What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that causes changes to the blood vessels in the part of your eye called the retina.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when changes in blood glucose levels cause changes in retinal blood vessels. In some cases, these vessels will swell up (macular oedema) and leak fluid into the rear of the eye.
Types of Diabetic Retinopathy:
There are two types of DR:
- Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR): This is the milder form of diabetic retinopathy and is usually symptomless.
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR): PDR is the most advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy and refers to the formation of new, abnormal blood vessels in the retina.
Signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include:
- blurred vision
- the impairment of color vision
- floaters, or transparent and colorless spots and dark strings that float in the patient’s field of vision
- patches or streaks that block the person’s vision
- poor night vision
- sudden and total loss of vision
Possible complications associated with diabetic retinopathy include the following:
- Vitreous haemorrhage
- Detached retina
Causes and risk factors:
There is a greater risk if the person:
- does not correctly control blood sugar levels
- experiences high blood pressure
- has high cholesterol
- is pregnant
- smokes regularly
- has had diabetes for a long time
Diabetic retinopathy tends to go through these four stages:
- Mild nonproliferative retinopathy
- Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy
- Severe nonproliferative retinopathy
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR)
- eating a healthy and balanced diet
- regularly exercising
- maintaining a healthy body weight
- smoking cessation
- strictly controlling alcohol intake
- attending regular screenings
Diagnosis of Retinopathy:
- Fluorescein angiography
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
- Dilated eye exam
Ayurveda Aspects of Diabetic Retinopathy:
Ayurveda understands Retinopathy as an imbalance in the biological governing energies which causes accumulation of toxins in the blood flowing channels of the body.
Ayurveda focuses on providing strength to the blood vessels of the Retina and Optic nerves due to which the further Hemorrhages are prevented and vision is improved.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Ayurveda:
Controlling Diabetes is the first line of treatment in Diabetic Retinopathy. Along with this Ayurveda treatments should also beneficial according to the condition of the patient. Internal medicines which will control the diabetic level & improves the circulation should be taken during the course of the treatment. The main aim of the treatment is to clear the passage of blood vessels in the most macro levels and improve the blood circulation on the Retina.
With a holistic approach comprising of Detoxification process, Medicines and Therapies, degenerative nerves tissues are repaired.
1. Panchkarma Therapy: The holistic detoxifying process focuses on removing the impurities from the body which caused the imbalance or vitiation of bodily elements. It aims to improve the blood circulation, metabolism and food absorbing abilities to provide enough nourishment and rejuvenation to the degenerative blood vessels and Optic nerves.
- Eye Nourishment Therapy: In this therapy the medicated ghee is poured over the eyelids in an enclosure built around the eye out of wheat flour. It helps in improving blood circulation and strengthen eyes muscles. It also helps in reducing eyes strain, eyes itching and efficient remedy in dry eyes problems.
- Ocular Therapy: Pouring of liquid in thin stream over the closed eye from a height of four inches for some fixed duration helps in formation of blood vessels and gives strength to the optic nerves relaxing the muscles. This Therapy helps to reduce inflammation and allows the medicated oils to penetrate deep beneath the eyes muscles.
- Ayurveda Medicines: Administration of oral medicines and medicated ghee act on degenerative tissues to improve anti-inflammatory response and helps to improve blood circulation. Ayurveda medicines for increasing metabolism and digestion are recommended to help in removal of accumulated toxins and clearance of the blocked blood vessels.
5. Ayurveda Eye Rehydration Therapy: This therapy cools, lubricates, and revitalizes the eyes. This treatment improves inner vision by cleaning even the smallest channels associated with inner and outer perception. It helps bring back clarity to the eyes as impurities are expelled and ailments are corrected. This therapy also helps correct the early formations of cataracts, insomnia, glaucoma, and conjunctivitis.
- Ayurveda Foot Massage Therapy: Ayurveda foot massageperformed with herbal oils. It focuses on balancing the three bio elements and stimulates some special points on the steps that lead to clarification of mind and relaxation. Medications administered through the nasal cavity act on specific areas of the brain that are involved in the regulation of vision.
- Nasal Administration: The treatment refers to Ayurveda therapy that includes sniffing herbal oils, juices or powders through the nose. It works especially for eye, nose and throat problems.
- Eyes Exercises: Exercises such as Palming, Movement of Eye Ball , Sunning , Concentrating Exercises , Candle Exercises are helpful to strengthen the sense organ and also relive the complaints of muscle weakening. Some specific Yoga positions and Sense Therapy along with the use of mouth, ears and skin are helpful in gradually improving the vision of the eyes.