Can Prolonged Use of Contact Lenses Cause Cataracts?
What Is The Best Way to Treat Cataracts?
Can over wearing of contact lenses cause cataracts in the eyes?
Unfortunately I have recently been diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes and am on the waiting list for surgery. Of course we all know how long that could take. Consequently, being very averse to surgeries and pharmaceuticals, I chose to research natural alternatives. Very pleased with the outcome, I decided I would share that research with our readers in hopes that all or some of it will be beneficial to you if or when the same decision arises with you or someone you know.
Sometimes people will notice symptoms such as distorted sight or difficulty driving at night. A visit to your opthamologist will confirm or negate cataracts as the cause. He or she will perform a series of eye tests for this purpose.
- Visual acuity test – this is simply a regular test done by optometrists to ascertain your eye wear prescription.
- Slit-lamp examination – this allows your doctor to see the structures at the front of your eyes under magnification.
- Retinal examination – drops are put into your eyes in order to dilate your pupils. This allows him/her to examine the back of your eyes or retina.
- Applanation tonometry – this measures fluid pressure in your eyes.
What Causes Cataracts?
Usually age related, cataracts often occur after years of stress (overactive adrenal gland) and high-alkaline blood (alkalosis), which will cause a calcium build-up on the eyes, due to the blood being too alkaline. Dr. Eric Berg explains this in the following: video:
Is There Any Way to Reverse Cataracts Without Surgery?
There are several options for cataract removal and the first we will address is surgery. When a new glasses prescription cannot clear your vision it is time to consider this procedure. As cataracts worsen they cause significant visual distortion and, if not treated, blindness.
Prior to surgery your eye doctor will do an ultrasound test in order to take precise measurements of the size and shape of your eye. These will determine the most appropriate type of artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, with which to replace your damaged lens. When accurately positioned, this new lens improves the eyesight, sometimes enough to achieve 20/20 vision.
Cataract surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. A local anaesthetic will be administered in order to numb the area around your eye. Afterwards you will experience some discomfort for a few days but will be healed within a couple of weeks. If, as in my case, surgery is required for both eyes, the procedure will be done in one eye, then the other after the first has healed.
There are different types of IOLs according to your eye situation. Fixed focus monofocal contains a single focus strength for distance vision. In other words, you will still need reading glasses if you still have difficulty with near vision.
Accommodating focus monofocal can switch focus from near to distant objects in response to eye muscle movements. Multifocal contains different focusing strengths and enables clear vision for near, intermediate, and distant objects.
Last but not least is Astigmatism corrective monofocal, which helps to correct astigmatism, thereby further improving vision clarity.
Lifestyle and home remedies are on the rise and are often used before surgery is contemplated. To assist with the symptoms practise the following:
- update your eyeglass or contact lens prescription to the most accurate possible.
- use a magnifying glass if needed for reading.
- improve the lighting in your home and other surroundings.
- wear sunglasses or a broad brimmed hat when going outdoors, as this will reduce glare.
- do not drive at night unless absolutely necessary.
Antioxidants To the Rescue
Antioxidants are a natural defence against cataracts. Lower levels of these in the blood stream cause a higher incidence of cataracts. However, diabetics tend to have higher than normal levels of sugar in the bloodstream and in the lens of the eyes, causing a higher incidence of cataracts.
To prevent cataracts it makes sense to eat garden produce that is rich in antioxidants such as bell peppers, melons, cabbage, potatoes, berries, and citrus fruits (all rich in vitamin C). Ingesting 500 mg of vitamin C daily reduces cataract risk by 64%, as well as helping to lessen the growth of cataracts when already formed. It prevents eye fluids from oxidizing, causing cloudy blurred vision.
Other Things To Prevent Cataracts
- Vitamin B1 (must be fat soluble) penetrates the cell membrane to repair the eye. Benfotiamine, a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 (thiamine), supports healthy blood sugar metabolism and helps encourage the body’s tissues against advanced glycation end products and oxidative stress. See the product we recommend at the bottom of the page.
- NAC (n-acetylcarnosine) drops are also very effective at helping to repair the eye.
- Vitamin E is also necessary, and is found in sweet potatoes and avocados.
- Flavonoids in berries and purple and red colored fruits stop free radical damage.
- Quercetin, a flavonoid, prevents sugars from accumulating in the eyes, thus assisting in the prevention of cataracts. Cabbage and broccoli are full of quercetin, as well as lutein.
- The berries of the bilberry plant boast a lot of anthocyanidins, which are one more free radical fighter. It protects the retina as well as the eye lens. The extract, capsules, or tablets made from these berries are administered daily. 240-480 mg per day can be used, and produce no known side effects.
- Foods rich in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids help to prevent cataracts. These include whole grains, grass fed beef, fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, halibut, and cod. Green tea is excellent as well.
Foods to avoid include soft drinks, alcohol, processed foods, fried foods, and sugary snacks.
Other Eye Drops and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Currently there are several naturopathic ways being lauded to actually reverse cataracts.
1. Antioxidant eye drops – have been tested, approved, and used in Russia for decades to dissolve them. The reversing process is slow but proven and the eye drops are available in the U.S.
2. Glutathione-DMSO eye drops – deliver cataract reversing power directly to the eye lens.
3. Homeopathic eye drops for treating cataracts.
4. Chinese Herbal Medicine formulas which have been administered successfully for thousands of years to combat cataracts and can be obtained in any Chinatown.
5. American Herbal Eye Wash formulas – available by two firms in the U.S. they not only attack cataracts but help with glaucoma and eliminate floaters.
Can Prolonged Use of Contact Lenses Cause Cataracts?
And finally, to our main question: Can over wearing of contact lenses cause cataracts?
Yes, prolonged use of contact lenses can damage the eyes, especially if you have a habit of sleeping in them and not taking proper care of the contact lenses. Cataracts are really something that occur from the inside, where contacts are obviously external to the eye. However, if you sleep wearing contact lenses, it will hinder oxygen, water, proteins, and other nutrients from penetrating the eyes. Additionally, sleeping with contacts in will prevent waste materials being expelled from the eyeballs, which could contribute to the formation of cataracts, over time.
There is a new e-book available entitled Curing Your Own Cataracts, which not only explains the above remedies but goes into depth regarding the drugs and medications to avoid when you have developed cataracts. It is available online.
Hopefully after applying all of the above information to my situation I will avoid cataract surgery altogether but if not I will go into it with more knowledge and confidence. Stay tuned!
Benfotiamine is a fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 (thiamine).
Benfotiamine with thiamine supports healthy blood sugar metabolism and helps encourage the body’s tissues against advanced glycation end products and oxidative stress.
Benfotiamine is more bioavailable than water-soluble thiamine. It can also easily penetrate the inside of cells.
Benfotiamine with Thiamine Benefits
- Supports healthy blood sugar metabolism
- Promotes optimal thiamine levels important for supporting cardiovascular health
- Helps protect against advanced glycation end products
- Provides support against oxidative stress