Cataract and Eye Exercises
by Dr. Merrill J. Allen, Dr. Steven M. Beresford, Dr. Francis A. Young.
CATARACT SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The eye’s inner lens is a capsule of transparent living cells filled with a core consisting of a different type of transparent living cells. When core cells die, the debris blocks light from passing through the lens and the result is called a cataract. A cataract is not a growth or tumor, but is the accumulation of cellular debris and usually takes the form of clumps of dead cells inside the lens.
At first the clumps of dead cells are not noticeable but as more cells die, the clumps become bigger until vision is impaired. Cataract can occur in one or both eyes. It is not contagious and doesn’t spread from eye to eye. Cataracts can start forming in middle age but usually don’t become a serious problem until many years later. Typical symptoms include:
COMMON CAUSES OF CATARACT
There are three major types of cataract. It can start in the center of the lens and spread outward (nuclear cataract), or it can start at the edge of the lens and spread inward (cortical cataract), or it can start at the back of the lens and spread forward (subcapsular cataract).
Most cataracts are associated with the aging process and are known as ‘age-related’ cataracts. Cataracts can be caused by poor nutrition, by surgery for diseases such as glaucoma, by diseases such as diabetes, or by prescription drugs such as steroids. Corrective lenses have also been shown to be a risk factor. Cataracts can also result from ultraviolet, infrared, or atomic radiation.
COMMON TREATMENT OF CATARACT
In its early stages, poor vision from cataract can often be improved with spectacles or anti-glare sunglasses. If these don’t help, surgery is the usual method of treatment but should only be performed when vision loss interferes with normal activities. It’s important to note that delaying cataract surgery will usually not cause long-term damage to the eyes, so you don’t have to rush into surgery if your eye doctor says you have a cataract.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations performed in the USA and consists of removing the core of the inner lens from the capsule and replacing it with a plastic lens. The doctor makes an incision in the side of the cornea and breaks up the core with ultrasound waves then sucks it out with a tube, or removes it in one piece. The doctor then inserts the plastic lens into the empty capsule so it becomes a permanent part of the eye.
Cataract surgery is mostly done with local anesthetic and patients usually go home the same day. Although cataract surgery is quite safe, there are risks and complications, the most common of which is that the back of the capsule becomes cloudy after a few months. This is treated with a ‘YAG’ laser, which burns a hole in the capsule that allows light to pass through.
Eye drops are now available containing a substance known as n-acetyl-carnosine that has been shown in clinical studies to dissolve cataracts over a period of several months. There is also research showing that taking a good anti-oxidant and vitamin supplement can delay cataract formation. Other eye drops containing the herb “cineraria maritima” are claimed to reverse cataract.
CATARACT AND EYE EXERCISES
Eye exercises are not supposed to reverse cataracts so it came as a great surprise when we received reports that our exercises were doing exactly that. Dr. Beresford explains:
“In 1982, I received a report from a 78 year old lady who used our exercises to pass her driving test, saying that her cataract had dissolved and she no longer needed surgery.
At first, we couldn’t figure out how eye exercises could have an effect on cataracts. Later, as more information about the biomechanics of the eyes became available, we formulated a new theory of how eye exercises may improve diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.”
NEW THEORY OF CATARACT FORMATION
The inner lens contains no blood vessels because they would block light and cast shadows on the retina. For this reason, all nutrients must enter the lens from the surrounding fluids by means of diffusion. The same holds true for cellular waste products, which exit the inner lens by means of diffusion.
When we are young, there’s plenty of movement in the surrounding fluids due to the expansion and contraction of the ciliary muscle and inner lens as it changes focus, and as the iris expands and contracts in response to the amount of light. The result is a ‘breathing’ action in which nutrients actively enter the inner lens and cellular waste products are actively expelled, rather similar to the way the lungs inhale and exhale air.
The problem arises as we grow older and develop presbyopia. Like all other bodily tissues, the eye tissues decline with age. The inner lens loses its flexibility, the eye muscles lose their power, the circulation of nutrients inside the eye decreases, and the eye starts to become ‘stiff’ and unhealthy.
Instead of using therapeutic eye exercises to restore flexibility and focusing power, the usual treatment is corrective lenses. Unfortunately, these seem to inhibit the action of the ciliary muscle and make the inner lens even stiffer and less active.
As a result, the ciliary muscle and inner lens don’t expand or contract properly, so the surrounding fluids become stagnant. This creates a zone of stagnant fluid around the inner lens that acts as a barrier to diffusion, preventing nutrients from reaching the inner lens and waste products from leaving. As a result, the inner lens becomes starved of nutrients and waste products accumulate, killing the cells and forming a cataract.
NATURAL THERAPY FOR CATARACT
Our theory provides a simple explanation of cataract formation at a biomechanical level. It also explains why cataracts don’t form in the cornea, which is subject to the same risk factors as cataract but lacks the stagnation zone that surrounds the inner lens.
Our theory also shows how therapeutic eye exercises may exert a beneficial effect. By improving the movement of fluids and breaking up the stagnation zone around the inner lens, the exercises improve the entry of nutrients and elimination of waste products, while also flushing out cellular debris and dissolving the cataract.
We must mention that although we have helped a limited number of patients dissolve their cataracts, no large scale clinical studies have been performed. So if you decide to do the therapy, you should do it under the supervision of your eye doctor. Here’s what we suggest:
Use N-acetyl-carnosine eye drops and take an “eye vitamin”. The essential thing is to exercise your eyes using the Power Vision Program to improve the circulation of fluids inside the eyes. That’s all there is to it. Small cataracts can sometimes be completely dissolved whereas mature cataracts can be significantly improved but not completely eliminated. The usual time needed is a few months.