Ayurvedic Treatment For Diabetic Retinopathy

Even though Diabetic Retinopathy starts as a complication of diabetes mellitus, later, it turns to attain a separate identity. 

That means, after a level, even though even though diabetes is under control, diabetic retinopathy may progress in its own way.

 If not handled in time, in correct way, it is capable of leading to blindness. So, once the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy is manifested, it should be handled with extreme care.

Matha Ayurveda Eye Hospitals have a successful line of approach for prevention of retinopathy in diabetic patients and also treatment methods to protect the vision in a diabetic retinopathy affected patient.

Initial stage of diabetic retinopathy is missed in most cases. The reason is that vision is not affected seriously i n this stage because the patient will be concentrating only on the blood sugar level. 

It is to be remembered that even though blood sugar level is within normal limits, there are chances of developing diabetic retinopathy in a diabetic patient. There are many factors influencing development of diabetic retinopathy : 

  • Chronicity of diabetes
  • Severity of diabetes
  • Hereditary factor
  • Body constitution – Dosha prakrithi
  • Environmental and occupational factors
  • Stress and strain
  • Dietary and other habitual factors.

It is the duty of a diabetologist to direct a diabetic patient for consultation with a ophthalmologist even though there is no ophthalmic complaints. 

The very initial symptoms are mild headache, eye strain while reading, working in front of computer, watching T.V etc, fullness and heaviness of the head and eye, esp in the early morning, hypersensitivity to bright light, watering of the eye while straining, etc. 

Further development of the disease depends on the above said factors. The pathological changes are mainly dilation of the vessels, congestion of the retinal vessels, blockages in the microsvascular system in the retina, retinal oedema, haemorrhages, exudates formation, neovascularisation etc. In the later stage, there may be macular hole, retinal detachment ,and other degenerative changes.

According to ayuveda, the course of diabetic retinopathy can be classified into three stages :

  1. Initial stage of kapha predominance (Nethrabhyshyanda) – Here, there will not be considerable ophthalmic symptoms. Only an experienced doctor can diagnose this condition. The line of treatment should be sira-sodhanam. Nasyam, Gandoosham, kabalam, etc are more preferable in this stage than ophthalmic applications.
  2. Stage of pitta predominance – Usually, the patients come to an eye specialist in this stage. There will be considerable visual problems. The patient may experience blurring of vision, sudden decrease in vision, metamorphopsia, sometimes burning sensation in the eye, photo phobia, etc. Here, pitta is the predominant dosha and pittasamana should be the line of treatment. Sirodhara, Netrasekam, vitalakam , Aschotanam, thalom, etc are preferable. Alongside, the patient has to follow strict dietary regulations. i.e, simple medication is not enough, the dietary factors, other habitual factors such as head bath, sleep, journey, oil application etc should be arranged according to the specific features of the particular individual. The factors should vary from individual to individual. Only an experience person can do this. If this stage is handled correctly, there is no chance of further complications and visual loss.
  3. Third stage of tridosha predominance or stage of complications – If the second stage is not handled correctly, and the etiological factors continue, the disease turns to complications. Here, a strict line of treatment is not possible. The treatment varies according to the particular complication. For e.g., if it is detachment, vata predominant should be considered seriously, if there is neo-vascularisation, pitta should be considered more, if there is fluid accumulation, kapha should be taken seriously. The treatment should vary accordingly.