Astigmatism comes from the Greek word Asti meaning without and stigma meaning point. It is a very common eye condition where the eyesight becomes poor due to the cornea becoming oval in shape. This is why the light rays do not focus as they enter the eye and hence the eyes cannot focus on one point causing blurred vision. Along with this a person suffering from astigmatism may have severe pain in the eyes as well as headaches and distorted vision.
The conventional treatments for astigmatism are corrective lenses, eyeglasses or surgery. The lenses and glasses involve many hassles and various rules to be followed for their use. Also surgery has its own potential risks. Hence people are turning to natural remedies for this condition.
Effective Cures For Astigmatism
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian method of treatment. The belief in Ayurveda is that most of the eye problems are due to internal digestive disorders and hence all remedies revolve around the diet and treatment of the digestive system. Herbs such as amla, triphala and licorice are recommended for their antioxidant properties. It is also suggested that people suffering from astigmatism consume a diet rich in organic whole foods with abundant quantities of spinach and carrots. These vegetables are rich in elements that have antioxidant properties. Also certain tincture made from herbs can be placed in the eyes or massaged onto the eyes.
The Bates method is not a medical treatment but a method of re-educating the eyes to work in co-ordination with the brain. It can help in improving sight and restoring the habit of seeing, which is damaged by tension and strain causing the eyes to be misused. It involves both receptive awareness and active learning and is a combination of stress reducing eye exercise, relaxation techniques and mental acuity. Dr. Bates believed that a balance that will free the patient from his vision impairment can be achieved by treating both the eyes and the brain together. Patients who have used this method claim an improvement in vision is observed along with the reduction of stress in their daily life.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Diet is a very important factor that helps maintain the proper functioning of any organ or system in the body. Include in the diet foods that are rich in antioxidants. Vegetables like Spinach, Carrots, bell peppers, celery, Squash, tomatoes, parsley and lettuce fall in this category. Fruits like Goji berries, Acai Berries, Grapes, plums, mangoes, cherries and citrus fruits are also rich in anti oxidants. Carotenoid rich organic egg yolks are also highly recommended to include in the diet. Foods like fried foods, alcohol, sugar and sugar products must be avoided.
Also avoid using hydrogenated oils. Consume dairy products and milk in very less amounts. People suffering from astigmatism must drink lots of pure filtered water, as water is essential to maintain eye health. Green juices or carrot juice can also be very efficient in treated the problem provided they are consumed every day. Small changes in lifestyle like avoiding working on the computer, watching movies or reading for long periods of time especially in the dark will also go a long way to help remedy the problem.
There are many exercises that can be done regularly that help to prevent and even reverse most of the eye related problems. Resting the eyes for five minutes every half an hour to an hour and blinking the eyes regularly are very basic but important exercise to reduce eye strain. Taking these breaks along with stretching the neck and shoulder muscles will ensure adequate oxygen supply to the brain.
Yawing helps reduce facial tension as it stretches and relaxes the facial muscles. Another very good way to exercise the eye muscle is switching focus from near to far. Rolling the eyes in full circles is another good way to exercise the muscles of the eye. Hence as exercise the eye muscles and stretch them the flexibility in the muscles improves greatly and the corneas will slowly being to regain the original shape thus remedying the problem of astigmatism.
Herbs, Nutritional Supplements and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Various herbs like curcumin, grape seed extract, pine bark extract or pycnogenol, gentian root and bilberry are known to slow and prevent the progress of astigmatism. Like the Ayurvedic practitioners followers of traditional Chinese medicine believe that the vision problems are associated with some kind of malfunction in the liver. To restore live function acupuncture is combined with changes in diet and consumption of hers like ginseng and Ginkgo bilboa. Supplements of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, flavinoids, Beta carotene, Vitamin E, Selenium, Riboflavin and Zinc may also prove extremely useful for the treatment of the problem of astigmatism.