What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a group of degenerative disease that affects the retina of the eye, in particular the macula, which is the most sensitive central part of the retina and situated between the underlying choroid and retinal pigment epithelium. This is also the part that is responsible for focusing central and fine detail vision.
The end result of macular degeneration is the loss of vision, and it usually occurs in the elderlies.
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The use of Ayurveda in the treatment of macular degeneration.
The treatment macular degeneration according to the use of Ayurveda technique utilises certain therapies. These therapies are described as follow
- Virechana (Therapeutic purgation): This Ayurveda therapy is one of the best therapies used in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. It is carried out with the application of herbal medicines after internal and external oleation.
- Nasya (Nasal medication): In this Ayurveda therapy, medicated oil or herbal juice is infused inside the nostrils, after oleation and fomentation of the neck and face.
- Netra Dhara (Eyewash): This Ayurveda therapy is also used in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. In this therapy, thin streams of herbal medicine are poured over a closed eye from a certain height.
- Lepa (Application of herbal paste): Fort this Ayurveda therapy an herbal paste is applied on the skin surface of the eyelids. It can be done using any of the paste of Nimba/neem (Azadirachta indica), Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Lodhra (Symplocos Racemosa), Shigru (Moringa Olifera), and Eranda (Ricinus communis), depending on the doshas that has been vitiated.
- Netra Tarpana (Eye rejuvenation): This Ayurveda therapy used in the treatment of age related macular degeneration involves the use of warm medicated ghee, which is poured into the eyes and retained inside a herbal paste boundary.
- Taila Shirodhara: For this Ayurveda therpay a lukewarm medicated oil (like sesame oil that has been medicated with herbs such Shankhapushpi, Yashtimadhu, Brahmi, Chandana, etc) is poured over the forehead in a recurrent manner from a perforated pot suspended directly above forehead.
- Takradhara: The Ayurveda therapy sees a lukewarm medicated (with Amalaki and other herbs) buttermilk poured over the forehead in a recurrent manner.
What are the possible causes of Macular Degeneration?
The exact cause of a macular degeneration is yet to be known. However, some factors have been identified to associate with it. They are as follows –
- Ageing: This risk of a macular degeneration increases as a person age.
- Genetics: the risk of a macular degeneration is based on heredity factors, and can run in many generations.
- Smoking: This has been pinpointed as the most common external cause of macular degeneration.
- Obesity: Persons with more weight are at high risk of vision loss.
- Diet: People who consume too much of fast food in their diet are at high risk of macular degeneration.
- Medication conditions like high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol and diavetes may also lead to a macular degeneration
How does macular degeneration appear?
Macular degeneration is of two forms – a wet and a dry form.
Wet macular degeneration
In wet macular degeneration, the function of the retina, mainly macula (the most sensitive part of the retina and responsible for sharp and accurate vision), is seriously damaged.
For wet macular degeneration, the blood circulation in the retina is wholly involved in the pathology, and there is an encroachment of vessels towards the macular zone. The walls of the blood vessels later gets damaged as a result, and the fluid from there leaks into the retinal layers. This has a very high chance of leading to blindness if not handled correctly and in time. These days, incidence of wet macular degeneration is found to be on the increase, and diabetes seems to be a major contributing factor.
Wet macular degeneration accounts for about 10% of all macular degeneration cases.
Symptoms associated with wet macular degeneration include
- Blurring of vision: This is main symptom of a wet macular degeneration, and most often the onset is sudden.
- Distorted vision: Shapes and sizes of objects may be distorted.
- Straight lines either vertical or horizontal may be wavy.
- Experience of dark areas or moving shadows in a visual field, which obstructs clear vision.
- In severe conditions, flashes of lights of flickering dots occurs.
Dry macular degeneration
The dry macular degeneration, which accounts for 90% of macular degeneration, is the degeneration of the macular area. This can lead to blindness. Sometimes, why this may take a long period of 10 years, blindness can also occur within a few days in certain types. The main pathological change in a dry macular degeneration is a dry drusen, a small yellowish lipids deposits that accumulate inside the retinal layers.
Symptoms associated with dry macular degeneration include
The main symptom of a dry macular degeneration is a blurry vision and the loss of central area of the visual field.
- Dark focus area, which leads to difficulty in reading.
- Vision distortion.
- Straight lines may appear wavy.
- Distortion in shape of objects.
- There may be missing or blank areas in the visual field in chronic conditions. This makes it more difficult to read.
- Intolerance towards bright light.
Why should I choose Ayurveda for treatment of macular degeneration?
An Ayurveda treatment doesn’t focus on the symptoms, rather it identifies and focuses in the root cause.
Also, there are two driving principles for the Ayurveda treatment technique. These are
- Shodhan – which is the complete detoxification of the body by means of Panchakarma therapy.
- Shaman – which is the balancing procedure of the doshas by means of lifestyle changes, diet and herbal medicine. This Ayurveda technique works best in a person who has been subjected to the shodhan Ayurveda technique.
Secondly, an Ayurveda treatment is a natural treatment method and has not the tiniest trace of synthetic chemical. This makes the Ayurveda treatment easy on the body. Also, because of its naturalness, it does not pose any risk of side effects, even when it is taken for a long period of time. However, an improper use of it will almost always leads to an undesirable and negative outcome. To avoid unpleasant outcomes is why Ayurveda treatment is always tailored to individual needs. This also ensures a complete eradication of root causes and prevent future health issues.
Ayurveda treatment also uses a philosophic approach along with the medical science. Therefore, it considers the human mechanism and its specific identity and, hence, why two different persons with the same disease will never have the same Ayurveda treatment regimen due to differences in spirit, mind and body.
Can macular degeneration be permanently cured?
No, this is not possible. What is, however, possible is the arrest of the progression of a macular degeneration for longer periods of time. Vision can also be strengthened with the help of an Ayurveda treatment option for macular degeneration.
Is it common to have macular degeneration?
According to the World Health Organization, macular degeneration is the third leading cause of blindness after cataract and glaucoma worldwide.
Are there home remedies for macular degeneration?
There are a couple of recommendations that has been given by experts
- Increase in the intake of Vitamin A in diet.
- Consumption of lots of fruits such as carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, winter squash, pumpkins, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots, and mangoes.
- Consumption of non-vegetarian foods, such as eggs, liver and fish, which are good for eye health.
- Avoid sitting close to a TV and a computer for a long period of time.