Avoiding Pitta vitiation is the underlying theory in preventing macular degeneration. Simple changes in routine lifestyle as given below are very helpful.
Macular degeneration (MD) is an eye disease that may lead to total vision loss. It is in second place among all the diseases that cause blindness, the first being cataract. This is a degenerative disease and a successful and reliable line of treatment is still out of reach for this disease. Unfortunately, unlike cataract, which strikes at old age, MD patients are usually in their productive working age. Hence, MD is more dangerous than cataract and it can severely affect the quality of life of a patient. It can lead to stress and anxiety and this, in turn, may lead to mental trauma due to the many practical problems that patients face. Let us understand this condition from the point of view of Ayurveda. Also Read – Eye disease retinopathy can raise your risk of having stroke, dementia: Symptoms to look our for
UNDERSTANDING MACULAR DEGENERATION
Let’s try to understand what exactly macular degeneration is. The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina, the nervous layer of the eye. According to Ayurvedic science, this is the seat of AlochakaPitta, which is a fraction of Pitta. In Ayurveda, Pitta is one of the three basic functioning factors – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Light rays reflected from objects converge on this area. This initiates reactions to form the sense of vision. Any pathology of the macula is capable of vitiating AlochakaPitta. This leads to the development of serious vision problems. In MD, the pathology is degeneration. So, the problem is more serious and even capable of leading to blindness. It is not enough to just spread awareness of this condition. Patients need to also have the wherewithal to take right steps in time to avoid being blind. Also Read – Ayurvedic tips to keep your liver healthy in 2021
SYMPTOMS OF MACULAR DEGENERATION
To identify the onset of MD, the first step is to be aware of its symptoms. Here, we list the symptoms of macular degeneration. Also Read – Gut acting up? Try these Ayurvedic herbs to calm your stomach
Blurring of vision
This is often the first symptom of this condition. This happens especially in bright light. Most patients tend to ignore this symptom till other visual symptoms start to develop.
Dark circle in vision field
A dark area, often circular in shape in the visual field is a sign of the second next stage. Patients experience this dark area where they focus their vision. Due to this dark area, patients in this stage may not be able to identify the face of a person. Patients may also be unable to read during this stage.
This is another important symptom of MD. It means patients see a distorted shape when they focus on an object. Distorted means, shapes may seem squeezed or slanting. Straight lines may seem wavy or zig-zag.
Missing areas in vision field
The next important symptom to watch out for is missing areas in your visual field. While reading, letters or words may be missing. Sometimes, the objects may seem small in size. As this disease progresses, these symptoms increase and eventually lead to blindness.
AYURVEDIC SOLUTIONS FOR MACULAR DEGENERATION
Now, let’s talk about solutions for macular degeneration. Preventive measures are always better than curative measures, especially in degenerative conditions. People doing most of their work with their eyes, have to adopt preventive measures. This helps to avoid or at least delay the onset of macular degeneration. Ayurveda can offer a lot of solutions in this area. The functioning factor of Pitta is the main pathology of macular degeneration. So, avoiding Pitta vitiation is the underlying theory in preventing macular degeneration. Simple changes in routine lifestyle as given below are very helpful.
Wash your eyes with a herbal solution
Do an eyewash using water medicated with special herbs and drugs. Amla, Draksha, Lodhrum, Chandanam, etc. are very effective herbs for eyewash. Do this eyewash before starting and after finishing your daily work.
Use special Ayurvedic eye drops
There are very effective eye drops for the prevention of macular degeneration. Select your eye drops only as per the direction of an expert doctor. This is because of the many factors to consider before selecting the correct eye drops. Age of the individual and workload to the eye are main among them those factors. Body constitution and Dosha dominance (Vata, Pitta, Kapha and their combinations) are also important.
Add fruits to diet
Fruits should be a compulsory item on your daily menu. Black grapes are the best ones. Amla, banana, etc. are also good enough.
Avoid straining your eyes
Restrict eye-related works in bright sunlight and also during the night. Such activities vitiate Pitta. This will promote the degenerative process in the development of macular degeneration.
Have an Ayurvedic brain tonic
Consume a brain tonic or an eye tonic daily. Milk medicated with Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Vidari, etc. is an example.
Get medicated head massages
Using medicated oil for head massage is another helpful method. Apply it daily before head wash. Tungadrumadi Tailam, Ksheerabala Tailam and Jeevaneeya Keram are good options. You need to get advice from an expert doctor before selecting the most suitable oil for you.
Get immediate treatment
If the disease has already developed, never waste time waiting to start treatment. There are effective methods in Ayurveda to protect and preserve your existing vision. Procedures like Ksheeradhara, Tailadhara, Netratharpanam, etc. are very good for treating this condition. The medicines and doses of these procedures vary from person to person. Such medicines vary according to the clinical stage of the disease also.
A FEW PREVENTIVE MEASURES
The most effective solution for macular degeneration is taking preventive measures. By such measures, you can avoid the development of the disease, or, at least, delay its onset. If you are a person doing most of your work using your eyes, you have to adopt the following preventive measures.
Selection of food is most important. Add fruits and vegetables to your daily menu. This ensures an adequate supply of vitamins and antioxidants. Black grapes, banana etc. are very good.
Drink enough quantity of freshwater or selective juices.
Avoid deeply fried and spicy food items.
Ensure good sleep for 7 to 8 hours per day. This will give rest to your eye and reduce its workload.
Avoid eye-related works in bright sunlight as well as during the night.
Reduce eye strain illuminated screens such as mobile, computer, TV etc.
Splash water on eyes at regular intervals or, alternatively wash your eyes with medicated water as per the direction of a doctor.
Select and use a suitable oil for a head massage before bath.
The above solutions will help a lot to freshen your eyes. But you have to consult an experienced doctor before starting medicines. But, if you are already experiencing any symptoms of MD, don’t wait to try preventive steps. Consult an expert doctor immediately and take remedial measures only. Selecting the correct Ayurvedic treatment procedures can help a lot here. These treatments help to arrest the degenerative changes in your eyes. They also help to delay the progress of disease and thereby avoiding blindness. (This article is authored by Dr PK Santhakumari, Founder, Matha Ayurveda Eye Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala)