Find Relief for Eye Strain: 5 Soothing Ayurveda Rituals
In today’s digital age, computers and eye strain have become an integral part of our daily lives. From work to entertainment, we spend countless hours staring at screens, which can lead to a condition known as computer eye strain or digital eye strain.
Our acharyas have warned about reading or looking at small print and small shiny objects for a long time.
This discomforting condition, also called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), is characterised by a range of symptoms that affect the eyes and surrounding areas.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, offers valuable insights and natural remedies to alleviate computer eye strain and promote overall eye health. Let’s delve deeper into the causes of computer eye strain and explore some Ayurvedic remedies to address the issue.
I personally use these remedies and find great relief from eye strain.
6 Causes of Computer Eye Strain:
- Prolonged Screen Exposure: Staring at a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen for extended periods without taking sufficient breaks can cause eye strain. Continuous screen usage demands sustained focus and can lead to eye fatigue.
- Blue Light Exposure: Digital screens emit blue light, which can penetrate the eyes’ retina and cause oxidative damage to the cells. Overexposure to blue light can lead to eye strain, digital eye fatigue, and sleep disturbances.
- Poor Ergonomics: Incorrect positioning of the computer screen, improper lighting, and inadequate seating can contribute to eye strain. These factors can cause the eyes to work harder to focus, leading to discomfort.
- Reduced Blink Rate: When using digital devices, people tend to blink less frequently, causing dry eyes and irritation. Blinking is essential for maintaining proper eye lubrication and reducing strain.
- Uncorrected Vision Problems: People with uncorrected vision issues, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, may strain their eyes more when looking at digital screens.
- Digital Eye Habits: Engaging in activities that require intense visual focus, such as online gaming or binge-watching, can lead to prolonged screen exposure and exacerbate eye strain.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Computer Eye Strain:
Ayurveda emphasises a holistic approach to wellness, focusing on maintaining a balance between the body, mind, and senses. Here are some Ayurvedic remedies to help alleviate computer eye strain:
Mukhaprakshalana, or washing face often: We don’t know exactly how or why this works, but the Ayurveda books emphasise washing the eyes often and especially after eating. Wash after waking up and wash before bedtime for sure, but also after eating, make sure to splash with plenty of cool water.
Gentle pressure or Netra Sparshana: One of the simplest Ayurvedic techniques to relax and soothe tired eyes is palming. Rub your palms together vigorously until warm, then gently cup your eyes with your palms applying barely there pressure to the eye balls. Let the warmth penetrate, providing relief to strained eyes.
Surya Trataka (or alternatively Candle Gazing): Trataka is a yogic technique involving steady gazing at light, for example the Sun or the flame of a candle. It helps improve concentration and rejuvenates the eyes.
Candle Gazing: Sit comfortably in a darkened room, light a candle at eye level, and focus on the flame without blinking for a few minutes. Then, close your eyes and visualize the afterimage of the flame.
Surya Trataka: After having brushed teeth and eliminated, do a 3 rounds of Surya Namaskara. Then sit in Vajrasana or Sukhasana, and close the eyes partially. Look at the Sun through the eye lashes, chant “Om Namah Shivaya”, then look away and chant “Om Namah Shivaya” .
For round 2, chant “Om Namah Shivaya” 2 times, look away and chant 2 the mantra 2 times.
For round 3, chant the mantra 3 times, once gazing at the Sun and then away.
So on, continue to build the capacity to chant the mantra up to 9 times. Make this a daily practice.
Eye Exercises: Ayurveda recommends simple eye exercises to reduce eye strain. For example, you can perform gentle eye rotations, side-to-side and up-and-down eye movements, and near-to-far focus exercises. These are best done outdoors as the eyes feel strain when inside a four wall. As soon as we are out in the open, eye muscles relax.
Ghee Eye Drops: Applying a few drops of warm, pure ghee (clarified butter) to each eye before bedtime can help alleviate dryness and irritation caused by computer eye strain. My favorite Ghrita for eye strain is Panchagavya Ghrita.
Triphala Eye Wash: Triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulation made from three fruits. Prepare an eye wash by soaking 1 teaspoon of Triphala powder in a cup of warm water overnight. Strain the mixture and use it as an eye rinse in the morning to promote eye health. Use an eye cup for better access.
Amla (Indian Gooseberry) and Honey: Consuming Amla, a rich source of vitamin C, can benefit eye health. Mix amla juice with a teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm herbal tea and consume it daily after breakfast to nourish the eyes and combat eye strain.
Blinking Exercises: Develop a habit of consciously blinking more frequently while using digital devices to prevent dry eyes. Blinking helps distribute tears evenly and keeps the eyes moist.
Limit Screen Time: Reduce excessive screen time and take regular breaks. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Triphala Rasayana: An Ancient Ayurvedic Elixir for Holistic Rejuvenation for Eye Strain
Triphala Rasayana, a revered gem in the treasure trove of Ayurveda, is a potent herbal elixir known for its holistic rejuvenating properties. Rooted in ancient Indian wisdom, this time-honored formula combines the power of three fruits, creating a harmonious blend that not only revitalizes the body but also promotes overall well-being. Triphala Rasayana has been cherished for centuries as a gentle yet effective means of achieving balance and vitality.
The Three-Fold Power of Triphala:
Triphala Rasayana derives its name from the Sanskrit words “Tri” (meaning three) and “Phala” (meaning fruits). The elixir’s foundation lies in a trio of fruits, each possessing unique qualities:
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis): Also known as Indian Gooseberry, Amalaki is a rich source of Vitamin C and powerful antioxidants. It aids in bolstering the immune system, promoting healthy digestion, and supporting radiant skin.
- Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica): This fruit has astringent properties that assist in detoxification and cleansing. It can promote respiratory health, support the respiratory system, and enhance the body’s natural defense mechanisms.
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula): Revered as the “King of Medicines” in Ayurveda, Haritaki is renowned for its ability to rejuvenate tissues, support digestion, and foster mental clarity and focus.
The Rejuvenative Power of Triphala Rasayana:
Triphala Rasayana is not just an ordinary herbal remedy; it is considered a rasayana – a powerful rejuvenator that supports longevity, vitality, and overall health. When taken regularly and in the right manner, Triphala Rasayana is believed to offer numerous benefits, including:
- Digestive Support: Triphala Rasayana gently cleanses the digestive tract, helps regulate bowel movements, and aids in maintaining a healthy gut flora.
- Detoxification: Its mild laxative properties assist in detoxifying the body by eliminating accumulated toxins and waste materials.
- Healthy Vision: Triphala Rasayana’s high antioxidant content benefits the eyes, supporting eye health and reducing eye strain.
- Immune Boost: The rich vitamin C content in Amalaki reinforces the immune system, helping the body fend off infections and illnesses.
- Nourishing Skin and Hair: Triphala Rasayana nurtures the skin and hair, imparting a healthy glow and luster.
- Balanced Doshas: According to Ayurveda, Triphala Rasayana has a harmonizing effect on all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), helping to restore balance in the body.
How to Take Triphala Rasayana:
Triphala Rasayana is made by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of Triphala + 1/2 teaspoon of Ghee + 1/2 teaspoon of honey.
Here is a video on how to do this.
Triphala Rasayana can be had every day for as long as you like it, it has immense benefits for your body. By adding Ghee and Honey we create a completely digestible healthy nourishing supportive herb mix.
As digital devices continue to play a significant role in our lives, it is crucial to address computer eye strain and its adverse effects. Ayurvedic remedies offer natural and effective ways to combat eye strain, providing relief to tired and overworked eyes. In addition to incorporating these remedies, practicing good screen habits and maintaining a balanced lifestyle will contribute to better eye health and overall well-being. Remember to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before trying any new remedies, especially if you have pre-existing eye conditions.
With mindful attention to eye care, we can enjoy the benefits of technology while safeguarding our precious vision.