Health Information – 3

3. Nearsightedness (myopia)

Definition
Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry.
The degree of your nearsightedness determines your ability to focus on distant objects. People with severe nearsightedness can see clearly only objects just a few inches away, while those with mild nearsightedness may clearly see objects several yards away.
Nearsightedness may develop gradually or rapidly, often worsening during childhood and adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families.
A basic eye exam can confirm nearsightedness. You can easily correct the condition with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Another treatment option for nearsightedness is surgery.

Symptoms :
Being nearsighted may mean:
• Distant objects appear blurry
• You need to squint to see clearly
• You have headaches caused by excessive eyestrain

Nearsightedness is often first detected during childhood and is most common during early school years through the later teens. A child with nearsightedness may:
• Persistently squint
• Need to sit very close to the television, movie screen or blackboard
• Hold books very close while reading
• Seem to be unaware of distant objects
• Blink excessively
• Rub his or her eyes frequently

Cause:
Nearsightedness is a type of refractive error. That means you can’t see clearly because the light that enters your eye doesn’t bend (refract) properly.

Normal vision
To focus the images it sees, your eye relies on two critical parts:
The cornea, the clear front surface of your eye
The lens, a clear structure inside your eye that changes shape to help focus objects
In a perfectly shaped eye, each of these focusing elements has a perfectly smooth curvature like the surface of a rubber ball. A cornea and lens with such curvature bend (refract) all incoming light in such a way as to make a sharply focused image on the retina, at the back of your eye.

A refractive error
However, if your cornea or lens isn’t evenly and smoothly curved, light rays aren’t refracted properly, and you have a refractive error. Nearsightedness is one type of refractive error. Nearsightedness can occur when your cornea is curved too much or when your eye is longer than normal. Instead of being focused precisely on your retina, light is focused in front of your retina, resulting in a blurry appearance for distant objects.

Other refractive errors
In addition to nearsightedness, other refractive errors include:
Farsightedness (hyperopia). This occurs when your cornea is curved too little or your eye is shorter from front to back than normal. The effect is the opposite of nearsightedness. Light is focused beyond the back of your eye, making nearby objects blurry. You’re usually able to see faraway objects clearly.

Astigmatism
This occurs when your cornea is curved more steeply in one direction than in another. Uncorrected astigmatism blurs your vision. Typically, the images you see will be blurred more in one direction than another. For example, horizontal images may be more out of focus than are vertical or diagonal images.

Complications:
Nearsightedness may be associated with several complications, such as:
Reduced quality of life.
Uncorrected nearsightedness can affect your quality of life. You might not be able to perform a task as well as you wish, and your limited vision may detract from your enjoyment of day-to-day activities.
Eyestrain.
Squinting to see in the distance can cause eyestrain and headaches.
Impaired safety.
For your own safety and that of others, don’t drive or operate heavy equipment if you have an uncorrected vision problem.

Glaucoma.
Severe nearsightedness increases your risk of developing glaucoma, a potentially serious eye disease.

Retinal tear and detachment.
If you’re significantly nearsighted, it’s possible that the retina of your eye is thin. The thinner your retina, the higher your risk of developing a retinal tear or retinal detachment. If you experience a sudden onset of flashes, floaters or a dark curtain or shadow across part of your eye, seek medical assistance immediately. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency, and time is critical. Unless the detached retina is promptly surgically reattached, this condition can cause permanent loss of vision in the affected eye.

Tests and diagnosis
Nearsightedness is diagnosed by a basic eye exam. A complete eye examination involves a series of tests. Your eye doctor may use various instruments, aim bright lights directly at your eyes and request that you look through an array of lenses. Each test allows your doctor to examine a different aspect of your vision.

Treatments and drugs in Ayurveda
Nearsightedness is diagnosed by a basic eye exam. A complete eye examination involves a series of tests. Your eye doctor may use various instruments, aim bright lights directly at your eyes and request that you look through an array of lenses. Each test allows your doctor to examine a different aspect of your vision.

Treatments and drugs
The goal of treating nearsightedness is to help focus light on your retina through the use of corrective lenses or refractive surgery.

Corrective lenses
Wearing corrective lenses treats nearsightedness by counteracting the increased curvature of your cornea or the increased length of your eye. Types of corrective lenses include:

Eyeglasses.
Eyeglasses come in a wide variety of styles and are easy to use. Eyeglasses can correct a number of vision problems at once, such as myopia and astigmatism. Eyeglasses may be the easiest and most economical correction solution.

Contact lenses.
A wide variety of contact lenses are available — hard, soft, extended wear, disposable, rigid gas permeable (RGP) and bifocal. Ask your eye doctor about their pros and cons and what might be best for you.

Refractive surgery
This treatment corrects nearsightedness by reshaping the curvature of your cornea. Refractive surgery methods include:
• Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK).
• Laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis (LASEK).
• Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
• Anterior chamber intraocular lens (IOL) implant.

Treatment & Drugs in Ayurveda
After the diagnosis, the doctor sets out to treat the patient in a very systematic manner. This would include a set of appropriate Panchakarma treatments and Rasayana therapies .

The Panchakarma Treatments are meant to flush out the toxins, They are classified as pre-purification, main purification and post purification phases and include various types of therapies like oil massages, fermented liquid massages, medicinal enemas, herbal purification methods.

After body purification rasayana therapies along with Netra Kriya-kalpa’s were started such as:

1.Sekam :- An eye wash using medicated kashayam.
2.Anjanam :- An application of medicine in the form of paste to he eye.
3.Aschotanam :- An adminestration of eye drops to the eye.
4.Tharpanam :- Keeping medicated ghee over the eye for a stipulated period, making concentric boundary around the orbit.
5.Puttapakam :- Keeping medicaments prepared out of plant extracts,Fats & certain minerals over the eye for a stipulated period, making concentric boundary around the orbit.

*In all the above kriya-kalpa different types of drugs are selected by your doctor according to the doshas involved.

Oral medication
1. Mahatriphala ghritham.
2. Jeeventiadi ghritham.
3. Saptamritha loha.
4. Bramharasayanam.

Lifestyle
Although you can’t prevent nearsightedness, you can help protect your eyes and your vision. Follow these steps:
• Have your eyes checked. Regardless of how well you see, have your eyes checked regularly for problems.
• Control chronic health conditions. Certain conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can affect your vision if you don’t receive proper treatment.
• Recognize symptoms. Sudden loss of vision in one eye, sudden hazy or blurred vision, flashes of light, black spots, or halos or rainbows around lights may signal a serious eye problem, such as a retinal tear or detachment, requiring urgent medical attention. Similar symptoms can be caused by other serious medical problems, such as acute glaucoma or a stroke. Talk to your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
• Protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses that block both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. This is especially important if you spend long hours in the sun or are taking a prescription medication that increases your sensitivity to UV radiation.

• Eat healthy foods. Maintain a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, which have shown to enhance eye health. Try foods that contain vitamin A and beta carotene, such as carrots. Dark leafy greens and fish also may be especially helpful for good eye health.
• Don’t smoke. Just as smoking isn’t good for the rest of your body, it can affect your eye health as well.
• Use the right glasses. The right glasses optimize your vision. Having regular exams will ensure that your eyeglass prescription is correct.
• Use good lighting. Use adequate light for optimal vision. .

Diet :
• Brinjal, Lady finger, Jackfruit, Curd, Pickles, Lemon, Oily-Spicy food should be avoided .
• Include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet.The antioxidant vitamins in the fruits and vegetables contribute to eye health. Eating a variety of colors ensures that you’re getting a variety of vitamins.
• Choose healthy fats. Healthy unsaturated fats, such as the fats found in olive oil, may help protect your vision. Choose these healthy fats over saturated fats, such as butter, and trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils found in packaged foods.
• Choose whole grains over refined grains. Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, over refined grains, such as white bread.
• Add fish to your diet. Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that may help reduce the risk of vision loss related to macular degeneration. Fish that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines and tuna. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in supplements and nuts, such as walnuts.

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