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A cataract is an eye disease in which the clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy causing decrease in vision. It is a common disease and most cataracts are a result of the aging process. In the development of age-related cataract, the power of the lens may be increased, causing near-sightedness (myopia). Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss and are potentially blinding if untreated. It usually affects both eyes but one of the eyes is always affected earlier than the other.
The lens of the eye is chiefly constituted of water and proteins. The protein is arranged in a specific way that keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through it to focus a clear image on to the retinal surface. As we age, some of the protein binds together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is how age-related cataract is caused. Over time, the cataract may become more dense or cloud more of the lens making it more difficult to see. However, it should be noted that cataract is not a growth or tumor.
There are many causes of non age-related cataracts or secondary cataracts. Secondary cataracts are a result of similar changes to the protein of the lens, also resulting in visual blurring or visual loss. This is also due to injury to the eye, eye surgery for other eye conditions, and exposure to ionizing, infrared and ultraviolet radiations.
In Ayurveda this disease is called timira or linga nasha. Aggravated vata is considered to be responsible for the manifestation of this disease. One of the properties of vata is to make things dry up. When the lens of the eye loses its transparency, vision becomes blocked. This condition is known as a cataract.
If treated at an early stage, Ayurvedic treatment is very effective in cataract. During Ayurvedic treatment the aim is to alleviate the aggravated body energies and nourishing and strengthen the nerves and tissues of the eye.