Cataract Surgery Alternative: The Holistic Approach
Has anyone experienced going to an ophthamologist and being told, “wait until the cataract grows bigger -- that’s when it’s the best time to operate”. Did you believe that, eh?
Actually, translated this means “wait until it’s big enough for me to operate on and get the $4,000 - $5,000. now being charged for each eye”. Not having health insurance at the time, this writer was quoted a grand total of $10,000 for forming cataracts in both eyes.
What he/she should have said was, “yes, you can get operated on but there are other alternatives to stop the cataracts from growing and perhaps even reverse some loss of vision”. According to many leading eye specialists, today there is an alternative to cataract surgery and it is called the holistic approach.
Today, cataract surgery is the bread and butter of many ophthalmologists. It is Medicare’s #1 expense to the tune of over 1.5 million surgeries done annually at $3.4 billion including other cataract associated expenses.
It is estimated that over sixty percent of persons qualifying for Medicare initially already had early stages of a cataract. Moreover, the vast majority could have been stopped had the holistic approach been applied early enough. (1)
Essentially, cataract surgery is the removal of eye lens and its replacement by an artificial lens, (IOL). This is done when the cataract becomes dense enough and bothersome enough to persons. It is much like replacing a window when the glass has become dirty. Why not simply spray the glass with Windex or white vinegar and clean it enabling a person to see through it once again?
The Holistic Approach
Among the many factors which effect vision/cataract development are: improper nutrition, age, medications, toxins, lifestyle, sunlight exposure, hypertension, kidney disease, chronic prolonged stress, diabetes or even trauma to the eye.
Therefore, if the above list is left unchecked and unaddressed, many times re-formation of the cataract is inevitable -- surgery or no surgery. Further treatment will be necessary.
However, today there is a growing rank of physicians, researchers, scientists and nutritionists acquiring a proactive, holistic view of cataract prevention, treatment and in some cases, even reversal. This holistic approach includes awareness of risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and intense sunlight. Also included is recognizing the need for a proper eating regime, exercise and high dosage nutritional supplements for the eye.
One such case was addressed in the February, 1988 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. It was reported that persons taking both high dosages of vitamin E and vitamin C have an eighty six percent reduced risk for cataract development. Another Australian study showed persons taking vitamin E alone reduced the risk of developing a cataract by fifty six percent.
However, vitamins E and C do not make up the holistic approach singularly. Free radicals, prime presumed causes of cataracts, need not only vitamins to be neutralized, but also the zinc enzyme. Also needed are glutathione, riboflavin and niacin (two B complex vitamins) and several other natural elements such as lutein and bilberry extract. Unfortunately, the greater research has been undertaken by studying vitamins and minerals individually; however, not in combination. (2) The consensus now is that it takes all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes working together to initiate a potent enough reversal of cataracts. Hence, a holistic approach.
Yes, there is a holistic approach to addressing the issue of cataract surgery but that is for individual persons to search out for themselves. Careful researching, choosing wisely and especially praying may open the path to better eye health.
Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez