Ayurveda gains prominence in the field of Ophthalmology

Eye diseases are on the rise these days, with prolonged work on computers, poor eating habits, long and frequent travel, and inadequate hours of sleep. Eye disorders may also be due to prolonged television viewing or continued reading of small print, inappropriate head position when sleeping or even heavy sneezing. It has been reported that increasing number of people are turning to Ayurveda to resolve eye problems.

Doctors at Sreedhareeyam Ayurvedic Eye Hospital and Research Centre, Kochi, have asserted that the ancient Indian system of medicine can easily cure several eye diseases without surgery.

Kerala has been drawing in thousands of Indian and foreign tourists each year, who visit in search of ayurvedic treatment, but only few beyond Kerala are aware about the role of Ayurveda in the field of Ophthalmology.

The Chief Physician and Managing Director of Sreedhareeyam Ayurvedic Eye Hospital, Dr. N.P.P Namboothiri says that early detection of eye ailments help in faster and better recovery, and when treated early, Ayurveda strengthens the nervous system and prevents degeneration of the optic nerve.

Even complicated and rare eye diseases which affect the optic nerve and retina, which can lead to blindness, are being treated with great success through Ayurveda. Ayurvedic remedies treat eye diseases in a holistic way, taking into account the health profile of a patient.

Among the major eye diseases treated at Sreedhareeyam are diabetic retinopathy, cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration and detachment of retina.

Ayurvedic ophthalmology has achieved great progress, particularly in treating diseases like diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa. There is a steady flow of patients seeking cure for these two ailments, and rising healthcare costs have also prompted people to turn to alternate systems of medicine, says Dr. Namboothiri.

The brand of Ayurveda that deals with all ailments above the neck is called ‘Shalakya Tantra’. Ayurvedic texts describe 76 eye diseases.

The main traditional treatment procedures used for eye diseases in ayurvedic centres are Njavarakizhi, Dhara, Pizhichil, Steam Kizhi, Netrasekam, Tharpanam, Aschotanam, Anjanam, Putapakam, Vitalakam, Pindi and Prathisaranam.

Today all leading ayurvedic ophthalmology centres have eye drops and capsules that retain all values of traditional medicinal formulas.

There are also some para-surgical procedures that are used in ayurvedic ophthalmology, such as lekhanam, Jalakavacharanam, Kharakarmam, and Agnikarmam. These procedures are less complicated, with minimum preparation and after-care required, and produces maximum level of result.