ARMD-Age-Related-Macular-Degeneration Ayurvedic Treatment
ARMD (Also known as Age-related Macular degeneration) is a degenerative condition of the macula in which senility is a supporting factor.
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ARMD (Also known as Age-related Macular degeneration) Ayurvedic Treatment At Matha
ARMD is a degenerative condition of the macula in which senility is a supporting factor.
The macula is the most sensitive part lying on the innermost layer of the eyeball. The lightrays reflected from the object after travelling through the eyeball converge at the macula. As a result, a series of reactions occur, and a nerve impulse gets formed. This impulse is carried to the visual centre in the brain stem through the visual pathways. In the visual centre, this impulse transforms into the real sense of vision.
In short, the first step of vision development starts from the macula. So, any pathology or disease of the macula can develop severe visual defects. If NOT handled or treated by an expert hand in time, macular degeneration can lead to total blindness.
The main symptoms of macular degeneration are :
- Blurring of vision
- Central Scotoma – There will be a dark or dim circular area in the centre of the visual field. So, when the patient focuses on an object, it cannot be identified clearly.
- Distorted vision – The macula is responsible for sharp/perfect vision. Sharp vision means seeing the object in the correct size, shape, and colour. Since there is a degenerative change in this area, this perfect vision is impossible. E.g., a straight line may seem to be wavy or zig-zagged. The patient may also see the shape in strange ways (e.g., squeezed, slanting, double, flattened out, etc.).
- Missing areas – Sometimes, there will be small blank pockets in the visual field, which creates practical problems while reading, writing, etc. Sometimes, letters may be missing in a word.
- In severe cases, the objects may be smaller than the original.
- Defective colour vision – The patient may not be able to identify the colours correctly.
- If not treated in time, the disease may lead to total blindness.
ARMD is not a compulsory symptom of senility. The development can be avoided by systematic ayurvedic management and appropriate food habits prescribed by an expert.
Types of ARMD: Dry ARMD and wet ARMD.
Some Achakshushya Pitta vitiating factors can vitiate both Vata and Pitta together. Pitta has different properties (Gunas) – Mainly Snigdhatha, Theekshanatha, Ushna, Laghu, Visram, Saram, Dravam etc. Among these, Theekshana, Ushna and Laghu properties are typical for Vata and Pitta. So, suppose that Pitta vitiation is developed by the factors capable of increasing Pitta’s Ushna, Theekshana, and Laghu properties. In that case, there will also be a possibility of associated vitiation of Vata.
If an ARMD is developed in such a situation, there will be some characteristic features of Vata vitiation also. Such a clinical condition can be considered as Dry ARMD. Here, the macula becomes thin, and the functions of the macula become decreased. Vision will worsen gradually. The ability to read and to drive will become major problems. Recognizing the object and face of an individual will be affected for a patient suffering from Dry ARMD.
We know there are various factors which vitiate Alochakapitta. Among these, certain elements are capable of vitiating the properties of Snigdha, Visra, Sara and Dravam. The clinical condition developed by Alochakapitta vitiated by these factors will have its characteristic signs and symptoms. The ARMD having these particular signs and symptoms is known as Wet ARMD. Here, the blood vessels grow into the macular area, and there will be leakage of fluid or blood into this area.
The symptoms usually appear suddenly and progress rapidly. The main symptoms are distorted lines, reduced central vision, difficulty in adapting to dim vision, blurriness of vision – mainly while reading printed words, difficulty in recognizing the colours and the face of individuals, blurring or a blind spot in the visual field, especially in the centre.
What are the vitiating factors of Alochakapitta?
There are so many factors which generally vitiate Pitta. But, they all will not vititate, particularly Alochakapitta. Here, we have to consider the term Chakshushya. Chakshushya means those factors which have a positive impact on the ophthalmic tissues. They are capable of increasing the functional capacity of the visual system. Achakshushya means those factors which harm the visual system. They will reduce the functional capacity of the system. So, any Achakshushya and Pitta vitiating factors are capable of starting the initial changes in the development of ARMD. These are mainly of two types :
- Hot and spicy food items.
- Deep-fried food items.
- Dietary items that have an excessive sour taste.
- Not taking enough quantity of food.
- Not taking food in the scheduled time.
- Overstrain (Athiyoga of the eyes)
- Exposure to and working in bright sunlight
- Lack of proper sleep
- Strainful works in the night
- Focussing on the light sources, especially colourful light
- Overworks on illuminated screens (Mobiles, laptops etc)
- Wrong position while reading, watching TV and other screen work.
- exposure to dust and smoke
Other than the above factors, two main factors also are to be considered :
Dosha prakriti of the patient – People with Pitta Predominant dosha prakriti (body constitution) are easily viable to macular degeneration.
Hereditary factors – If there is a solid hereditary background of this disease, the possibility of the development of ARMD is more.
All the above factors are capable of vitiating Alochakapitta of the eye and are capable of developing ARMD and then starting signs and symptoms.
ARMD on Ayurvedic Theory
According to ayurveda, the macula can be considered the seat of Pitta. Pitta in the eye is Alochakapitta. There are two fractions for alochakapitta – Chakshurvaisheshika Alochakapitta and Budhivaisheshika Alochakapitta.
Chakshurvaisheshika Alochakapitta is located inside the eyeball, and Budhivaisheshika Alochakapitta is located in the brainstem. Since the macula is the point where light rays converge, and Alochakapitta is the functioning factor in the macula, we can say that vitiation of Alochakapitta is the first step in developing macular degeneration. In conditions where senility is a supporting factor, it is termed Age-related Macular degeneration.
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ARMD is not totally curable. So, take preventive measures to prevent the development. Ayurveda can help you in this aspect.
Treatment of ARMD in Ayurveda
Controlling Pitta vitiation, especially Alochakapitta, is the first step in treatment. A differential diagnosis of Dry ARMD and Wet ARMD is also vital. For this, finding out the Dosha dominance is critical.
Treatment for Dry ARMD
Here, Vata and Pitta are to be considered in the treatment. Snehapanam, Brimhana Nasyam, Sirodhara – Tailadhara, Netratharpanam, etc., are the procedures suitable for medication. But, it is to be kept in mind that these are only the terminologies of treatment procedures. The drugs and medicines for these procedures should be selected wisely and fulfil many conditions. It should be mainly Vata Pitta samana and Chakshushya and be capable of acting upon Alochakapitta.
Treatment for Wet ARMD
Here, Pitta is the dominant factor. Pitta is vitiating the Raktha Dhatu. So, the treatment procedures should control Pitta’s vitiation and maintain the properties of Raktha. Treatments like Sirodhara – Ksheeradhara, Thakradahara, Sirolepanam, Tharpanam, Sekam, Ashcotanam, Vitalakam, etc. are the preferable methods. It is to be selected according to the particular clinical condition of the disease. The medicine should satisfy some requirements such as – it should be Raktha Pitta Samana, Chakshushya, and be able to maintain circulation etc.
Early diagnosis and treatment will anyway protect the vision of an ARMD Patient.
If your age is 60 plus, be aware of the symptoms of ARMD.
If you feel any visual disturbances like distortion of the object or dark area in the focussing surface, consult an expert doctor at the earliest.
How to get ayurvedic treatment for ARMD from Matha
Tell us your health concern via contact form, email, or phone
Fill up the medical questionnaire that we send to you.
Consult our Chief Physician at the time slot we schedule for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am 65 years old and have some eye problems. Doctors diagnosed it as ARMD. The doctor told me there is no treatment for that and prescribed some anti-oxidants and vitamin supplements. Can anything be done in Ayurveda?
It is an age-related ophthalmic disease and is degenerative in nature. So, there are limitations to the treatment. Still, there are methods in Ayurveda to improve the retina’s functional capacity and make it stronger and healthier. It will give you benefits and help to protect your vision.
I am now 68 years old. My vision was perfectly ok till two months back. Then, Some symptoms started. Straight lines seem to be zig-zag in nature, and the shape of the objects are distorted. Sometimes, small dark areas are seen on whatever surface I try to focus my eyes on. After a detailed checkup, the doctor told me it was due to ARMD. What can be done by Ayurveda?
It is an age-related degenerative condition of the eye. So itself, it is not totally curable. But, the vision can be protected by systematic ayurvedic management. There are highly beneficial oral medicines and treatment procedures for this. if handled by an experienced ayurvedic ophthalmologist, you can lead a good life with vision.
I am an ARMD Patient. Actually, what is it?
ARMD Means Age-related macular degeneration. Here, the cells of the macula degenerate gradually. The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina. And the light rays reflected from the object are converging on this point. So, a degenerative change of the macula affects the vision seriously. In this particular condition, age or senility is a supporting factor for its development. So, it becomes more serious. If not handled correctly, it may lead to total blindness.
I am 70 years old now, and I have some eye problems. When I read, some letters seem missing and sometimes small in size. I am much worried and scared of it. Doctors told me it is ARMD and that there is no cure for it. What can Ayurveda do for me?
You know – it is an age-related degenerative condition, and that is why it is not curable. But, Ayurveda can help you in different ways. There are highly scientific treatment procedures like Sirodhara, Netratharpanam etc., to improve the functional capacity of your retina and macula. So, the remaining macular cells will be functioning more, and you will get betterment in the condition. Also, modifications in your diet and lifestyle will help you. It should be as per the direction of an expert ayurvedic ophthalmologist only.
I am an ARMD Patient, and I know it is an age-related problem, and I also know that there is no total cure for it. Can it be prevented in Ayurveda?
ARMD is not a compulsory sign of senility, and all people will not get ARMD in old age. If your macula – the most sensitive part of your retina is strong and healthy, its cells will not get degenerated quickly. So, to avoid ARMD means to make your eye, especially your retina, healthy enough. There are various methods and treatment procedures in Ayurveda to acheive this. Treatment procedures like Nasyam, Anjanam, Sirodhara, etc., with appropriately selected medicines, will help to avoid the development of ARMD.
I have some vision problems. I see the straight lines as wavy. I also see a dark invisible area when I look at a white surface. The doctor told me it is ARMD and is incurable. Can Ayurveda Help me?
The symptoms you are experiencing are the main symptoms of ARMD. Since it is a degenerative condition, treatment is not so easy. But, we can make your retina healthier through systematic ayurvedic treatment procedures. So we can delay the degenerative changes and hence try to control the underlying pathology to a great extent.
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