Home Remedies for Myopia
Home remedies for myopia include eye exercises, vitamin and mineral rich diet, eating almonds, triphala, liquorice, ayurvedic medicines, taking rest after long hours of reading and work. Some of the things to be avoided while suffering from myopia are performing close range work, sitting in front of TV and electronic devices for longer periods and working in low lit areas.
What is Myopia?
Myopia is the scientific name given to nearsightedness. Nearsightedness is the condition where a person is not able to see objects at a distance. Myopia is considered as a refractive type of error in the eye. The focus of distant objects falls in front on the retina rather than on the surface of the retina, resulting in the inability to clearly see things that are beyond a certain distance.
According to an estimate by the American Optometric Association, about 30% of the population in the United States is affected by myopia. Research by many scientific communities suggests that myopia has its backgrounds in the person’s genes. But, there is mounting new research which suggests that myopia can occur in people working on objects that are very close. In other words, people who see objects that are very near to them.
Research shows that under normal conditions, it is difficult to focus on objects that are near than focusing on objects that are far away. This stress causes the eye to elongate gradually to allow for the eye to adjust itself to focus on objects that are near. This process will eventually make the eyes incapable of seeing things which lie at a distance. Scientifically, this process is called ciliary muscle spasm, a condition in which the eye becomes elongated to accommodate for seeing objects that are close.
Some ophthalmologists argue that myopia can be the root cause for permanent damage to the eye causing blindness in the long run. But, even in the short run,myopia can cause trouble. Children particularly school going mostly faces this problem, when they have to focus on the writings on the black board. They complain of blurred vision or difficulty to see things that are at a distance.
Symptoms of Myopia
Symptoms of myopia include
- Regular headaches
- Light sensitivity during nights
- Eye strain because of pressure exerted while trying to focus
- Strained focus tends to cause a squint in the eyes
Types of Myopia
Some of the most common types of myopia include
- Simple myopia: Simple myopia is one of the most common types of myopia that is found. In this condition, the eye has become longer.
- Nocturnal myopia: Nocturnal myopia or night myopia is a condition in which eyes experience difficulty in seeing in low light conditions. But, daytime vision can be normal. Night myopia commonly occurs because of pupil dilation and adding of aberrations thus, resulting in myopic condition.
- Pseudomyopia: Pseudomyopia is another type of myopia associated with excessive close work. This is mostly seen in young people.
- Degenerative myopia: As the name suggests, degenerative myopia becomes worse over time and is regarded as one of the reasons for blindness. It is also known as pathological myopia and can result in retinal detachment and glaucoma.
- Induced myopia: Induced myopia occurs due to exposure to medications, high levels of glucose in the body, nuclear sclerosis, etc. More often, induced myopia can be reversed. If the exposure is continuous and happens for a long time, it can result in permanent setting.
Causes of Myopia
Some of the major causes of myopia include
- Near work: This is perhaps one of the most overlooked causes of myopia. Working near close range to eyes is perhaps one of the major factors for increased myopia causes. This was proved in a controlled experiment conducted in the United States in Alaska. In Alaska, there were hardly any cases of myopia before the introduction of compulsory education system. 10 years after the initiation of education system, there were reportedly 75% of myopic cases in children. Their illiterate parents and grandparents did not experience any symptoms of myopia on the other hand.
- Working under low light conditions: Working in the dark or in low light conditions is also one of the causes of myopia. Due to lack of optimum light, the eyes have to exert pressure trying to focus on objects especially reading. This extra effort translates into myopia.
- Long term use of corrective lenses: Research conducted by National Eye Institute in the United States, indicates that myopic condition can be aggravated by the use of corrective (minus) lenses for a long period of time.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is one of the causes of myopia. Type II Diabetes is also a contributing factor for eye diseases such as myopia. In diabetes, excess of sugar in blood hampers the flow of blood. In this case, the blood flows slowly through optical nerves. In other words, objects appear blurry to diabetic person.
- Hereditary Factors: According to a study conducted at Ohio State University College of Optometry, heredity is also one of the important factors that contribute to myopia.
Home Remedies for Myopia
Myopia can be reduced by adopting few home remedies which include:
- Eye exercises: According to research conducted at the Ophthalmology Department, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand by Rawstron, Burley and Elder, eye exercises do have an effect on myopic condition. Today, ophthalmologic doctors are recommending eye exercises apart from medication and prescription glasses. Yoga is yet another source for eye exercises.
- Breathing exercises: Breathing exercises can also be taken up as home remedies for myopia. These breathing exercises can be done at home in a relaxed way. Close your eyes and inhale with nose and exhale with mouth in a steady and continuous manner for more than three minutes. Do not strain by trying to breath in more air.
- Take break from long hours of studying, watching TV: This is perhaps one of the best home remedies for myopia. Continuous reading, watching TV and working on a computer for longer hours requires focus of our eyes at short distances and thus myopia sets in. In order that the incidence of myopia is less, one must take regular breaks from continuous reading, watching TV or computer.
- Work in adequately lit places: Working in low light conditions can have a serious affect on the sight of a person. When we work in low light conditions, we put an extra stress on our eyes which strains the muscles inside and tightens them up resulting in myopia.
- Intake of Vitamins: Consumption of vitamins is a one of the major home remedies for myopia. Vitamins and eyesight have had a close relationship for a very long time. Vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin D and vitamin C have been associated with good eye sight. These vitamins found in vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods such as carrots, tomatoes, apples, peppers, fish, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, etc are very much helpful.
- Triphala (Ayurvedic approach): Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system describes various ways to treat eye diseases. One such prescription for myopia is through Triphala or a mix of three fruit extracts. These include beleric, Indian gooseberry, and yellow myrobalan. Triphala is available in Ayurvedic medicine shops or the mix can be prepared at home from fresh fruits or their extracts.
- Kusuma Varthi Anjana (Ayurvedic approach): Kusuma Varthi Anajana is Ayurvedic medicinal preparation used for treatment of simple myopia. This contains sesamum flowers, long pepper and common jasmine and black pepper. Mix all these ingredients and mash them. Add water to this mash to make it in to a paste and dry it in shade. This mixture can be taken twice a day to minimize the incidence of Myopia.
- Almond, coconut, aniseed and candy sugar: This is one of the simple home remedies for myopia. Mix almond, coconut, aniseed and candy sugar and make them into a powder. This powder can be consumed twice daily. It is known to improve myopic condition.
- Liquorice: Liquorice is also another spice that is used as a remedy for myopia. Take liquorice in very small quantity (not more than half a spoon) and mash it up. Make two equal parts, mix one in honey and the other in ghee. Consume these mixtures every day twice with milk. Take each mixture once.
Research has shown that myopia can be temporarily corrected with prescribed minus (concave) glasses. But, in the long run, myopia has been noted to progress. As it progresses, it has to be countered with much powerful prescription glasses or lenses.