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Cataract

What and Why?

The lens in each of your eyes lies immediately behind its pupil, the dark circle of variable size in the middle of the iris, which is a colourful shutter of muscle. If it is transparent as it should be, your pupil will appear pink in a flash photograph with you looking at the camera. Cataract, which is frosting over of your lens, diminishes this pinkness and eventually changes it to a dense white.

The function of your eyes makes contradictory structural demands that would baffle the cleverest engineer. They require precise construction, with perfectly transparent and elastic corneal skin and lenses that must be able to bounce back to exactly the same shape without permanent harm after considerable and repeated deformation, over many years. The transparent parts must resist degeneration by ultra-violet sunlight, but manage without the brisk circulation otherwise desirable for this purpose — blood vessels would spoil their transparency.

So your lenses, like your joints, put up with indirect nourishment and drainage, conveyed with the watery fluid that circulates through the front part of your eye. This fluid arises from small arteries on the front of your iris (the coloured part of your eye) and drains into veins arranged all round the lens, amongst the muscles that hold it in place. This watery fluid flows slowly around your iris through your pupil (the dark hole in its centre), and only comes into contact with the front surface of your lens. But changes of its shape (to enable you to focus near or far) help to wring spent fluid out of it and let fresh air and nourishment in. Nevertheless, its metabolism is restricted to a low level, and it is very susceptible to the same jelly-like and crystalline deposits of waste acids that cause rheumatism and arthritis.

Your lenses are therefore liable to degenerate in response to the same dietary factors which set off this crystallization in other parts of your body — heavy meat consumption in particular. But their exposure to sunlight makes them particularly liable to free radical damage, which not only stiffens their substance directly but promotes crystallization of any dissolved materials concentrated there — waste acids in particular. This only increases the degenerative tendency which shows as stiffening of the lens, irregularity of its surfaces, and loss of transparency.

All this was known by natural healers a century ago, but has been utterly rejected in favour of the exclusive use of surgery to remove the lens once it is past repair. Degeneration to that point is regarded as inevitable once it has started — so much so that cataract was recently chosen as a fair test of the effectiveness of spiritual healing.

Eye surgery is a brilliant success, but expensive and imperfect. It is as foolhardy to discard simple eye hygiene in its favour as to stop washing cars, just because neglected bolt-on bodywork can so easily be replaced!

 

What can I do?

1. If the optician or your doctor notices that you have cataract or confirms your own suspicions, take remedial steps even though the changes do not yet seriously affect your vision. You should be able to stop further deterioration and may even manage to heal the damage you have already. Your main aims are to improve nutrition and cleansing, to stimulate your eye circulation, and to prevent further damage by ultra-violet exposure.

2. Start with a cleansing diet to reduce drastically your protein and fat intake. After the first month you can temper this to the diet for health (see the Diet Based on Vegetables; Food For Health is more liberal).

3. Supplement this with free radical scavengers — food-state or bionatured Vitamin C 250mg, food-state or bionatured Selenium 100microgm and food-state or bionatured Vitamin E 200IU daily — to protect your eyes from ultra-violet damage. Additional food-state or bionatured Zinc 15mg and Manganese 20mg, with one Vitamin B Complex daily, make good the deficiencies common in cataract that can prevent recovery. replete can supply these.

4. Bathe your eyes frequently and thoroughly in cool water containing a little sea salt, or use tea made of Aloe Vera or Rue. You need to open your eyes under the water and roll them through all directions of gaze, to expose every part. Repeat this four to six times daily for a minute or two.

In addition, make a point of focusing your eyes several times in and out, from near to far, during the day. This helps to keep the lenses soft and their controlling muscles toned.

5. To encourage the circulation of fluid in the front of your eye, follow this bath twice daily with a strong shower jet of cold water directly at the lightly closed lids of each eye in turn, until your eyeball just begins to ache with the cold. Then massage it firmly for one minute through your closed eyelids with the tips of two fingers, making a brisk vibratory or trembling movement. Finish with a few firm rubbing strokes across the eye from the inside corner, then in the opposite direction, moving your upper lid under the stroking finger. Repeat the entire sequence on the other eye. Do not be afraid of damaging them — eyes are a lot tougher than most people think.

6. If you wear sunglasses, make sure that they cut out ultra-violet light. Otherwise they widen your pupils to admit even more ultra-violet than usual, doing more harm than good. If they tint everything on the brown, red or yellow side, they are probably satisfactory; British Standard 2724/1987 is a reliable guarantee; products up to this standard are not necessarily more expensive. You may need to consult the salesman or an optician about non Standard products that are blue or black. If you are unsure of your present glasses, use an opaque eye-shade or broad brimmed shady hat as well or instead.

7. Never use a sun-bed or ultra-violet lamp without full eye protection.

8. If surgery is after all recommended and you decide to accept, prepare for it carefully and continue these measures fully up to the operation date — they will help ensure the best possible recovery and result.

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