Retinitis Pigmentosa or RP is a group of genetic diseases that causes retinal degeneration. RP is a progressive disease, and the first symptom that patient start to feel is night blindness and constricting field of vision resulting in a tunnel vision over years of time. Many patients with RP become legally blind in their 40’s or 50’s.
There are two types of retinal cells responsible for visual functions, rods (responsible for night vision) and cones (responsible for day vision & color vision). RP is a disease of rod cells but after certain duration of time, cone cells also start getting disturbances in the electrical signals that are transmitted to brain and hence the symptoms of dimness of vision in day time and color blindness start appearing.
What causes Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis Pigmentosa (R.P.) is a genetic disease that generally runs in families. Many genes are found responsible for R.P. and many are yet to be discovered. No exact factor is found till today which is said to be responsible for this genetic variation in the families which have no family history of Retinitis Pigmentosa. Consanguineous marriage (Marriage between blood related siblings) is one factor which is found to be responsible for R.P. Once disease starts, many environmental factors play role in the progression of disease.
Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Night Blindness
- Progressively diminishing vision
- Reduced field of vision
- Floaters and flashes
- Color blindness as the disease progress
Treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa:
In Ayurveda, RP can be controlled in majority of cases if diagnosed and treated timely in their young age, Ayurveda believes that RP is initially vitiation of kapha dosha, then pitta gets involved and finally vata, leading to pure degeneration and complete blindness. As it is a genetic disease and the genes will continue to expression themselves, but this fact cannot be denied that by providing a healthy environment to retinal tissue and the whole body of course, the negative expression of genes can be minimized and checked too in many of the cases so that the present vision status can be maintained for a long duration of time. There are cases with positive changes in their visual acuity and peripheral field of vision. The rejuvenating Ayurveda medicines nourish the damaged and weakened retinal tissue. The Ayurvedic procedures adopted for the treatment of RP are as follows
> Virechana > Nethradhara
> Nasya > Shirodhara
> Tharpanam > Anjanam
> Aschotanam > Puta pakam
These procedures are done in presence of an expert Ayurvedic eye specialist. The total duration of these treatments is by hospitalization of approx. 3 weeks duration. 2-4 courses are mandatory at an interval of approx. 3-6 months in most of the cases to get the maximum benefits out of this Ayurvedic treatment.