By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Shuktika is one of the diseases of the sclera / white of the eye (Netra Shukla Gata Roga).
Read – Eye Diseases Causes, Pathogenesis, Symptoms, Treatment, Herbs
Classification based on the location – Shuktika is a Netra Shuklagata Roga i.e. disease occurring in the sclera part of the eye.
Classification based on Predominant Dosha – Shuktika is a Pitaja Netra Roga i.e. it is caused by vitiated pitta dosha.
Classification based on Sadhya Asadhyata (prognosis) – Shuktika is a Sadhya roga i.e. curable disease.
Classification based on predominant treatment process – Shuktika is one of the eye disorders which have been included in the list of disorders wherein surgical interventions are contraindicated i.e. Ashastra krutya rogas. Shuktika is an aushadha sadhya vyadhi (treatable through medicines).
Read – Classification of Eye Diseases As Per Ayurveda
Shuktika, definition, meaning, pathogenesis
Shuktika is an eye disorder and occurs in the white of the eye i.e. sclera. It is named based on its resemblance with the shukti i.e. oyster shell / pearl oyster in its appearance. In this condition, a dark or dark brown coloured lump(s) or spots resembling a piece of muscle and having the appearance of a pearl oyster appear on the sclera of the eye. This condition is called Shuktika.
This condition is caused by vitiation of pitta dosha. It is a curable condition.
Master Vagbhata too has mentioned that this condition occurs due to vitiated pitta. According to him blackish or brownish dark eruptions or yellow spots are formed on the white portion of the eye. The eye appears like a mirror covered with dirt. Pain and burning sensation occur in the eye as a part of this disease. The patient may also suffer from fever, diarrhoea and thirst while having shuktika eye disorder.
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Signs and Symptoms
- Shyaavaah pishitanibhaah cha bindavo shuktyaabhaah sitaa nayane – appearance of dark / brown coloured spots / lumps on the white of the eye, they appear like piece of muscle and resemble a pearl oyster in shape and size (the spots can have black or yellow color according to master Vagbhata)
- Malakta darsha tulyam vaa sarvam shuklam – the entire eye appears like a mirror covered with dirt
- Burning sensation
- Pain in the eye
- Manda vedanam – mild pain in the eyelids / eyes
Read – Watery Eyes: Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Remedies
Shuktika can be closely compared to a condition called ‘Conjunctival Xerosis’ explained in the modern texts. Actually it happens in the palpebral conjunctiva i.e. the part of conjunctiva covering the sclera. Ayurveda’s explanation that it happens on the white of the eye i.e. sclera can be taken as palpebral conjunctiva. Conjunctival Xerosis means dryness of the conjunctiva covering the sclera. This is a sign of a condition called as Xerophthalmia (read more)
Xerophthalmia means abnormal dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea of the eye with inflammation and ridge formation, typically associated with vitamin A deficiency. Since cornea is not included in the explanation of Shuktika, we can confine the comparison to conjunctival xerosis. On a larger scale, we can also include xerophthalmia into the discussion.
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Treatment of Shuktika eye disorder
Surgical measures are not used to treat shuktika sclera disorder. This condition can be treated with medicines.
The line of treatment of shuktika eye disorder is as below mentioned –
Pittaja Abhishyanda Chikitsa – Shuktika eye disorder shall be treated on the lines of treatment of pittaja abhishyanda i.e. conjunctivitis caused due to the vitiation of pitta dosha.
Amladhyushita Chikitsa – Shuktika should be treated on the lines of treatment of Amladhyushita eye disorder, except bloodletting through venesection. Bloodletting is contraindicated in the treatment of Shuktika because this treatment causes loss of blood and nutrition to the eye. On the other hand, this disease needs support through santarpana, i.e. satiating, refreshing and restorative measures including nutritional foods and medicines as a part of treatment.
Read – Netra Tarpana Treatment For Eye Care Benefits, How To Do?
Virechana – Since Shuktika eye disorder is caused due to predominant vitiation of pitta, therapeutic purgation to expel the morbid pitta is an ideal treatment choice in treating this eye condition.
Read – Virechana Therapy – Right Method, Side Effects, Management
Anjana – Collyrium of cold substances should be applied in the eye of the person suffering from shuktika disorder. They should be prepared from coolants like conch, gold, silver, pearl, cat’s eye gem, crystal quartz, coral etc.
Read – Anjana – Collyrium Types, Method, Uses, Side Effects, Contra Indications
Ghrita prayoga – To pacify the morbid doshas, especially pitta, medicated ghee should be given to drink. Example – old ghee, Tilvaka ghrita, Triphala ghrita etc should be administered as and when needed. Ghee is also specific medication for high pitta conditions.
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