary

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 blind spots, hazy or blurry vision, or less colorful vision. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will diagnose a cataract when they see one forming, which is often well before the spot begins to change your vision.

There are several progressive treatments as the cataract grows larger, starting with changes to your glasses prescription and continuing with management until you cannot see out of that eye and need surgery to replace the lens. Once you develop a cataract, there is nothing you can do to stop it or slow its growth, which can be frustrating.

Of course, you want to keep your vision for as long as possible. This is why many homeopathic, complementary, and “natural” remedies allege to cure cataracts.

Homeopathic Cataract Treatment Can Be 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.

Many homeopathic “remedies” involve mixing chemicals that claim to have certain properties, like alkalinizing or neutralizing benefits, pain easing, and spiritual realignment. These treatments range from the ineffective to the outright dangerous, containing ingredients such as herbs like lavender, poisons like belladonna or arsenic, and chemicals that can interfere with other medications like St. John’s wort.

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 be damaging to 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, ultimately, genetics and environment play the two biggest roles in whether you will develop cataracts or not.

After a cataract forms in your eye, you will need to follow your eye doctor’s advice on management until you need surgery.

Homeopathic Cataract ‘Remedies’ to Watch Out For

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 eyedrops, as drinks, or as poultices, for example), but they are ineffective and can even damage your eyesight further.

For people who are 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. Cataract surgery is invasive, and though it can restore eyesight, surgery can be riskier in older adults.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing cataracts later in life.

Diet, Nutrition & Lifestyle Changes Can Reduce Cataract Risk

Although homeopathic, natural, and complementary treatments for cataracts do not work, you can make some lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Here are some options:

  • Quit smoking since tobacco use is closely linked to cataract development.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption to at least moderate levels.
  • Eat a healthier diet with less sugar and processed foods.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get checked for diabetes, as this chronic health condition increases your risk of developing cataracts.
  • Protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light exposure by wearing UV-protecting sunglasses and hats with brims.

Stick With Your Ophthalmologist’s Plan

Ultimately, once a cataract forms, it cannot be cured. Homeopathic, natural, at-home, and complementary treatments do not work to slow, stop, or reverse cataracts, and they might damage your vision further. The only way to manage a cataract is to visit your eye doctor regularly for checkups to monitor for cataracts. If you are diagnosed with one, follow your ophthalmologist’s advice to treat it over time.

References

  1. What Are Cataracts? (September 2021). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

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

  3. Cataracts (Homeopathy). (October 2012). Kaiser Permanente.

  4. Four Ways to Prevent Cataracts at Any Age. Vision Service Plan (VSP).

Last Updated February 26, 2022

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.