The problem of dry eyes may occur when your tear glands are not able to produce enough tears to bring moisture to your eyes. This dry eyes condition can be discomforting and sometimes painful too. It is a common eye disease and the factors behind this condition can be both medical and environmental, such as bad quality tears and reduced tear production. Dry eye condition indicates a lot of dryness in eyes. You may experience dry eyes in different situations, such as on an airplane, sitting in a room with AC, while riding a two wheeler or after a lot of screen time.
You can treat dry eyes by taking precautions like avoiding smoking and staying at home. You should also try and take care of the quality of your contact lenses. Using a humidifier in your room can also help in treating and preventing this condition as it adds moisture to the air. You should talk to your doctor if there is any medical reason behind the dry eyes condition. Even Ayurveda has many treatments for dry eyes. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. P K Santhakumari, Founder of Matha Ayurveda eye hospital, Kerala, about the layers of eyes and treatment for dry eyes as per Ayurveda.
Layers of eyes as per Ayurveda
The reason behind dry eye are various, and so itself, the management also varies accordingly. So, it is important to be aware about the reasons behind it. Moistening of the eye is performed by a thin layer of tear film over the eye ball. This tear film mainly consists of three layers. According to Dr. P K Santhakumari, here are the layers of tear filn in the eye ball as per Ayurveda:
First is the external most fatty layer. This layer prevents the evaporation of the tear fluid and maintains the lubrication. This is secreted by special glands of the eyelid margin. If this is deficient, either in quality or quantity, the patient feels dryness. There will be stringy discharge and also gritty sensation. Patient experiences as if sand or dust in the eyes, especially in the morning just after waking up. In ayurveda, Vata is the predominant dosha in this condition. The properties of vata such as rooksha, laghu, Sookshma increases. So, Travel, especially on two-wheeler and lack of sleep and working late nights etc will trigger this condition. Also, mental conditions such as stress and strain also will increase the disease.
The second layer, also called middle layer is watery in nature. It is enriched by various electrolytes. This actual tear secreted by the tear glands is this fluid, from the lacrimal glands. If this layer is deficient, there will be high level dryness. There will be burning sensation and hot feeling in the eyes. Also, difficulty to be exposed to bright light and focus on light source. Patient cannot look at illuminating screens like mobiles for a computer or laptop screen for a long time. Here, Pitta is the dominant factor. Any situation which increases the property of pitta such as ushna, theekshna, etc will make the condition worse. So, exposure to bright, directly looking at a source of light, and working in sunlight etc are trigger factors.
The third or innermost layer is mucus in nature and is secreted by glands of the eyelid - mainly sebacious gland. This is the protective layer of cornea. Since cornea is very sensitive and exposed to the external layer, chances of getting infection is more. This mucus layer protects the cornea from being infected and keeps the tear fluid sustained over the cornea. If this layer is inadequate, chances of damage to the corneal cells is high. There will be dryness, redness of the eye and pain. In severe cases, blurring of vision and also headache may develop. In this condition, deficiency of kapha is the conderable factor. Any situation which decreases the vital properties of kapha such as snigdha, seetha, guru etc will increase the pathological condition. So, deficiency in intake of items that supply these gunas will trigger this type of dryness. Starving yourself and missing on breakfast, and a poor diet, etc are also important factors that play a major role in this.
Management of dry eye
Management varies according to the basis reasons and dosha dominance mentioned above. Here's how you can manage dry eyes condition as per Dr. P K Santhakumari:
If the oily layer is inadequate, the perfect treatment is necessary to activate the glands which produce the oily secretion. In Ayurveda, a systematic line of treatment will serve the purpose. Treatment procedures like Nasyam, Tailadhara, netra tharpanam etc are very good. The medicines for these procedures are to be selected by an experienced hand only. Medicated milk and medicated ghee are options. Jeevanthy, vidari, yashti, can be used for medication of ghee and milk.
If the watery layer has lack of moisture, then treatment will be on different principles. Pitta samana and seetha treatment procedures are very helpful. Netra sekam, Aschotanam, Vitalakam, etc are very effective in such cases. But, the medicines for these procedures should be selective for pitta dominance. Oral medicines and food suppliments have a major role in this condition. Extra occular treatment procedures such as thakradara, sirolepanam, mukhalepanam, thalam etc also are highly effective. A pitta samana and chakshushya menu is also necessary.
If the innermost layer is deficient, it should be handled with extreme care only. There are two aims for treatment when innermost layer is considered. First is to protect the cornea. Second is to produce adequate mucuous secretion. Therefore, the treatment also depends on the same. Treatments such as Nasyam with Vatasamana medicine is a good option.
Can dry eyes be prevented?
There are some steps for prevention that you can take to avoid the condition of dry eyes. Changing your small lifestyle habits is one of the best ways to prevent and treat dry eyes. You should drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated. Here are some tips to prevent dry eyes:
- Avoid using heater and fans
- Reduce eye exposure to winds
- Take breaks and rest your eyes while working
- Avoid smoking cigarettes
- Have more omega 3 fatty acids
- Reduce time for wearing contact lenses
- Wear sunglasses when you go outside
So, these were the layers of the tear film in an eye ball and the treatments for dry eyes as per Ayurveda by Dr. P K Santhakumari. These can help you in fighting the symptoms of dry eyes. And, you can also try the above listed precautionary measures to protect yourself from this condition. You may be able to manage acute dry eyes condition with frequent eyelid washing.
Read more articles on Ayurveda
All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however Onlymyhealth.com does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.