Dry eye, also known as Keratitis Sicca is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. There is a generalized decrease in production of tears qualitatively and quantitatively. Our Tears are composed of three layers oily lipid layer, watery layer, and mucous layer, any problem in these layers may result in dryness of the eyes.
Common Symptoms of Dry Eyes:
With Dry Eyes commonly persistent dryness is experienced. Along with itching and burning sensation in the eyes are also experienced, Sometimes it may also be accompanied by pain, irritation, and redness of eyes. The patient usually has a feeling of a foreign body sensation in the eyes. Sometimes they may even experience sensitivity towards light and blurred vision.
Causes of Dry Eyes Syndrome:
According to the Ayurvedic point of view, Dry Eyes is nothing but Vata Prokop in the eyes. And the related anatomical structure of eyes, along with the lack of nourishment to the tissues of the eyes.
The diminished flow of tears is the prime cause.
It is a natural aging process due to menopause. It can also be an adverse effect of medications, for example, decongestants, anti-histamines, anti-depressants, tranquilizers or birth control pills can also cause this. Dry Eyes can also be felt in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Allergies and other Eye diseases like the incomplete closure of eyelids, etc.
Sometimes insufficient blinking of eyes is also one of the reason. Continuous staring at television or computer screen for long hours worsens the condition.
Over consumption of Alcohol and Cigarette can also cause Dry Eyes.
Some other causes can be living in dry, dusty, windy, and hot climate. It has also been found that over-exposure to pollution, air conditions, dry heating systems cause Dry Eye Syndrome.
How to Treat Dry Eyes:
The condition of Dry Eyes can be managed in Allopathy by Instillation of artificial tears or lubricants; Eye ointments are applied at bedtime, Punctal plugs are sometimes inserted in eyelids to keep tears on your eye to prevent tears from draining out quickly.
Ayurveda advises a different approach in treating the Dry Eye Syndrome. Ayurveda believes in treating the deranged vata condition. Eyes being the seat of Tej mahabhoot (Pitta dosha), can be very well treated with ghee (medicated or plain ghrit). Triphala ghrit is also used in treating eye diseases. Ghee has its nutritional values; it helps in regulating functions of extra-ocular muscles, eyelids, and tears. It helps decrease the dryness of the eyes, irritation and burning sensation in the eyes.
Drops of Triphala ghrit are instilled into the eyes:
A very gentle massage with Triphala ghrit over and around the eyes can also be beneficial, our skin being permeable absorbs it up to a remarkable extent.
With an ayurvedic procedure known as ‘Netra-Tarpan’, it gives miraculous relief from dry eyes. It not only reduces scratching and irritation with burning sensation but also imparts nourishment to the eyes.
Internal and external use of Triphala ghrit soothes and strengthens the eyes.
Take a spoonful of Triphala powder and add a glass of water to it, after leaving it overnight, strain the liquid the next morning, and wash the eyes with the infusion.
Add Triphala churna to a glass of hot water, cover the solution after the powder settles down to dip the sterile eye pads into the clear liquid and place them on both eyes for 10-15 minutes. You can also place eye pads soaked in rose water or cold milk for quick relief.
Application of a drop of pure honey on the lower eyelid can cleanse the eyes by producing tears profusely.
Boil 1/2 tsp. Fennel seed in a cup of water. Boil it well until reduced to half. Sip it when warm.
Similarly, boil Triphala powder in water. Reduce it to half, strain and add 1 tsp of honey. You can drink this daily as an excellent tonic for your eyes.
Few changes in our lifestyle can also bring positive results, like
Use of Humidifiers at our workplace or while at home.
Keeping air vents of heaters, air conditioners.
Using hair dryers away from your face and avoiding direct facing towards the fans.
Finally and most importantly, always take a break from working long hours on computer/laptops. At least after every 30 minutes of work, take a break and regularly blink your eyes often, this definitely helps in spreading tears over the surface of eyes, and you will not face Dry Eye Syndrome ever.