Although Ayurveda as a system of medicine roughly dates back to the period of the Indus Valley civilization, Ayurvedic ophthalmology has gained wide currency much later. In due course of time Ayurvedic ophthalmology has proved to be highly effective, with practically no side effects. The system gains more significance because it caters not only to identifying and curing eye related diseases, but also has several methods regarding proper care and effective preventive measurements for the eyes. The ancient Ayurvedic texts Sushrut Samhita, Charak Samhita etc elaborates on details pertaining to Shalakya Tantra [ailments above the neck]. These ancient texts describe the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases that affect the organs above the neck. The following table is worthy taking note of:
The Ayurveda treatment prescribes remedies and follow-up treatment so as to ensure the total elimination of the disease. Therefore, it proves to be one of the most effective methods of treating the ailments related to the upper portion of the body, especially those affecting the organs above the neck. The ancient texts refers to special treatment procedures like Nasyam, Dhoomapanam, Gandoosham, Shirodhara, Shirovasthi, etc
Some of the most commonly reported diseases or disorders of the eyes include: • Conjunctivitis, • recurrent stye, • degenerative eye diseases like Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), • macular degeneration, • diabetic retinopathy, • optic atrophy, • computer-related disorders like Dry Eye (computer vision syndrome), • glaucoma, • allergic conditions like central serous retinopathy and • short-sight, • long-sight, • astigmatism,etc.
The treatment includes internal medication, several therapies, etc depending on the nature of the symptoms, condition of the body and the affected organ, age of the patient, and several other factors. Almost all these Ayurveda therapies require complete rest and residential stay in the hospital during the period of the treatment. However in the case of systemic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc, where care has to be provided to avoid complications in the eyes, proper follow up and preventive therapies ensure preservation of vision.