Shalakya Tantra is the branch of Ayurveda that deals with the study of ears, eyes, nose, and head. Shalakya is the modern-day ENT specialization that involves a cellular level study of the corresponding parts and rectification of diseases associated with them. Ayurveda states that eyes are controlled and regulated by the Pitta Dosha, however, the diseases can be caused by a disturbance in any of the body elements like Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Rakta, etc. In this blog, we will be discovering various types of eye diseases and how Ayurveda resolves them through herbal remedies and natural Panchakarma therapies.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a diabetes side-effect that affects the visual power of the patient. Consistently high blood sugar levels negatively affect the blood flow and permeability of blood vessels in the retina. It weakens their structure and results in leakage whenever the person experiences mild jerks or slightly high blood pressure. Initially, they are just small dot haemorrhages in the retina but as the condition worsens it leads to leakages through macular and retinal blood vessels. It is an uncommon eye disease but can lead to vision loss if left unchecked.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
- Blurred vision
- Gradual loss of vision
- Difficulty in seeing anything at night
- Progressively diminishing vision
Ayurvedic Treatment For Diabetic Retinopathy
Ayurveda looks at it as a vitiation of Kapha, Vata, and pitta dosha. It is brought under control through Herbal medications that reverse the blood clots in the vitreous and retina along with strengthening the metabolic functions to minimize the chances of blood leakage. The patient needs to exercise strict control on sugar intake along with some important Panchakarma treatments like Tharpana, Thakradhara, Nethradhara, and Lepam.
Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that leads to progressive damage in optic nerves and permanent loss of vision in acute cases. The optic nerve is the go-to between the brain and retina. They communicate the signals from both ends and help in the formation of images on the retina and brain. In Glaucoma, the pressure on the optic nerves increases multifold and causes optic atrophy. In severe cases, the optic nerve gets damaged beyond repair.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
- Pain in eyeballs along with headache
- Increased I.O.P.
- Vision loss in advanced stages leads to damage in optic nerves.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Glaucoma
Just like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma is the result of vitiation in all three basic doshas of the human body: Vata, pitta, and Kapha. Ayurvedic medicines clear the obstructions in the aqueous fluid of the eyes to maintain normal pressure levels. Alongside, these medicines also strengthen the optic nerve and restore vision within permitted limitations. If the disease has already progressed before the initiation of treatment, vision recovery is impossible. The treatment must be started at the earliest. Panchakarma therapies like Anjana, Thakradhara, Virechana, Nethradhara, Nasya, and Aschotanam are highly recommended for complete and permanent relief.
Macular degeneration is an old age-related eye disease that usually happens in the later years of human life. Under this disease, the person experiences vision loss in the centre of the visual field due to severe damage to the retina. It can occur in both dry and wet forms. This eye disease is one of the major reasons for visual impairment in elderly people. It starts with specific yellow deposits in the macula and doesn’t affect vision severely. But when the problem reaches the advanced stage, the risk of losing vision goes higher as the number of deposits goes higher. The atrophy in the retinal pigments leads to vision loss in the centre part of the eye.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
- Blurry vision
- Central scotomas
- Distorted vision
- Colour confusions
- Slow restoration of normal vision after exposure to any kind of bright light.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Macular Degeneration
Ayurveda considers Macular Degeneration as a vitiation of pitta and Vata doshas. This eye disease has two types: dry and wet. The dry kind of macular degeneration is a Vata dosha disturbance while the wet type of macular degeneration is pitta and Vata dosha. Therefore, the Ayurvedic treatment for Macular Degeneration also differs according to its type.
Ayurvedic medicines and treatments have proved their effectiveness in controlling progressive degeneration in most cases. Alongside, the rejuvenating medicines strengthen the retina and help in improving vision. Both kinds of macular degeneration treatments include Panchakarma therapies like Virechana, Lepam, Tharpana, Thalam, Shirodhara, and Thakradhara.
‘Refractive errors’ is the term used for various types of eye diseases that can be rectified with refractive corrections. The list includes several common problems like myopia, astigmatism, hypermetropia, etc. The solution for such problems can easily be resolved with contact lenses or glasses. But Ayurveda has a slightly different and more effective approach to these common eye diseases.
It normally occurs in earlier years and leads to blurry and distant vision. The normal age group affected by it is 8-19 years.
Symptoms of Myopia
- Watering of eyes
- Irregular headaches
- Blurry Vision
Astigmatism is caused by the uneven shape of the cornea and results in uneven refraction that leads to distorted or blurred vision. Normally, the cornea is round in shape but astigmatism disturbs the shape of the cornea and leads to additional eye strain, blurry vision, distorted vision, headaches, and problems in seeing anything at night. Glasses and contact lenses
This eye disease complicates the normal visual activity of the patient. When a person is able to see distant objects clearly but not those that are close by, he or she suffers from hypermetropia. It can happen to anyone at any age. The defective refraction starts forming images behind the retina and leads to headaches, eye strain, eye-watering, and difficulty in seeing near objects.
It is an eye disease related to age and disturbs the ability to focus on nearby objects. It happens due to the hardening of the lens and poor accommodation power. The symptoms include watering of eyes, difficulty in seeing nearby objects, eye strain, headache, etc.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Refractive Errors
Ayurveda states that human eyes aren’t fit to take additional stress. But the IT-based lifestyle, high exposure to TV forces people to place unwanted stress on their eyes. It is one of the major reasons behind most eye diseases related to refractive errors. Ayurveda offers rejuvenating medicines that reduce the effect of stressful habits and strengthen eye muscles, increase elasticity of the lens, and rectify the refractive errors. But there are certain limitations to these medications as they are completely natural and work on elimination of the root cause of the problem.
The patient needs to avoid a stressful lifestyle as long as the treatment goes. Alongside, the patient also needs to practice eye exercises and eat healthy food. Ayurvedic procedures mostly help in correcting refractive errors in patients ageing between 5-13 years. It is possible to reverse the change before it becomes permanent after puberty. Hence, early diagnosis leads to lesser damage, reduced eye stress, and better vision.
The treatment process also includes several Panchakarma therapies like Tharpanam, Nasya, Aschotanam, Nethradhara, and Anjana.
The cataract is one of the prime reasons for blindness in elderly people around the world. A person has a cataract when the opacity of their lens fibres change from crystalline to opaque which blocks vision. There are several reasons for it. It is necessary to get this eye disease rectified on time otherwise it may lead to blindness.
Symptoms of Cataract
- Hazy vision
- Occasional watering of eyes
- The person may develop glaucoma if the cataract isn’t handled properly.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Cataract
Ayurveda states that cataract is caused by vitiation of all the three doshas. Ayurveda describes a very detailed clinical examination to confirm cataracts. It believes that a cataract can be reversed if it is confirmed in the initial stage. The clinical conditions and complications need lifestyle modifications and healthy food habits along with medical treatment. Ayurvedic therapies like Anjana, Virechana, and Aschotana prevent the progress of disease and increase vision to a certain extent.
Dry eyes or keratitis is one of the most common eye diseases caused by present-day addiction to screens. It is caused by insufficient moisture in the eyes’ surface. Constant staring at the screen causes a decrease in tears production in both quality and quantity. This causes irritation, dryness, and reddening of the eyes.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
- Constant feeling of burning sensation
- Persistent dryness
- An urge to scratch the eyes all the time
- Occasional pain in the eyes
- Increased sensitivity to the light
Ayurvedic Treatment For Dry Eyes
Ayurveda treats dry eyes in a completely different way. Eyes are known to be regulated by the Pitta dosha that can be pacified with ample use of ghee. Doctors will use Triphala ghee to cure several eye diseases including dry eye syndrome. Ghee is the ultimate moisturizer with infinite nutrients and qualities. It can easily regulate tear glands and restore the lost moisture balance of the eyes. However, you must visit a doctor before applying any DIY methods all by yourself.
Keratoconus is an unusual eye disease that turns the usual dome-like cornea into cone-like bulges. The cornea is the light receptor of our eyes and plays a key role in seeing things clearly. Keratoconus changes the shape of your cornea and distorts the vision.
It can complicate several normal activities like watching television, reading, typing over a computer, and driving. The worst part is, that, unlike other eye diseases, it affects both the eyes at once. The disease leads to progressive degeneration of the cornea and results in thinning of the central part of this organ.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Keratoconus
It is an unusual type of eye disease. Ayurveda considers keratoconus as a result of Vata dosha vitiation. It is the site of Vata dosha and the disturbance changes the cornea shape reducing its density from the centre. Ayurvedic treatment arrests the degeneration of the corneal cells and places a check on the symptoms. Panchakarma treatments like Shirodhara, Pindi, Nethradhara, Aschotanam, Nethradhara, and Tharpanam are used to treat the condition. It is one of the simplest and most natural treatment options that can restore the lost health of your cornea without any chemicals or surgical processes.
Eye allergies are the overreaction of our immune system to seemingly non-harmful objects. In the case of eyes, it can be dust particles, pollens, perfumes, pollutants or certain chemicals that otherwise don’t affect normal people. Ayurveda considers eye allergies as a curable eye disease.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Eye Allergies
Ayurveda correlates eye allergies as Vataja and kaphaja related eye disease. It is characterized by pricking pain, foreign body sensation, mild chemosis and watery discharge. Panchakarma therapies and some herbal medications can eradicate this eye disease permanently. Most patients get relief from vamana and virechana that pacify the allergy-causing doshas. Pindi, Nethradhara, and Swedan are some of the other therapies that really help in relieving the symptoms.
Conjunctivitis is one of the most commonly occurring eye disease names in India. Conjunctivitis is a kind of eye infection caused by the inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the eyeball). It is caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the eye membrane and causes a lot of watering and irritation in the eyes.
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
- Burning sensation
- Blurry vision
- Constant watering
- Sensitivity to the light
- Gritty sensation
- Sticky discharge from the eyes that leads to mucus formation
- Redness in the eyes
Ayurvedic Treatment of Conjunctivitis
Ayurveda can cure conjunctivitis permanently. It works on the cause leading to repetitive infections and eliminates it. Herbal medications and Panchakarma therapies are used to cure the root cause of the disease. Alongside, the patient also needs to adopt some long term diet and lifestyle changes.
Bell’s Palsy is a complicated eye disease caused by partial paralysis of facial muscles. It is caused by vitiation of Vata dosha in the body. Excess consumption of refrigerated food, stress and disturbed unhealthy lifestyle are some of the common causes of Bell’s Palsy. Sometimes, it is also the result of some strong medications for severe viral infections like herpes.
Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy
- Mild weakness
- Taste difference
- Inability to close or open mouth voluntarily.
- Difficulty in smiling or closing of the eyes.
- Excessive salivation.
- Pain in the jaw or behind the ear.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Bell’s Palsy
Ayurvedic medicines, Panchakarma therapies, medicated massages, diet and lifestyle changes are used together to treat Bell’s Palsy. The basic idea is to remove the Vata Dosha vitiation and toxins causing the paralysis of facial muscles. The patients also need to practice Yoga regularly to regain control over their nerves and muscles. These changes can help in permanent relief from the problem and allow the patient to lead a normal life without any complications.