Updated: Apr 18, 2022
Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disease that leads to the fragmentation of cells constituting the retina. For those who don’t know, the retina is located at the rear end of our eyes right next to the nerve that connects the eyes with our brain. Everything that you see around is received as images by the eyes and then transferred to the brain for interpretation. The retina uses two types of cells to perform this task - rod cells and cone cells.
The retina of retinitis pigmentosa patients starts breaking off as its cells begin to break down or die down. Naturally, the condition has an adverse on the visual ability of the patient and sometimes leads to total blindness. However, it is a rare condition that happens to one in every four thousand individuals across the world. Retinitis Pigmentosa treatment in Ayurveda cures this disease with the help of herbs and following risk-free and natural practices.
How Does It Begin - Major Signs And Symptoms
Night Blindness: There are many who believe that night blindness is one of the first signs of this disease. But that is not true. The thing is that people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa have a hard time seeing anything in dimly lit or dark areas. It doesn’t necessarily have to be night, they may report poor visibility in the daytime especially on heavily rainy days, cloudy days, and at dusk and dawn.
Genetic Factors: Apart from this, since it is a genetic disease it is inherited from previous generations. If you had any grandparent or parent or even a sibling suffering from RP, chances are you have a high likeliness of suffering from it. So, if you have any relatives who are suffering from this problem, you need to get yourself checked without any delay. You can check the presence of this disease in your body through an affordable test.
Problem Seeing In The Dark: Retinitis Pigmentosa progresses at a very slow pace, so, it is obvious that most people don’t even notice when they start developing problems related to seeing without light. But as time goes by, the patient faces problems in moving around in classrooms, offices, or even around the house. However, vision loss is also an age-related issue, so one must get a full checkup before assuming it to be retinitis pigmentosa.
Loss of Peripheral Vision: Tunnel vision is another sign of retinitis pigmentosa. It is the loss of peripheral vision which means the person can see things as long as they fall in his or her central field of vision. You must have noticed your doctor checking your eyes for peripheral and central vision by throwing flashes here and there.
Damage To Central Vision: If the disease goes unchecked even after the loss of peripheral vision, the patient loses the central field of vision. And sometimes, patients lose the central vision before the peripheral vision. Loss of central vision is easy to notice because it is what allows one to read, write, and carry on normal vision-related tasks.
Colour Blindness: The rod and cone cells that make up the retina help our brain differentiate between different colours and shades. So, when these cells start breaking down, the patient loses the ability to differentiate between colours. In other terms, they become colour blind.
Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment in Ayurveda
Retinitis Pigmentosa is a degenerative disease which means it cannot be reversed once it starts progressing. However, there are some natural ways that arrest the rate of progression of this disease and slow it down to allow normal life to the patient for the longest possible time. If you are looking for a time-tested retinitis pigmentosa treatment in ayurveda, you may want to look for Ayurveda as it offers some of the best non-surgical methods for this disease.
Ayurveda states that vitiation of vata, pitta, and kapha dosha results in the pathogenesis of RP. It blocks the vision channels and thus interferes with the regular neurological order of the optic nerve. The treatment plan is devised after checking the patient’s condition and progress of the disease. Normally, the Ayurvedic treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa is carried out in two stages: detoxification stage and rejuvenation stage.
The detoxification stage is the initial phase of treatment that focuses on deep cleansing of all systems. It eliminates accumulated toxins through a series of Panchakarma therapies that include Nasya, Virechana, Swedana, Abhyanga, and Snehapana. These therapies are carried out by trained and certified professionals in Ayurvedic facilities. The purpose of these therapies is to clean the body on a cellular level through natural herbs, oils, ghee, and modified elimination processes like induced vomiting, medicated enemas, administration of oil in the nasal area, and steam baths.
Once the detoxification phase is complete, the doctors start working on the rejuvenation process. This part includes the administration of herbal concoctions to restore the natural functioning of all body parts and improve natural immunity. The medicines used for Retinitis Pigmentosa work to strengthen the connection and coordination between the retina and the optic nerve. The ingredients of these medicines also nourish the retina and thus slow down its breakdown and vision loss process.
On the holistic level, both diet and lifestyle are simplified to enhance the effect of detoxification therapies and medicines on the patient’s body. Ayurveda recommends a high dose of medicated ghee for RP patients which pacifies the vitiated doshas. Similarly, an improvised diet plan is prepared for the patient with a focus on improving vision, and relative supplements and ingredients are added to enrich nutritional intake.
The treatment procedures are to be repeated at regular intervals to keep a check on the disease’s progress. The best part of Ayurveda is that it offers affordable and side-effect-free solutions for this disease. Allopathic medicines and processes are costly and start leaving unwanted side effects on the patient’s body which further complicates the condition or leads to an emergence of additional problems. It is for this reason, the Ayurvedic approach is accepted and recommended not just for RP but for several other complications like Blepharism, Bell’s Palsy, PCOS, PCOD, Liver cirrhosis, endometriosis, migraine, and so on.
Dr. Dinesh Sharma, an Eminent Ayurvedic Eye Specialist, and an experienced Ayurveda Doctor.