Diabetic retinopathy which is a serious complication of diabetes is a global public health crisis that threatens the economy worldwide. Fueled by rapid urbanization, transition in our foods and nutrition and the increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the disease has developed in a faster pace than the economical development. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness worldwide affecting as many as 126 million people with diabetes and potentially as many as 191 million by 2030.
In diabetic retinopathy, the circulatory and neurological changes occur and the function of the eye is interrupted. The traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine offers preventive treatments for patients of diabetes not affected with diabetic retinopathy and curative methods of treatments for those affected with this vision threatening disease.
There are many factors influencing development of diabetic retinopathy :
- Chronicity of diabetes
- Severity of diabetes
- Hereditary factor
- Body constitution
- Environmental and occupational factors
- Stress and strain
- Dietary and other habitual factors.
Initial stage of diabetic retinopathy is missed in most cases. The reason is that vision is not affected seriously i n this stage. 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.
According to Ayurveda, diabetic retinopathy can be classified into three stages,
1) Stage 1: The patient will have symptoms like watering from eyes, heaviness of head and eyes, eye strain, sensitivity to light. If a patient with diabetes complaints of these symptoms then we need to suspect it to be the initial stage of diabetic retinopathy and do the further examinations. The patient in this stage will respond excellently to the treatments as the disease has not encroached the internal part of the eye. We perform external therapies like seka, vidalaka, nasya karma, vasti karma and other Shodhana karma which clears the channels and internal medications which are suitable clears the channels. Depending on the patient’s body constitution we will be choosing the treatments.
2) Stage 2 : In this stage, there will be involvement of the inner part of the eyes along with marked vision loss. Proper management if given we can arrest the progression of the disease and gradual improvement of the vision will be found. If the blood sugar is not maintained properly, maybe immediate measures from other system of medicine might be required. External treatments like takradhara, talapodhichil, vidalaka, pindi, etc along with internal medications is what we deliver in this stage to the patient.
3) Stage 3: If the patient approaches at stage 3, definitely there are other complications like retinal detachment, etc. Then the treatment will be given based on the complication. The treatments will be done to maintain the existing vision and to prevent blindness.
India has become the diabetic capital of the world and as the globe is going to celebrate one more diabetic awareness day, we Healing Earth Multi-speciality Ayurveda Hospital is taking a step to bring about the awareness of what Ayurveda can do in helping you to preserve your vision inspite of being a diabetic.