EYES – HEALTHY HABITS

AYURVEDA – the Eternal science of life is unique in its rituals and habits in maintaining a healthy mind and body. According to Ayurveda, human body is equipped with two types of indriyas (senses) namely:-

  • Gyaana indriya
  • Karma indriya

Eyes are classified under Gyaana indriya which means that the eyes play a vital role in understanding and gaining knowledge.

According to Ayurveda, “Eyes are the windows to the mind”. Ancient Ayurvedic literature emphasises and describes different ways to maintain the health of the eyes as they are considered as the most significant sensory organ in humans. The ancient Ayurvedic texts also talks a lot about the eyes, including, healthy habits, various eye disorders, their probable causes and therapies.

Ayurveda says that the eye is governed by the Pitta dosha, particularly Alochaka Pitta, which becomes imbalanced as we age. This is the reason why it is important to take specially take care of those precious and delicate pair that gives us sight.

Now-a-days the primary reasons regarding the ill-health of the eyes are due to their overuse and negligence. Almost all of us spend considerable amount of our time glued to the screen of some or the other electronic gadget. These gadgets emit bright light as well as considerable amount of heat that ultimately tires our eyes. Eventually, this leads to eye dryness and a variety of other eye problems. Some of the other problems include; mild headaches, burning sensation, excessive watering and many other such issues. These are nothing but a few warning signals. If this situation is handled well in the early stages itself, further complications can be avoided. Below are some simple steps to prevent eye disease and improve vision.

  • Never stare at anything for a long time. Blink periodically and at short intervals. This will prevent all kinds of strain to the eyes. At the same time, closely staring at the TV, computer screen, smart phone, or any other kinds of gadgets can cause myopia (near sightedness). Thus, it is important to watch these gadgets from at least ten feet away.
  • Avoid reading/working in either very dim light or very bright sunlight. Optimum light is necessary for healthy eyes.
  • Staring continuously for sometime in the distance or close-up is particularly unsafe in bright sunlight. This is worse if you are around water or reflecting objects. In such situations, wearing dark glasses is good to shield your eyes from the bright light of the sun.
  • Lack of sleep is another hurdle that can make your eyes unhealthy. Sleeplessness can be corrected by avoiding the use of gadgets while on bed. Also, one should avoid watching television when you are about to sleep. In addition, try going to bed fifteen minutes earlier. Soon and gradually, you can align to your bedtime.
  • Another way to keep the eyes from getting damaged is by avoiding excessive strain to one’s feet. As legs are considered the chimneys of the body, they should always be kept clean and warm.

Morning Routine for Eyes:

  1. After you wake up in the morning, fill your mouth with water and hold it for a few seconds with your eyes closed. Spit it out and repeat this process 2 to 3 times.
  2. Splash your eyes and face with cold or slightly warm water for 10 to 15 times. Repeat this again in the evening when you return from work or school. If the strain is too much, one must wash the eyes with Amla decoction (Indian gooseberry) in the morning. It has excellent soothing and strengthening effect.

Caution: Never use hot or icy water on the eyes. Also, avoid sudden temperature changes.

Yoga for Eyes

Yogic eye exercises are a gentle and helpful way to prevent vision problems. If you are a person who does yoga regularly, then you can continue with the normal practice, as most yogic exercises have a good effect on the eyes.

Yogic Eye Exercises

  1. Sit in the Sukha aasana (effortless posture) with your legs comfortably crossed and your spine, neck and head in a straight line. Look directly to the front at the parallel level of eye. Breathe normally during this pose.
  2. Move your eyes upward to the ceiling and stay in that position for two seconds. Look downwards and stay like that for another two seconds. After that, close your eyes for two seconds.
  • Look toward the right side, as far as your eye will see, for two seconds. Look to the left side for two seconds, in the same manner. Look to the front again.
  1. Close your eyes for 6 to 8 seconds.
  2. This completes one round. Continue with 2 to 3 rounds and increase to upto four rounds.

Palming

  1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.
  2. Rub both palms together quickly for few seconds. This friction will generate mild heat.
  • Close the eyes and gently place the left palm over the left eye and the right palm over the right eye for one minute. Do not press the eyeballs with the palms. Allow the palms to gently rest over the eyes.
  1. Repeat this process 2 to 3 times.
  2. Other poses that strengthen the eyes include the Bhujanga aasana (snake pose), Surya Namaskara and Shava aasana (rest pose).

Avoid Computer Exhaustion

If your job requires you to stare at a computer screen for a long time or spend long hours doing a job that is detailed oriented like embroidery works or stitching, use the below tips to get rid of eye exhaustion.

  1. At intervals, look away from computer screen. Perform the Palming process as mentioned above at an interval of every thirty minutes.
  2. Moisten two cotton wool pads with pure Rose Water and place over closed eyes. Relax for 10 minutes with the pads over your eyes. Rose Water has a cooling effect and is especially helpful for tired eyes.

Healthy Foods and Drinks for Healthy Eyes

To strengthen eyesight, or if you face eye strain, add stewed apple, sprouted chickpeas and raw carrot (an excellent source of Vitamin A) to your diet.

Almonds can be used to make a nourishing drink which is healthy for the eyes. Grind almonds, raw sugar and anise seeds and add this to a cup of warm milk.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Constipation, or internal dryness, has an adverse effect on the eyes. It is good to stay away from caffeinated drinks.

Dr. Kunal M. Gohil

Sr. Lecturer & I/c H.O.D.

I.I.A.P.S.

G.A.U.

Jamnagar

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