A sticky situation

Conjunctivitis, a highly contagious and sore condition prone to manifest in rainy weather. In this condition the conjunctiva becomes inflamed and turns red. The whole eye can become pink with burning sensation, itching and excretes a sticky yellowish discharge which can crust over.

This condition is knows as netra-abhishyandam in ayurveda and is often caused usually by similar causative factors to that of colds and flu’s such as bacteria and sometimes viral infections. Chemical exposure and environment conditions such as wind, smoke, dust and allergies can also be causative factors as well as internal factors such as blockages in the tear duct drainage.

Some basic do and don’ts:

  • Avoid rubbing or touching the infected eyes
  • Soak the eye area with warm water to reduce crusty residue
  • Do not wear contact lenses or eye make-up (and never share)
  • Do cold compresses to the eye (see below)
  • Observe extra hygiene, clean pillows, clothes, towels etc – replenish daily
  • Avoid hot, spicy & sour foods as this can be aggravating
  • Increase intake of turmeric, honey, green vegetables, fruits, vegetable & Indian gooseberry juice.

Ayurvedic Remedies:

  • Triphala powder can be taken orally to reduce viral infections by increasing anti-oxidants on the blood stream
  • Triphala infusion can be used as a wash to the infected eye area
  • An infusion of turmeric water is cooling and antiseptic, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial to the eye
  • Place warm salt water (sterile) cotton swabs on the eyes, this can be combined with turmeric
  • Mix a raw honey with warm sterile water and place 1-2 drops in each eye (effective but may cause a little burn) – best if there is a lot of discharge.
  • Relieve burning & swelling with a cooled coriander seed infusion, wash eye or place cotton swabs on eye
  • Use pure rose water drops cool & relieve redness
  • Triphala grtam can be administered in netra tarpana (medicated eye bath) by a practitioner for a deeper cleanse of the whole eye.

An ayurvedic practitioner can guide you to the best way to treat this and eye infections at  home, based you dosha type and the root cause – be it bacterial, viral, chemical, allergic or other. It is nice to know and share  quick, simple effective ways to manage the sight for sore eyes!