Ayurvedic treatment for Eye Pain

Eye Pain

Know More on Ophthalmology/ Eye diseases

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Eye Pain Ayurvedic treatment

WHAT IS EYE PAIN?

Eye pain occurs on the surface of the eye or inside the eye.1

While eye pain may be due to temporary causes such as infections, foreign objects, etc., Severe eyepain with some vision loss can be a serious medical condition.1

Ayurveda explains pain in the eye as Netra shool (painful eye) and is a common symptom of many underlying eye disorders. The pain originates typically due to Vata dominance in the doshas.2

Causes

Eye Pain

EYE PAIN CAUSES

Your eye pain may be due to temporary reasons such as infections and foreign objects, or due to serious underlying reasons such as eye conditions like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, keratitis, etc.

These include:1,3

  • Eyelid infections that lead to pain or irritation
  • Corneal abrasions (scratch to the cornea causing intense pain)
  • Corneal infections due to bacteria or viruses, and aggravated from wearing contact lenses
  • Foreign bodies such as dirt, plant debris or part of contact lens, causing irritation and watery eyes
  • Sty in the eyelids
  • Glaucoma and worsening vision

Symptoms

Eye Pain

EYE PAIN SYMPTOMS

The most common symptom of eye pain is pain itself, and may be associated with the following1:

  • Redness of the eye (One or both)
  • Discomfort and itching in eyes

Diagnosis

Eye Pain

EYE PAIN DIAGNOSIS

Generally the diagnosis of eye pain is made from appearance and patients’ complaints/history.1

Thereafter several tests may be required to determine the cause of the pain. Some tests include:1,3

  • Slit lamp test: It creates 3D view of different parts of the eye and is used to detect eye problems at an early stage.
  • Use of dilating drops: It helps in expanding the pupils to examine deeper eye structures
  • Tonometer: It is a pressure-gauging instrument and is used to detect high eye pressures caused by certain severe eye conditions such as glaucoma.

Management

Eye Pain

EYE PAIN AYURVEDIC TREATMENT

In the Ayurvedic classics, netra tarpana (nourishment of eye through oleation/administering) with herbal oil or Ghrit (Ghee) is advised to heal the condition. This provides symptomatic relief from the irritation.4 

The following ahar (or diet) and vihar (or lifestyle) are recommended for all kinds of eye diseases.

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • A light diet is recommended as per Ayurveda , following foods that should be included in the diet every day such as ghee, milk, rock salt, honey, patola (snake gourd), red rice, green gram, wheat, triphala (3 fruits), carrots and leafy vegetables.5 
  • Avoid foods such as sour foods, dry meat, all alcohols, select sea fishes, curd, tobacco, excessive hot and fatty foods 5

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Walk regularly
  • Personal hygiene especially avoiding personal contact with those infected should be practiced
  • Wear headgear such as caps and hats, and eyegear such as sunglasses to protect from UV radiations
  • Make sure you get good sleep regularly
  • Make it a habit to wake up early
  • Massaging ghee on soles is said to  be beneficial for general health of eyes in Ayurveda

FAQS

Eye Pain
  1. How does Glaucoma develop?

The primary cause of developing Glaucoma is having an increased pressure inside the eye. This leads to damage of the optic nerve – that affects the vision. The increase of pressure is due to the accumulation of the fluid of the eye called as Aqueous humor. This accumulation is either because the fluid is not being drained or it is being overproduces. The reasons for these to happen are not fully understood but probable causes are genetic.1

  1. I am diagnosed with dry AMD. Are there any recommendations of herbs/foods that are beneficial in this case?

As per Ayurveda, herbs like Triphala [3 fruits of haritaki (chebulic myrobalan), bibhitaki (Beleric myrobalan) and amalki (gooseberry), Tulsi (Basil), Spirulina, Punarnava (Hogweed/Boerrhavia diffusa), Shatavari (Asparagus) having anti-oxidant and vitamin properties. These along with carotene containing foods (such as carrots) are beneficial in dry AMD.

  1. What is Myopia? How does one get it?

Myopia is refractive error. It means that due to the elongation of the eyeball, the rays of light coming from distant object do not come directly on the retina but falls in front of it. This is because the cornea or lens is not curved smoothly, causing improper refraction of light rays.

It is very common and generally develops slowly. It is found across age groups – from children to adults. It also tends to run in families.

  1. What is astigmatism, how is it caused?

Astigmatism is refractive error. Due to unknown causes, if the curvature of cornea or lens is disturbed, the rays of light coming from an object would not come directly on the retina but falls either in front or beyond it. This leads to a blurring of vision and in Astigmatism this blurring can happen either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

  1. What are the causes of a red eye?

Conjunctivitis or red eye is caused due to a swelling of the conjunctiva (The membrane covering the eyeball). This is often due to an infection of the membrane. The causes of the infection are either a virus or bacteria. Sometimes, conjunctivitis may also occur due to a reaction or splash of chemical irritant inside the eye.

  1. What is cataract? How does one know if he/she has cataract?
    Cataract refers to the cloudy appearance of the lens of the eye which causes a clouded vision. Due to the clouding of the vision, a person suffering from cataract finds it very difficult to see properly, read anything or even drive a car.

There may be no signs and symptoms at an early stage but as the condition progresses, the following signs and symptoms are observed1 -

  • Clouding of vision, blurring of images
  • High sensitivity to direct light or glare
  • Difficulty seeing at night or in dim light
  • Observing ‘halo’ effect around lights
  • Rapid changes in the focal numbers of eyeglasses/contact lens
  • Double vision
  1. What should I do for dry eyes?

For those suffering from dry eyes, avoidance of factors such as long hours on TV/Computer along with adequate body hydration are recommended. Regular blinking and few eye exercises as mentioned should be followed.

  • Blinking exercise: Blinking of eyes for a particular period at frequent intervals
  • Palming: Rubbing the palms of hands and placing them gently over the eye lids.
  • Eye rotation: Rotation of the eye ball in all directions at frequent intervals.
  1. I have double vision. What could be the cause and how can it be evaluated?

A complete medical history and a detailed eye examination are required to diagnose the exact cause for diplopia. Additional tests may be required to find any underlying nervous or mechanical cause, which are -

  • Retinoscopy – to test for the appearance of the lens, retina and images
  • Slit lamp examination - to test for certain structures inside the eye
  • A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT) scan may be needed, to detect abnormalities of the eye socket (orbit), skull and brain.
  1. How does one develop allergy in the eye?

An allergic reaction starts when a person’s immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance for a dangerous attacker. The cells in the eye produce antibodies to an allergen on first contact. When a similar contact with the substance happens again, the same antibodies signal the immune system to release chemicals - called histamine - into the bloodstream, causing a reaction that leads to the signs and symptoms.

Common allergy triggers for the eye, include many allergens existing in air, or certain types of foods and different venoms through insect stings - such as bee stings or wasp stings or certain medications.

  1. What kind of infection can commonly occur in the eye?

Eye infections are known to cause swelling and irritations in the eye, and are caused either by a bacteria, fungus or virus. The common eye infections seen are Conjunctivitis or red eye and Stye. Conjunctivitis causes a swelling of the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the eyeball) and stye is an infection in the eyelids. This is often due to an infection of the membrane. While this condition does not affect the vision, it causes a lot of irritation in the eye and discomfort.

References

Eye Pain
  1. Mayo Clinic. Eye Pain. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/eye-pain/basics/definition/sym-20050744 accessed Sept 10th 2016
  2. Sawant DP et al. Efficacy Of Triphala Ghrita Netratarpan in Computer Vision Syndrome. Ayurlog. Jan 2013; 1: 48-54
  3. Kanaujia S et al. Concept of Allergic Conjunctivitis on Ayurvedic Prospectus. J Biol Scien Opin. 2016; 4(3): 101-103
  4. Eye Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment. Web MD. Available at http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-pain-causes-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment, accessed Sept 13th 2016
  5. Prakash SC et al. Ayurvedic Opthalmology an Approach through Holistic Diet and Regimen. IJMPNP. 2015; Vol. 1(2): 31-34

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