The common term which is used to define amblyopia is lazy eye. It is commonly understood less vision in one eye because of improper co ordination of eye and brain. There is no structural defect in eye. The eye is used normally because of the favor given to other eye by the brain.
Causes Of Amblyopia
- There can be any reason that prevents one eye from focusing clearly.
- Amblyopia can result because of less functioning of eye muscles of one eye resulting in strabismus (squint).
- It can also result because of differences in refractive errors of both eyes. It means one eye is normal and other is highly myopic or hypermetropic.
Symptoms Of Amblyopia
- Decreased vision in one eye not corrected with power glass.
- Squint is generally associated with decreased vision.
- Sometimes patient complains of headache or eye pain.
Do's And Dont's
- Adopt healthy eating habits. Take more of vegetables and fruits including spinach, carrots, broccoli, papaya, grapes, amla and almonds.
- Avoid junk food and fast food.
- Minimize use of screen of tv, computer, mobile with both eyes.
- Increase the use of clarified butter (pure ghee) in diet.
- Using one drop of honey in the affected eye is good in daily morning.
- Take 2 or 4 drops of clarified butter over the finger tips and do mild massage over the closed eye lids.
- Wash the eye with decoction made from triphala. The decoction should be filtered with cotton.
- Put 2 drops of cow ghee in each eye at bed time.
Ayurvedic View Point
Increased vata dosha results in defect of dhatus. Hence dhatus (eye tissue) are either under developed or over developed resulting in reduced power of focusing of one eye. This phenomenon generally occurs during pregnancy or in early childhood age. The target of treatment is to balance the vata dosha and hence dhatu poshan resulting in normal function of eye. Balanced diet, eye exercise, Ayurvedic medicine and netra kriya kalpas (tharpana etc) are potent enough to correct this pathology resulting in improved vision.
Treatment of amblyopia in children
- Patching exercise - As described earlier, eye muscles of one eye are not in proper co ordination with the brain. Hence the normal eye is patched is patched or closed to increase the signals between the weak eye and brain. This results in improved vision gradually.
- Ayurveda medicines - there are herbal formulations that increases the signal intensity between the weak eye and the brain. Treatment duration of minimum of six month to a mximum of one or two year is required to improve the vision along with Ayurveda medicines. There are a couple of Ayurveda therapies (Netra kriya kalpas) that can enhance the speed of improvement. For these therapis, patient has to be hospitalized for duration of 2-3 weeks under the supervision of an Ayurveda eye specialist. There are very good chance of improvements if a child is diagnosed in early stage.
Treatment of Amblyopia in adults
Although the best results for the Ayurvedic treatment of amblyopia (lazy eye) are seen in the early stage of development, the chances of improvement in adults cannot be denied if a 360 degree approach is adopted. Still a confirmed treatment of amblyopia in adults is a subject of research.