Glaucoma is a treacherous disease that can lead to blindness. It develops gradually, for years without obvious symptoms, until it enters an advanced stage.
As the disease progresses, the following symptoms may occur:
- The person can start seeing \”aureoles\” around the sources of light.
- He may get tunnel vision /the peripheral vision is heavily restricted, narrowing the visual field and people see as though a tunnel.
- Headache or pain in the eyes, etc.
The disease usually affects both eyes but does not progress equally intensive, as the occurrence of problems in one eye is compensated by the other. Thus, the glaucoma patients do not realize that damage has begun and, until the final stage, patients realize with surprise that they have this disease and lose their vision.
The cause of glaucoma is an increase in the intraocular pressure due to accumulation and rettention of aqueous fluid. That is why Ayurveda associates it with imbalanced Kapha Dosha, which is responsible for the control of fluids in the body. The increased pressure in the eye exposes the optic nerve to excessive compression, resulting in the atrophy.
The fluid that forms the ocular pressure flows through the trabecular meshwork into the front eye chamber under the angle between the iris and the cornea. The pressure starts to increase either if there is a overproduction of fluid or if the \”drainage system\” is blocked and does not function properly. The fluid does not drain normally, but it accumulates, increasing the pressure.
TYPES OF GLAUCOMA
Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, accounts for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases.
- It Is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals, resulting in increased eye pressure
- It has a wide and open angle between the iris and cornea
- It develops slowly and is a lifelong condition
- It has symptoms that are not noticeable until serious damage occurs.
Angle-closure glaucoma, a less common form of glaucoma.
- It is caused by blocked drainage canals, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressurev
- It has a closed or narrow angle between the iris and cornea
- It develops very quickly
- It has symptoms that are not noticeable until serious damage occurs.
- It demands immediate medical attention.
Can Ayurveda heal glaucoma?
Yes, Ayurveda has a variety of herbal based remedies, as well as therapies that with their overall effect, not only reduce the eye pressure, but also restore the normal eye functions. Thus, in addition to avoiding blindness in the final phase of glaucoma, various eye problems are removed.
However, the eyes are a very delicate and sensitive area that can easily be damaged. Therefore, measures should be taken to ensure that the healing remedies are prescribed by a Ayurveda doctor and applied exactly as prescribed, and the healing procedures and therapies for head and eyes have to be performed only by a licensed Ayurveda specialist.
According to Ayurveda, food is a medicine, it is an individual accent in the treatment of any disease in order the Doshas to be balanced.
The diet is strictly individual for each patient with glaucoma, and it should be prescribed by expert Ayurveda specialist according to the potential other diseases found. Thus, the general condition of the patient will require balancing not only of Kapha, but also the regulation of the other two Doshas – Pitta and Vata. In general, however, Kapha should be restored in its unique balance, and Ayurveda recommends certain foods, way of eating and time of their consumption to do so.
Food that helps to balance Kapha should be cooked with little amount of water, it has to be dry, light and consumed warm and with more spices. Moreover, it should not be greasy, as the recommended flavors are spicy, astringent, as well as bitter. Sweet, sour and salty are contraindicated because they increase Kapha.
The spicy foods activate the digestion and warm the body, while the bitter and astringent foods help to reduce the appetite of Kapha. Excessive food intake is limited, and the consumed food is degraded and absorbed fully, as it does not form toxins that can block various conductive channels. In addition, a number of spicy or warm foods causing tears, in addition to warming Kapha, help to eliminate the excessive mucus.
The beneficial foods include corn, rye, barley, buckwheat, millet and the foods that should be avoided are rice, wheat, oats, soy and beans. Red meat and seafood should be excluded from the menu, as chicken white meat, turkey and fish are allowed in moderate quantities. The recommended vegetables include radishes, cabbage, eggplants, turnips, red beets, pepper, spinach, carrots, peas, garlic, onion and asparagus. Foods that are not recommended include potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, okra and olives.
The fruits that are useful for Kapha balance are mainly the astringent ones – pears, apples, peaches, apricots, mango, lemon, blueberries and dried fruits. Juicy fruits, however, are not recommended – watermelons, melons, pineapples, oranges, avocado, grapes, kiwi and figs.
Triphala has been used in variuos ways to treat glaucoma since ancient times. It is usually used as an eyewash. It also reduces intraocular pressure and preventas vision loss. The herb also has anti-inflamatory properties that protect the optic nerve from damage.
Curcumin herbs has rich anti-diabetic properties that make it a wonderful herb to use for diabetic patients. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it strong herb for various allergies, infections and inflammations.
It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and best rejuvenating properties. Due to it\’s purifying properties as well as lipid-regulating properties, it acts to open blocked ocular blood vessels.
Due to it\’s natural antioxidant properties helps in protecting the ocular tissue, optic nerve, and retina.
Amla juice, for example, has an extremely powerful antioxidant and antibacterial effect, it helps to neutralize free radicals, improves the condition of the retinal cells, stimulates capillaries, as it is used for eye problems, including for glaucoma. The juice should be consumed with honey for better effect.
Special massage and oleation technique for eyes is called as Netra Tarpana in Ayurveda, A suitable well is prepared using black gram or wheat dough over the periphery of eyes. Lukewarm medicated ghee is poured in the well and person is asked to open and close the eyes for specific duration. The whole procedure is carried under all aseptic precautions.
Benefits: It helps to cleanse and bring lightness, strength to the eyes. How it works: The medicated ghee comes in contact with external parts of eyes. The medicines used in the ghee preparation are traditionally mentioned for eye treatments. They help to cleanse the eye channels thus rejuvenating the organ.
Recommended in: Various diseases of eyes, eye strain, dryness in eyes, blurred vision etc.
The forehead, as well as certain parts of the head and face are rhythmically poured with cool herbal potion, and it has a powerful healing effect on the eyes.
A very essential part of the Ayurvedic treatment is the cleansing of toxins. Food, herbs and spices are very important in this process, but there are also special Panchakarma procedures that powerfully cleanse the organism. The method combines five therapies.
Some of them have balancing effect on the three Doshas, but there are also specific therapies focused on the removal of accumulated Kapha toxins, reducing the mucus and soothing Kapha. Such a procedure is, for example, Pratimarsa Nasyam – pouring of healing oils in the nostrils, as the goal is to release Kapha toxins through nasal secretion. In addition to contributing to detoxification, it nourishes the brain cells; applies both to eye diseases and to problems with the sense of smell, taste, ears, voice and many others. Depending on the condition of the patient, the procedures may last for a month.
Another suitable Panchakarma therapy is the herbal–induced healing vomiting. The effect is cleansing from the toxins, formed because of the Kapha imbalance, elimination of mucus and soothing Kapha. Depending on the medical results of the patient and his general condition, the Ayurveda psecialst can prescribe also a cleansing edema with butter and herbal potion.
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