ඔබේ දිවියට ජ්‍යෝතිෂය…..

Sri Lanka Government Ayurveda Panchakarma Hospital

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Ayurvedic view about “silent thief of sight”(Glaucoma)


According to modern medicine glaucoma is one of the crucial and critical conditions occurring in eye. Glaucoma has been called the “silent thief of sight” because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when the disease is quite advanced. Modern medicine has unique explanation for this condition and it has medical and surgical answers for this condition. But unfortunately those answers are not 100% correct and progressive. That’s why the WHO has been recognized and announced Glaucoma is the second leading cause for blindness in the world. That is not a simple matter.

Under that circumstance our main object is introducing a great ayurvedic concept about Glaucoma. Long time ago ayurveda discovered this condition and gave own theoretical explanation for it and treatments correctly.

Up to here

An attempt has been made to sort out the equivalent condition nearest to the clinical picture of glaucoma by exploring the modern as well as the ayurvedic literature.

For the management of these conditions several local as well as systemic measures have been suggested in ayurvedic texts. Here the whole description has been presented in very easy and summarized way.

Concept of glaucoma in Ayurveda



The term glaucoma is used to describe a group of condition which in common an intra-ocular pressure high enough to cause damage to the optic nerve fibers. As the concept of glaucoma is modern it did not exist as such before a thousand years. But it does not mean that the clinical conditions like glaucoma, were not existing in those days or the old eminent scholars of Indian medicine (Ayurveda) were not aware of these conditions. They did know these conditions very well but the disease was diagnosed and treated by their own parameters and principles.

Acharya susrutha described 76 diseases of the eye in uttara thantra portion of this treatise susrutha samhitha. He classified these diseases according to their anatomical sites prognostic values and method of threatment etc. The whole description is based on clinical signs and symptoms in the absence of devices to conduct investigations. But exploring the modern as well as the ayurvedic literature, an attempt has been made to describe the conditions as were told by ancients which are nearest to the clinical picture of glaucoma.

Ayurvedic texts concerned with ophthalmology was reviewed thoroughly keeping the important sign and symptoms of glaucoma in mind and some diseases were selected which appear very near to glaucoma these conditions have two common points.

(1)    Headache or Eye ache or both as prominent symptoms in all these conditions.

(2)     All the diseases of this category belong to sarvagata roga. (i.e involving the whole eye

A list of these diseases is as follows

  • 1)      Vataja adhimantha
  • 2)      Pattaja adhimantha
  • 3)      Kaphaja adhimantha
  • 4)      Raktaja adhimantha
  • 5)      Hatadhimantha
  • 6)      Auyatovata
  • 7)      Vataparyaya

The correlation of signs & symptoms of these seven diseases with those of glaucoma is attempted as follows.

a)      Headache(shiradaha, shirovedana)
b)      Eye ache or eye-brow-aches(kunchan, utpetyata, methayata,toda)
c)       Redness of eyes (congestion)(raktarajichitam, shopa)
d)      Diminished vision(dukham pashyeti)
e)      Haloes(pitta darshana, pashyeta, agniabhidisha)
f)       Inflammation(shopha)
g)      Ocular tenderness(netrasparshanakshama)
h)      Watering (lacrimation)(ashrupata srava)
i)        Ocular hypertension(adhamana)
j)        Oculor hypotension or pthisis bulbi(netra shosa)
k)      Corneal oedema, corneal opacity, iris discoloration, conjuctival congestion or ciliary congestion(varnavaivarna, netrapaichchhilya, netra-avilam)
l)        Exophthalmoses(dristipritikchipana)
m)    Loss of vision(hanyotodristi)

Detailed description of these seven diseases has been collected on the basis of different ayurvedic texts especially susrutha samhitha & ashtanga hridaya.

First four diseases combinedly denoted as adhimanthas, are described as sequel of respective four abhishyandas. Hathadhimantha has been described as the ultimate complication of adhimantha. The description of rest two diseases is very near to glaucoma.

Detailed account of the seven diseases shows that these conditions include different types of glaucoma and their complication further detailing of these seven conditions provides some more information to indicate a correlation of vataja adhimantha with acute congestive glaucoma. Both of Pittaja & Raktaja adhimantha are secondary and acute hemorrhagic glaucoma respectively and kaphaja adhimantha Anyothovata & Vataparyaya with cronic simple glaucoma. Description of hatadhimantha is suggestive of complication of glaucoma.


Out of seven diseases co-related with different types of glaucoma the first four are vataja, pittaja, kaphaja & rakthaja adhimanthas. These different adhimanthas are the result of untreated respective types of abhishyandas. The treatment of both the conditions has been described together. The principle of management was based on the doshas involvement. Vagbhata described a para-surgical measure. Dahana karma (couterisation) was used over the eye brows especially for adhimanthas. Sushrutha has also suggested bloodletting as the primary and common treatment. For all these conditions two other conditions anyotovata and vataparyaya were also treated like vatic Abhishyanda or adhimantha. While the last one hatadhimantha has been referred as a incurable (ashadya).

In spite of advancement in modern medical science glaucoma remains as a serious disease and still poses a great challenge to the modern ophthalmologist. So far there is no satisfactory remedy for this disease. The drugs used in its management are full of hazardous side effects and the success rate of surgery in this condition is very low. So it has become essential for the Indian system of offering some contribution of glaucoma like conditions in ayurveda is necessary. By exploring in ayurvedic as well as modern literature with ophthalmology seven diseases have been selected which simulate different types of glaucoma.

A variety of systemic and local procedures were practiced for these conditions. But today perhaps they are absolutely out of practice now it will be the correct time to try these ancient measures on scientific parameters so that ayurveda can help the sufferings in a better way.