The main lens in the human eye is normally transparent and almost a perfect lens; one of its main functions is in the refraction of light rays onto the screen like organ within the eye called the retina, this property of the lens allows us to see normally, this particular property of the lens is also the physical reason which allows to form a clear image in our brain and thus we can be said to posses vision, 20/20 or otherwise, due to a variety of when the proteins in the lens break down, they clump together and form opaque spots called cataracts. These spots hinder light from being transmitted properly to the retina, and vision becomes blurry, cloudy. The degree of debilitated vision depends on the size of cataracts, location on the lens, and density.
The unfortunate formation of cataracts starts and can develop not only as a result of age-related physical and chemical changes, but also new research shows that most of cases can be ascribed to the detrimental effects of smoking and in other cases to a life spent in daily exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sunlight. There is also a belief that antioxidants low level within the body (selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamins E and C) may contribute to and also could be an element in the early onset of cataracts in the lens. Free radicals are responsible for much damage to the body's proteins and if there is a good ratio of anti-oxidants to free radicals in the body, then these constituents can eliminate free radicals - which are essentially unstable oxygen molecules-that can damage the proteins in the lens. Within the lens itself and in all normal lenses, the lens itself has a viable accumulation of glutathione, which is an effective and powerful antioxidant brought out by our body for its defense. The lens may be affected in cases where glutathione levels fall off, additionally being overweight or having diabetes increases the risk of cataract formation in middle age, because of this very reason is the leading cause of blindness in many people who are diabetic, the reason being that very high sugar level (glucose) in our blood add to the destruction of proteins in the lens, cataracts form and blindness results.
Supplements and herbs
One of the best way to fortify oneself against the risk of cataract formation in later age, is to use herbal based supplements because it has been shown along with a healthy lifestyle that the intake of supplements, both mineral and herbal before a disease comes may slow down development of cataracts or prevent it. If cataract formation is in the very beginning effective and daily utilization of supplements in the diet may retard its growth and prevent it from becoming unmanageable. Once formed, however, cataracts can only be physically removed through surgery and that too is effective only in the early stages. Most vitamins make good dietary supplements and both vitamin C and vitamin E, can act and are considered potent antioxidants in the fight against free radicals, they may also protect the lens from damage sustained from cigarette smoke and over exposure to UV light. The mineral selenium, is another antioxidant, which can also help in the neutralization of free radicals within the body. Herbal based supplements and essences are also extremely effective as preventive measures, for example the herb bilberry is rich in flavonoids, these compounds are known to prevent the degeneration of the lens and the retina. One recent and new study indicates that, bilberry combined with the vitamin E may have stopped the progression of cataract formation in the lens in 48 of 50 participants in the study.
Indeed a combination of supplements, both herb based and mineral usually provides adequate cataract protection; there are other herbs that however have been shown to be equally effective in prevention of cataracts, the following nutrients are known to be good bets: a good example is the herbal wonder root called ginkgo biloba, that is known to improve circulation within the body and has a strong antioxidant effect, ginkgo biloba can also be used as a substitute for bilberry, if the former is unavailable. The herb ginkgo is a good choice for people who are already using it to aid in memory problems as it also helps minimize antioxidants in the body. Naturally occurring substances in the body such as alpha-lipoic acid have shown promise as a cataract busters and these substances are also known to boosts the effectiveness of other minerals and supplements vitamins C and E. In fact grape seed extract can have a therapeutic impact on even the most miniscule of blood vessels, and since it aids in the blood and fluid circulation in the eyes it is also considered a good choice as a herbal preventive remedy. One can also consider mixing flaxseed oil the diet as; it is known to be rich in the essential fatty acids which help nourish the eye's. The B-complex vitamin, riboflavin (vitamin B2) is also considered an important supplement and it is good preventive practice to take a multivitamin dosage in the diet or a B-complex supplement that contains all the necessary types of B vitamins.
Some of the herbal remedies listed below have been proven and are effective in a large number of preventive cases of cataract formation in the eye's, some of them are given here to present a few of the possibilities homeopathy as a system of holistic healing can offer. This list is not a suggestion for self-healing however. In a holistic sense a constitutional remedy chosen and administered by an experienced person is the best and most effective way to aid a person with a chronic condition which might still be mitigated in some way.
Additional things you may do
Wear sunglasses and a hat when outdoors. Protect your eyes from UV rays. Stop smoking. Eat lot of fresh vegetables and fruits; they are great sources of antioxidants.
Other beneficial herbs