Eye Disorders

Dry Eye Syndrome

Description

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that results from reduced tear production or excessive tear evaporation, or an abnormality in the production of mucus or lipids normally found in the tear layer, or a combination of these. If blinking is decreased or if the eyelids cannot be closed, the eyes may dry out leading to dry eye.

An inflammation on the surface of the eye may occur if left untreated leading to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and loss of vision. Dry eye can decrease the tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an aeroplane, and also can make it more difficult to perform some activities. In the recent years, it is more seen as a lifestyle disorder.

Ayurveda treatment for Dry eye syndrome:

In Ayurveda, it is correlated to Shushkaakshi Paka. Ashru – Tear, is one among the non-suppressible urges, and suppression of tears leads to running nose – rhinitis, pain and discomfort in eyes, dizziness.

As said in Ayurveda overuse, complete restraint or abuse of any organ leads to diseases, Overuse/abuse (Ati / Mithya yoga) of eye as in case of inadequate sleep, staring at the screens / bright light/light flashes for a long time causes increase of Vata in Pitta Sthana – Eye

Dry eye syndrome could also involve the metabolic system where there is an increase in Vata and Pitta, which dries up the protective Kapha principle in the body.

Causes

  • The diminished flow of tears blocks in the tear duct / reduced secretion.
  • Infrequent blinking of the eyes, associated with staring at computer or video screens / Bell’s palsy
  • As symptoms in bell’s palsy, Stroke, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Allergies,
  • Excessive smoking and high intake of alcohol
  • Lack of inadequate sleep
  • Living in dry, dusty, windy, and hot climate, or over-exposure to pollution, air conditions, dry heating systems
  • Chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva
  • Chemical and thermal burns that scar the membrane lining the eyelids and conjunctiva

Signs and Symptoms

  • Persistent dryness, gritty/scratchy feeling – a feeling of foreign body in the eyes
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Episodes of blurred vision
  • Decreased tolerance of any activity that requires sustained visual attention/exposure to bright light
  • Scratching and burning sensation of eyes
  • Fatigue in the eyes
  • Irritation and redness in the eyes

These symptoms worsen in dry or windy climates and with higher temperatures and lower humidity. Symptoms may also become worse with prolonged use of the eyes as in long reading and watching TV, working on PC and at the end of the day.

Ayurveda treatment for dry eye syndrome:

Line of treatment:

  • Correction of digestion and balancing the doshas.
  • Correction of Vata in the Pitta Sthana (Eyes)

Treatments:

  • The treatment modalities include panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, Advice of food and lifestyle changes.
  • Panchakarma – Depending on the cause, if there is an involvement in the metabolism and chronic condition then – Virechana followed by Nasya
  • No involvement in metabolism, if it is overuse / abuse then Nasya

External Therapies

  • Ashtothana, Seka, Anjana
  • Netra Tarpana
  • Abhyanga, Pada Abhyanga
  • Shiro Dhara, Shiro Basti, Shiro Pichu
  • Internally – Medicated ghee

Activities:

  • Specific Yoga Asanas, Panayamas, Eye exercises

Food:

  • Improving on the intake of water preferably warm water and foods which help digestion.
  • Improved intake of veggies
  • Lifestyle changes:  Repeated Eye Relaxation techniques in the work.
  • Avoid staring / regular blinking 10 counts every minute
  • Avoid / Reduce use of Air conditioners, Humidifiers, Room heaters

 


Macular Degeneration:

Definition:

Macular degeneration is the name given to a group of degenerative diseases of the retina that cause progressive, painless loss of certain vision, affecting the ability to see fine detail, drive, read and recognise faces.

Macular degeneration can be in wet and dry forms. Both wet and dry forms of Macular degeneration begin in the Retinal Pigment Epithelium or RPE, a layer of cells underneath the retina. The RPE is responsible for passing oxygen, sugar, and other essentials up to the retina and moving waste products down to the blood vessels underneath. The vessels are called ‘choroid’.

Macular degeneration occurs when this garbage collection breaks down and waste products from the retina build up underneath the RPE. These deposits, known as ‘drusen’, are easily seen as yellow spots. As Macular degeneration progresses, vision loss occurs because the RPE cells die or because the RPE cells fail to prevent blood vessels from the choroid from growing into the retina.

The macula is the very centre of the retina. It is responsible for the central, detailed vision. It is responsible for one’s ability to read, distinguish faces, driving, and any other activities which require fine vision.

Symptoms

  • Distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent
  • Difficulty in reading or doing any other activity which requires fine vision
  • Distinguishing faces becomes a problem
  • Dark patches or empty spaces appearing in the centre of vision.

Symptoms of Dry Macular Degeneration

  • Things appears hazy with time
  • Appearance of blurred or blind spot in the central vision is seen
  • Feels problem in adapting to different lighting conditions.
  • The need for increased lightning with time.

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration

  • Distortion in visualising the things felt.
  • Gradual decrease in central vision
  • Appearances of blurry spot in the central vision in seen

Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Smoking and obesity
  • High blood pressure and hypertension
  • Side effects of certain medications

Ayurveda treatment for Macular Degeneration:

According to Ayurveda, macular degeneration is caused by the vitiation of vata and pitta doshas. The wet form of Macular degeneration is of pitta and vata dosha type, while the dry form is purely vata type.

In wet type Macular Degeneration, it is very important to start the treatment immediately; otherwise, the persistent edema will make irreversible damage in the retina and will not be able to reverse the vision in those cases.

Line of treatment:

  • Ayurveda treatment for Macular Degeneration helps in Elimination of ama, detoxification, improving nutrition to eye – Chakshusya Rasayana.

Treatments

The treatment modalities include panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, Advice of food and lifestyle changes.

  • Panchakarma – Virechana, Nasya
  • Externally – Sirodhara, Netra Tarpna, Seka.

Activities:

  • Specific Asanas, Panayamas, meditation

Food:

  • Consumption of yellow vegetables such as carrot, marigold, etc, rich in lutein and zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Timely regular wholesome meals in a conducible non-disturbing atmosphere
  • Lifestyle changes:  specific to the individual’s constitution, nature of work and geographical conditions.

Vision Disturbances:

Definition

The human eye is one of the most precious sensory organs. Our eyes are in constant use every minute of the day. The way we use our eyes can, in turn, determine how well we work throughout our lifetime.

Vision disturbance is one of the simple complaints with which most people approach physicians. Young children are also affected by this. Restless watching of the computer, playing with electronic tools, colour illusions, poor workplace, inappropriate working habits are some of the causes which trigger visual disturbances.

Some of the symptoms experienced include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry and irritated eye, slow refocusing, neck and back pains, light sensitivity and double vision.

Types of vision disturbances include;

  • Blurred vision- is the loss of sharpness of vision and the inability to see small details.
  • Halos
  • Blind spots- are dark holes in the visual field in which nothing can be seen.

Ayurveda treatment for Vision Disturbances:

As quoted in “Ashtanga Hridaya”, sincere efforts should be made by every individual to preserve his/her vision till the last breath of life; because, for an individual who is blind, day and night are the same and this beautiful world is of no use to him/her if he/she possess a lot of wealth.

In Ayurveda, the clinical features related to vision disturbances are seen only in Drishtigata Rogas. According to Ayurveda, all cases of vision disturbances are correlated under the broad heading of the Timira-Kacha-Linganasha complex. Some features of Timara (first and second patala) can be correlated with the most important refractive error, which is, myopia.

In Ayurveda, the concept of Chakshushya (good for Eye health) is very unique – diet, medications, and therapeutic procedures, which improve or enhance visual acuity, and also improve the health of the eye.

Ayurveda treatment for Vision Disturbances:

  • Correction of metabolism.
  • Measures to correct/strengthen the sense organ

Treatments

The treatment modalities include panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, Advice of food and lifestyle changes.

  • Panchakarma – Vamana, Virechana, Basti, Nasya
  • Externally – Netra Tarpana, Bidalaka, Anjana, Seka, Ashtothana, Abhyanga, Shiro dhara
  • Internally – Chakshusya (Helps in improvement of vision)

Activities:

  • Specific Asanas, Panayamas, meditation, Trataka, specific eye exercises
  • Avoid staring at bright light/screens, palming (relaxing technique) and diverting the vision helps in reducing eye strain.

Diet for maintaining good vision: Chakshusya diet is rich in Beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A, Vitamin E, C, DHA – a fatty acid, lutein and zeaxanthin, zinc.

  • Green leafy vegetables.
  • Fish – Tuna, salmon, mackerel
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, carrots
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Lifestyle changes:  specific to the individual’s constitution, nature of work and geographical conditions.