By Sri Sri Netra Jyoti┃Posted: February 10, 2019
Healthy and strong eyes begin with a simple understanding of how the eye works, and best practices. Our lifestyle choices play a major role here.
This article is the third one of a three-part series that will help you to start the journey toward healthy and strong eyes. Dr. Padmalochan shares insightful tips, debunks many myths and helps us understand the functioning of our eyes. As the chief eye doctor of Sri Sri Netra Jyoti, Dr. Padmalochan has achieved an impressive body of work for the past 11 years.
Beware of addiction to sunglasses
Q: Lots of people nowadays are wearing sunglasses. Are they good for the eyes & how important is sunlight for our eyes?
Dr. Padmalochan: Have you noticed that in very dim light, you can identify objects but not colors? Let’s understand a few things first. There are two types of cells in our retina: rod cells and cone cells. Rod cells work in dim light while cone cells work in bright light. If rod cells deteriorate, one is unable to see at night. This is known as night blindness. Some people are unable to see different types of colors; this is due to the deterioration of cone cells.
We can activate these cells by doing the sunning exercise. In our ancient time, we used to offer water to the morning sun or practice the Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) in front of the sun.
According to species research, fish have evolved without eyes after surviving in dark environments. One experiment had a fish kept in a dark room without a pinch of light. The fish was given nutrition supplements. However, after a year, the fish became transparent and blind.
So, yes, to answer your question, sunlight is very important for us.
I know many people are addicted to sunglasses. However, that isn’t good for the eyes. When we wear sunglasses, the pupil doesn’t contract. It dilates.
This is because the pupil dilates in dim light and contracts in the light. When the pupil doesn’t dilate properly, it could cause glaucoma.
Also, tinted and colored sunglasses affect the cone cells.
A lot of advertisements promote the fact that UV rays are harmful to the eye. There’s nothing true in that. A lot of farmers work in fields; nothing happens to them. Yes, in some places like Sydney, the UV protection layer in the atmosphere is depleting. The intensity of UV rays is much higher, and sometimes UV protective glasses are used. Such glasses are different. Regular sunglasses doesn’t protect against UV rays.
You can use sunglasses in the snow or when at sea. The reflection is high at such places. Sometimes, in summer, you can use sunglasses, too. However, it’s best not to get addicted to sunglasses by using them all the time.
Impacts of LASIK surgery
Q. Could you tell us something about LASIK surgery? A lot of people are opting for LASIK surgery these days.
Dr. Padmalochan: Yes, many people are doing LASIK surgery. Before surgery, the cornea is very circular, but after surgery, the cornea is cut with rays. The cornea cannot be regenerated. Every cell of the body - muscle cells, heart cells, liver cells - can be regenerated - but not the knob cells of the cornea. Any damage done is permanent damage to the cornea.
Lots of people who’ve done the surgery are fine for the first two to three years. Then, they face a lot of dryness in the eyes. Also, many doctors say they don’t know the long-term impact -- what happens after 10-20 years? Or in old age?
Some countries have stopped issuing licenses for this surgery. Clarity levels have come down, as well as contrast levels in some patients’ vision.
I think it’s a risky surgery. It’s better to bring your vision back naturally.
Q: Is there any ayurvedic treatment for cataract?
Dr. Padmalochan: Yes. Let’s understand a cataract, first. There’s a lens in our eyes which is a convex type of lens. But it's not a glass lens like a camera. There is a transparent membrane which has a jelly-like fluid. Think of a raw egg. It has a yellow fluid and a transparent part. If you boil the egg, the transparent jelly becomes white. Similarly, the transparent part of the lens of our eye becomes white due to lack of oxygen. The cataract surgery replaces the white part with an artificial lens.
The artificial lens will create its problems. Our natural eye lens is contractile -- it becomes thin when we look far and thick when we look close. The artificial lens cannot do this -- either a sense of distant viewing or close viewing is experienced. Or one different lens for each eye.
Usually, retinal problems begin four to five years after the operation. Cataract problems are common in people over 60 years of age. I recommend you don’t go for an operation until your vision is completely blurred. You can opt in for ayurvedic treatments at the initial stages of cataract formation. We’ve seen very good results.
The views in this Q&A belong to the individual. Part 2
This article was originally published on Art of Living, India.