Hi friends! Today, let's learn about ayurveda's perspective on dry eye.
Dry eye is an issue I see a lot in my practice. The cause can stem from overuse, misuse or abuse of this sense organ as well as the stage of life a person is in, time of year or an underlying illness.
If you think about it, with our constant use of electronics, our eyes are most definitely overused, misused AND abused! Studies show our eyes are the most overused sense today perceiving 80% of all impressions.
But, did you know there are some other root causes for your dry eye to look out for like:
Aging As we age and enter vata stage of life (50+) there is a natural drying of the all the tissues and the eyes will lose more moisture.
Hormone fluctuations Women entering peri-menopause/menopause may notice changes in their eyes and dryness as their bodies adjust to changing levels of estrogen.
Seasonal allergy medications These affect the moisture in the eyes as they are used to dry the nasal cavity which affects the balance of the overall moisture in the body.
Common medications antidepressants birth control beta blockers pain medication gastrointestinal medications
Liver issues and weakness in the blood
Of course, the cause of dry eye is not limited to these examples, but they might give you a starting place to consider when looking for the cause.
REMEMBER Vata dominate people are more likely to have dry eye simply due their body type being less "juicy" so you vatas are always about finding moisture and getting it in and on you! Look out for an increase in dryness in fall and winter months.
AND, If you are 50+ you are in vata stage of life where dryness will need to be addressed in the body from now on (even if you never had a moisture problem before) it's a natural change that you can support by staying hydrated and oiled.
It is very important to NOTE that not all dry eye should be treated by simply adding moisture to the eye. The eye is primarily made of fat tissue. Many drops and other treatments will be temporary, leaving the tissues irritated and more dry later.
Tear film is the byproduct of plasma, fat, and marrow and if there is not balance within these channels it will be difficult to remedy. So taking care of your diet by incorporating ghee and good oils into your food and exercising appropriately can help remedy this situation.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT DRY EYE
Ghee (clarified butter) is the most important food for the eyes. Taking it in your food is a must, but having an ayurvedic eye treatment is heaven! This sounds bizarre (and trust me it was a little scary the first time I did it!) but it was the most nourishing thing I've ever experienced for my eyes.
The treatment is called netra basti.
This is a treatment where you lay down in a very relaxed position and warm ghee is delivered directly into your eyes. You rest here, allowing deep absorption of the ghee into your eyes. For the best results this treatment is administered several times according to your ayurvedic doctor. It is not offered here in Cleveland, but you can easily do a search to find places in the US who do provide this service.
BUT YOU CAN apply some ghee to your eyes all by yourself
Do this before bed as your eyes will be a bit blurry after
Wash your face
Put some warm ghee in a clean sterile dropper (make sure it's only slightly warm or room temp so you don't burn your eye)
Lay down and keep your eye open as you drop a little bit of the ghee into the inner corner of the eye. Let yourself get used to it. As you become more comfortable you can add in a few more drops.
Don't rub it in, just allow it to enter the eye naturally.
If your hands are clean you can rub a little along the inner rim of the eye.
If you don't have tons of money to spend on fancy treatments, try this and ask for advice from me if you you have questions.
If that option is completely out for you, no worries, I got ya!
Try an eye wash
you'll need eye wash cups (you can buy them through my store HERE) or get them at most drugstores.
To wash the eyes, fill an eye cup ½ full with high quality, organic, additive-free rose water (also called rose hydrosol), then fill the rest of the way with warm (not hot), pure water. Bend forward and press the cup into your eye socket, with your eye closed. Then lift your head/eye cup upward as you tilt your head back, allowing the diluted rose water to fill the eye cavity of your closed eye. Then open your eye and soak your eye in the rose water for a few moments, blinking a few times. Be sure that you’re not wearing eye makeup when you do this. You can also use triphala eye wash. Triphala is an herbal blend of haritaki, bibhitaki and amalaki. To make triphala eye wash: add ½ tsp of triphala powder to a glass or ceramic cup and add 8 ounces boiled, filtered water. Stir the triphala and hot water mixture well, remove the spoon and leave it to cool. It’s suggested to make this in the evening and leave it overnight for morning use. Alternatively, make it in the morning and leave it all day for evening use. An hour is usually long enough for all of the sediment to be well settled and the solution saturated with triphala’s beneficial nutrients. Strain with cheesecloth and use as described above.
Do this once or twice a week and let me know how it feels! If you have any infections or injury in the eyes do not do these practices. And at the very least...get off those phones as much as you can and rest your eyes on the beauty of the world around you! Have a wonderful week! ~Julie