Article by Prof. MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Blepharitis is a commonly found eye disease. It is condition characterized by chronic inflammation of the eyelids, usually in the area of the eyelashes. Due to the inflammation irritation, itching, and red discoloration are also associated in general.
In specific cases oozing and bleeding are also found. Even though it may cause due to specific reasons, it is found as a feature also in few of the chronic eye diseases.
Causation to due the occlusion of the oil glands situated at the base of the eyelashes. It may be due to allergy or infections as per modern medicine.
As per modern ophthalmology, it may be classified as seborrhoeic, staphylococcal, mixed, posterior or meibomitis, or blepharitis of parasitic origin. Ayurvedic science explains this condition as Krimigranthi.
Symptoms of Blepharitis/Krimigranthi:
Watering of the eyes
Redness of the eyes, worsening on exposure to sunshine
Irritation towards air and dust
Sensation of Grittiness in the eyes
Swelling in the eyelids
Sticking of the eye lids
Itching of the eye lids especially in the early morning and late evenings
Flaking of skin on eyelids
Frequent blinking or irritation
Loss of eyelashes after 7-8 days of manifestation etc
Few of the facts related to Blepharitis/Krimigranthi:
People believe that the disease is caused due to the anger or curse of Lord Shiva. So few offer special offerings to Lord Shiva during this suffering. In fact the causative factors like Pitta provoking food and beverages should be avoided.
Even though there is no any evidence regarding permanent eyesight damage due to blepharitis people afraid in this regard unnecessarily.
The reason is during the worsened condition eyes appear ferocious and hence it as believed that a critical illness even though it is not so.
Long persisting untreated blepharitis can lead to eyelid scarring; which is correct and in few of the incidences it may cause difficulty while wearing the contact lenses.
Blurring may be found in chronic suffering of this complaint. But it is momentary and will not persist for long.
Preventive measures in case of Blepharitis
Eyelid hygiene is the keystone of treatment for the majority of blepharitis cases.
The eye wash should be carried 6-8 times per day in clean water.
If the individual is having repeated episodes or seasonal afflictions, washing the eyes with the water added to the Punnaga (Caryophyllum innophylum) leaves acts as a good remedy to prevent as well as to cure.
Face wash with Daruharidra kashaya (decoction of Berberis aristata) is effective in the prevention of Blepharitis.
As per the modrern medicines Krimigranthi is classified into two kinds as per the affected location as-
Anterior blepharitis, which affects the outside front of the eyelid where eyelashes are attached. And
Posterior blepharitis where meibomian glands are involved which are within the eyelids that secrete oils to help lubricate the eye.
Same line of treatment holds good for both the cases.
Line of treatment
Line of treatment for Blepharitis/Krimigranthi as per Ayurveda:
As the disease is a result of Kapha and Pitta,the measures which pacify both the doshas are to be taken care.
Meanwhile excess kaphahara nature of the drugs may harm and hence after once pacification soothing measures are to be adopted. Raktaprasadana and Krimihara medicaments are also recommended by the Ayurvedists in this respect.
Treatment for Blepharitis:
Oral medications for systemic benefits-
Phalatrikadi kashaya etc
Elaneer kuzumbu etc
ITone eye drops
Opthacare eye drops
Following tips will give much relief during its suffering:
Apply a warm compress such as a washcloth or kerchief to the outer eyelids.
Gentle massage over the outer eyelids gives soothing effect for few minutes during working..
Warm compress also loosens the crust accumulated on the eyelids and eyelashes.
The warmth loosens any blocked residue present in the oil-secreting meibomian glands.
Blepharitis which is diagnosed as Krimigranthi in Ayurveda is not a life threatening illness.
But it is most annoying suffering to the victims of this particular problem. Also it is difficult to manage because it’s chronic nature and frequent recurrence.
So early detection, proper diagnosis and enough hygienic care are the points to be remembered in case of blepharitis.