Dr Qadeer Unnisa Begum
Abstract: Eye disorders are group of eye diseases which shows no symptoms and may be painless in the early stages with no change in vision until the disease has become quite advanced. There are more than 200 eye conditions, ranging from common problems (e.g. dry eye disease, stye, cataracts and glaucoma) to rarer diseases (e.g. ocular melanoma and vernal keratoconjunctivitis). Most of the people experience the eye problems at one or the other stages of life. Some are minor and will go away on their own but others need a specialist’s care. Homoeopathy can offer good scope in cases with early diagnosis and can prevent blindness. Even though the scope offered by homeopathy is wide in treating eye disorders, being a drug based therapeutic system it excludes the large number of surgical conditions. Eye problems though appear to be isolated from the rest of the body; they must be seen holistically for selecting right remedy & making successful prescription with exception to common acute conditions like stye, conjucitivis, blepharitis etc. where specifics can be used.
Introduction: The human eye, the visual organ is one of the special senses, in fact the most important of the special senses. We can very well understand the horrible situation if sight is not there. Blindness knows no geographic, economic, or cultural bounds. It respects neither age nor gender. The number of cases of blindness are increasing. Avoidable blindness and visual impairment have become an international public health problem. The National Programme for Control of Blindness was launched in the year 1976 with the goal to reduce the prevalence of blindness from 1.4 to 0.3 percent and the Vision 2020: “The Right to Sight” is a global initiative to reduce avoidable (preventable and curable) blindness by the year 2020 in which Target diseases were cataract, refractive errors, childhood blindness, corneal blindness, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy.(1)
Like all other organs of the body, eye too is subjected to a number of ailments. Some eye problems are minor and don’t last long will go away on their own But some can lead to a permanent loss of vision. Common eye problems include: Refractive errors, Cataracts, Optic nerve disorders, Glaucoma, Retinal disorders, Macular degeneration, Diabetic eye problems, Conjunctivitis, Diseases of the lids- Stye, Chalazion, Ptosis, Blepharitis, Ectropion etc. Study of human eye also becomes compulsory in the light of its involvement in various other systemic disorders, like pallor in anemia, yellowing of sclera in jaundice, exopthalmos in thyrotoxicosis.(2)
A noted human homeopathic ophthalmologist, Edward Kondrot MD, CCH, DHt, believes that the largest cause of all eye disease in people is suppression caused by modern medicines and treatment methods. The following are a few contributing factors: Antibiotics for conjunctivitis, Treatment of chronic blepharitis, Steroid eye drops and ointments, Cataract surgery, Laser surgery and injections for retinal disease. These “opposite” treatments cause the disease to go deeper into the body, resulting in more serious eye problems. A good example are the “side effects” listed for steroid eye drops, which are actually the result of suppression – corneal ulcers, infections, cataracts, increased intraocular pressure, to name a few.(3) Your best defense is to have regular checkups, because eye diseases do not always have symptoms. Early detection and treatment could prevent vision loss.
There is wide range of eye conditions treated by homeopathy but it is not possible discuss all in one paper. As homeopathy is based on individualization concept it’s not possible to pin point a single specific remedy for different pathological conditions. Those specific medicines which are often found useful are mentioned here.
Some Common Eye Conditions and Homoeopathic Therapeutics
1. Myopia- short sightedness is an error of refraction in which parallel rays of light from infinity come to focus in front of the retina, when accommodation is at rest.(4) Homeopathy is useful in initial stage it delays the progression of disease.
Ruta: Homoeopathic Ruta 3C was effective in controlling AMPR (Annual myopia progression rate) with no major progression after stopping the treatment in 11-16 years age group.(5) aching in and over the eyes after straining the eyes at fine work, heat in the eyes and lachrymation after close work; accommodative form.(6) Other remedies useful in this condition are Natrum mur, Calc. carb, Chelidonium, Phosphorus, Onosmodium.
2. Conjunctivitis – Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva, which is an outermost covering of the eye and the inner eyelids. Most common causes of conjunctivitis include infections and allergies. Conjunctivitis can be acute (of short duration), chronic (long-lasting) or recurring in nature. Conjunctivitis is probably the most common disorder of the eyes. Homeopathy has a great scope in the treatment of conjunctivitis both the infectious and the non-infectious varieties by improving the immunity. Homeopathy is found to be more effective in chronic and recurring conjunctivitis. Homoeopathic remedies that are found useful in this condition are Apis mel, Argentum nitricum, Belladona, Acetic acid, Aconite, Allium cepa, Alumina, Antimonium crudum, Arsenicum album, Chamomilla, Conium mac.(6)
3. Trachoma – The condition is seen in people living in crowded, unhygienic environments.it is a contagious disease in its acute stage and spreads through fingers or towels & flies. The conjunctiva covering the upper lid is most affected and appears red and velvety.
Homeopathy can play a major role in treatment of the disease. It can treat acute and recurring stages of the disease, chronic trachoma needs surgical intervention. Blindness resulting from Trachoma cannot be treated using homeopathy. Remedies found effective in this condition are Aconite, Alumina, Argentum nitricum, Aurum, Belladona, Calc. carb, Euphrasia, Kali bich, Natrum mur, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Thuja.(6)
4. Blepharitis – It means the inflammation of the eyelids. Commonest cause of eye diseases amongst children and it is twice as often seen amongst dirty children as amongst clean. The inflammation may be either acute or chronic. Blepharitis is often very obstinate & difficult to treat. When caused by hypermetropia or myopia, suitable eye glasses are the remedy; when caused by dirt their removal ought to be attended to; washing & cleaning the lids with lukewarm water is a daily requirement. Remedies that have been found effective in this condition are- Digitalis, Euhrasia, Graphitis, Hepar sulph, Kali carb, Merc sol, Natrum mur, phos acid, Psorinum, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Thuja.(6)
5. Stye/ Hordeolum – It is a suppurative inflammation of the follicle of eyelash including the glands of Zies.(4) They tends to recur. Homeopathic remedies: Pulsatilla, Hepar sulph, Staphisagria. Upper Lid: Alumin, Causticum, Ferrum, Mercurius, Phosphoric acid, Sulphur.
Lower Lid: Phosphorus, Rhus tox, Senega, Staphisagria.
Right side: Calc. carb, Cantharis, Natrum mur.
Left side: Colchicum, Lycopodium, Pulsatilla, Staphsagria.
For removing the disposition: Ammon carb, Calc. carb, Ferrum, Graphites, Sulphur, Thuja.(6)
6. Entropion – It is a condition in which lid margin rolls inward.(4) So as to occasion great disfigurement & constant irritation of the globe of the eye, often leading to Chronic Opthalmia. It is generally caused by old or Granular Opthalmia, and the employment of caustics. Entropion is surely amenable to internal homeopathic treatment, if it is of recent origin.
Homeopathic remedies: Aconite, Calc.carb, Natr.mur, Sepia.(6)
7. Ectropion – It is a condition in which lid margins rolls outwards i.e., becomes everted. It may occur in various degrees.(4) It may result from burns on the face or from scarring from various causes.(6) Ectropion has been cured by- Apis, Argentum nitricum, Hamamelis, Merc.cor, Rhus tox.
8. Cataract – It means opacity of lens. The lens, being an avascular structure, cannot develop an inflammatory disease. The commonest disease is a degenerative process leading to opacity of lens fibers, known as cataract.(4) It may leads to total loss of vision. Cataract may be present at birth (congenital cataract) or acquired. It may be partial or complete, and it may be stationary or progressive.(6) Under certain circumstances the quickest relief may be afforded by an operation, but there is no doubt that homeopathic treatment has succeeded not only in checking further development, but also in clearing up existing opacities of lens and capsule. Dr. J.C. Burnett bases the curability of cataract on the homologous nature of the lens with the mucous membrane of the common integument, and gives a number of cases cured by him and others in his most interesting monograph on, “Curability of Cataract with medicines”.(6)
Ammon.carb, Baryta carb, Belladona (after acute inflammation of the eye); Calc. carb, Cannabis, Causticum (constant inclination to touch and rub the eye, which seem to relieve pressure in it) Conium (old persons); Euphrasia after sulphur (congenital cataract); lycopodium (after typhus; suppressed menses); sulphur (from right to left; after cutaneous eruptions, especially suppressed itch).(6) Cinnararia maritima was used in initial stage to prevent or slowdown the process. When the cataract is far advanced refer to eye surgeon.
9. Glaucoma – It is a condition where intraocular pressure of the eyeball increases more than the normal.(4) It is a grave disease and every cases that is untreated ends in blindness. The condition may be acute or chronic & is most common between the ages of 50-70, rare before the age of 45. Some cases of glaucoma respond well to homeopathy. Homeopathy can lower the progression of disease. Cases which respond well to the remedies have to be kept under close observation and those that do not respond quickly have to be handed over to surgeons.(8)
Homeopathic remedies which are found to be effective are- Spigelia, Phosphorus, China, Nux vomica, Merc.cor, Gelsemium, Prunus spinosa, Kali iod, Rhododendron, Cedron, Conium.
10. Pterygium – Is a vascular triangular thickening of a portion of the conjunctiva. Its apex rests on the edge of cornea. It grows slowly and has tendency to spread over cornea, though rarely seen to grow beyond the centre of the pupil. Homeopathic remedies which are often found useful in such cases are- Zincum met, Calcarea carb, Chimaphila.(7)
11. Dacryocystitis – Dacryocystitis is catarrhal inflammation of lachrymal sac as a result of a stricture or associated with it. The retension of the tears, from obstruction causes a gradual distension of the sac – a swelling at the inner angle of the eye. Most useful remedies for this condition are Pulsatilla, Hepar sulph, Argentum nitricum, Aconite, Apis, Arum triph, mercurius, Bell, Nat. mur, Zinc, sulphur, Silicea.(7) Blocked lachrymal duct and Dacryocystitis the remedy most used for this is Silica. Obviously success is possible only if it is either inflammation or a partial stricture. A congenital absence or absolute closure would, of course need surgery.(8)
12. Traumatic condition of eye Homeopathy has lot to offer here. Arnica is an excellent remedy useful in this condition. Other remedies which are found useful are Symphytum, Staphisagria, Ledum pal, Hamamellis.(8)
Concluision: Most of the eye problems can be effectively managed by Homoeopathy. The eye is not a separate entity to be treated separately. Eye problems though they appears to be isolated from rest of the body, they must be seen holistically. In acute conditions specific remedies can be used followed by constitutional along with this general hygiene of the eyes need to be maintained. In advanced irreversible pathological eye conditions Homoeopathy has no scope.
- Park. K. Park’s Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine, 23rd edition, Jabalpur, India: M/s Banarsidas Bhanot Publishers, 2015, Pg 439.
- Sandhar Singh Harbakhash. Textbook of Opthalmology and Otology with Homeopathic Therapeutics, 1st edition, New Delhi, B.Jain Publishers, 2003.
- Todd Cooney. Homeopathy for eye disorders info (internet) (cited 9 feb 2017) available from: https://ivcjournal.com/homeopathy-eye-disorders.
- Chatterjee .B.M. Handbook of Opthalmology, 6th edition revised and enlarged, New Delhi, CBS Publishers & Distributers, 2002.
- Sathye Sandeep Sudhakar. A retrospective study: Effect of Homoeopathic preparation of Ruta graveolens on the progression of childhood myopia before, during and after cessation of treatment, IJRH, 2017, Volume: 11, Page : 249-256.
- Verma. S.P. Practical Handbook of Surgery with Homeopathic Therapeutics, Reprinted edition , New Delhi, B. Jain Publishers(P)Ltd, 2007.
- Norton A.B. Opthalmic Diseases and their Homeopathic Therapeutics, 3rd edition, New Delhi, B.Jain Publishers (P) Ltd., 2005.
- Chand DH. Role of Homoeopathy in Opthalmological Conditions,Indian J Opthalmol, 1982, Volume: 30, Page 245- 248.
Dr. Qadeer Unnisa Begum
PG Scholar Department of Homoeopathic Pharmacy, JSPS Govt. Homoeopathic Medical College, Ramanthapur, Hyderabad.