Retinitis pigmentosa is one of the most serious and dangerous conditions affecting the retina. Prevention of this condition is also not an easy task.
This condition has Long, slow and steady progress. If the disease is not handled properly, in time, correctly and by an experienced hand, it will lead to blindness. During the manifestation of this condition, degeneration of the retinal cells happens. It is the rod photoreceptors that undergo the primary change. Later cone photoreceptors also start degeneration.
The primary symptom of this condition is usually night blindness. Gradually, there will be loss of peripheral visual field. Simultaneously, the patient also becomes a victim of colour blindness. It is seen that the central vision persists until the last stage of the disease in some cases.As per Ayurvedic science, this condition is explained in three stages as described below :
- The primary stage of Kapha predominance (In ayurvedic terms, Kapha Vidaghdha Drishti) – During the primary stage, predominant dosha is Kapha and the main symptom experienced by the patient is usually night blindness but may vary from person to person also. According to ayurvedic science, the treatment at this stage will be focused on Kapha sodhana. Any deviation from the correct mode of ayurvedic eye treatment and ayurvedic medicine for eyes would render the patient in a dangerous clinical stage and may accelerate the degeneration.
- The Secondary stage (In Ayurvedic terms, the stage of Pitta Predominance with Kapha Anubandha) – This is the stage where other visual symptoms start to manifest for the patient. The role of Pitta starts to manifest in this stage. Patients usually suffer from decreased vision, decreased visual field, and the colour blindness (usually already manifested in the primary stage). In this stage, treatment is focused on pitta samana principles. The type of treatment procedure and medicines selected should be according to patient prakriti, the daily habits of the patient, etc. Other factors such as head bath habit, an oil application on the head, sleep timings, journey etc are also arranged and scheduled to support the treatment at this stage
- The tertiary stage (In Ayurvedic terms, the stage of tridosha predominance) – In this Tertiary stage, vitiation of Vata also comes into the picture. Now, the symptoms of all three doshas are manifested. Patients suffer from considerable vision loss, colour blindness and also considerable field loss. The patient will not be able to move around freely without support due to the loss of vision. It is seen in most cases that during this stage, only central vision will remain. The line of Treatment in this stage will concentrate on Rasayana therapy. Vata Pitta Samana, Rasayana and Chakshushya treatments are advised during this stage. It is very important to understand that lifelong treatments and medicines are necessary for a patient to ‘avoid blindness’ once the disease has attained this stage.
Patients need to understand that Complete cure of Retinitis Pigmentosa is usually out of question. The important point is to what extent a patient can manage with proper medication. Usually, the answer to this question will vary from individual to individual. A lot of factors such as patient condition, present clinical stage of the disease, habitual factors of the patient, hereditary factors all play a vital role in answering the question. Kindly note that the above data are very generic in nature and may vary from person to person also. The primary aim of treatment for patients suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa would be to preserve their existing vision and to prevent the progress of degeneration. At Matha Ayurveda Eye Hospital, all patients undergo a detailed initial assessment and a complete diagnostic checkup. After these two steps, a consultation with the senior physician/chief physician is completed. Based on the reports, analysis and findings, a proposed Care Plan for each individual is prepared and explained. This contains the treatments, medicines, duration and expected results.