CONTACT LENSES INDUCED DRY EYE (SHUSHKAKSHIPAKA) AND IT’S AYURVEDIC MANAGEMENT.
Dr. Rajesh L. Gadhiya*
Contact lens wearers stop wearing their lenses (about 16 %) because of dryness, followed by blurry and changeable vision and about half of contact lens wearers have dryness due to hypoxic condition of cornea induced by the lenses themselves. Two mechanisms have been proposed to explain this effect. First, the eyelid blinking over the unnatural surface created by the lens causes the tear film to change and evaporate. Second, wearing contact lenses decreases corneal sensation—thereby decreasing the stimulus to create tears and producing a relative aqueous deficiency on the surface of the eye through afferent reflex. In Ayurvedic classics all signs & symptoms of Dry eye syndrome (DES) i.e. dryness, blurring of vision, foreign body sensation, stiffness etc. are explained under the heading of Shushkakshipaka i.e. Shushkata (Dryness) leading to Paka (inflammation) & vice versa. We usually reach a diagnosis of dry eye with contact lenses after ruling out other causes of discomfort - edema, allergy or contact lens deposits, and then examining the eyelids, tear production rate, tear film breakup time and corneal or conjunctival staining for clues. DES is managed by artificial tears – Carboxy Methyl Cellulose (CMC), cyclosporine 0.05 %- treats inflammation, Omega 3-fatty acids – nutritional supplements. But preservatives used in these eye drops again causes dry eye.[4,5] whereas in Ayurvedic classics we find the treatment protocol for Shuskakshipaka with concept of Topical administration of drugs like Aschyotana, Parisheka, Anjana, Tarpana, Putapaka, & systemic Vata-Pittahara medication with medicated Ghrita, which not only substitutes tears but also helps to restores normal physiology of tears & treats underlying causes of dry eye as well. Here's with the hope to diminish patients' symptoms so they can continue wearing their lenses comfortably. Thus the holistic approach of Ayurveda has a lot to contribute in such vision endangering ocular problem.
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