Our Eyes are the Windows of the Soul
It has been said many times and even though we may not understand exactly what is meant by it, we all agree our eyes are very important to us and can portray deep emotions to others without the use of words. I want to share with you my experience of the importance of our eyes, things that can go wrong and what remedies may help in these situations.
I had a pterygium (a slow growing growth on the sclera or white coloured part of the eye) for many years. Little is known about the cause of pterygiums, however sunlight seems to be a factor which is why they are often referred to as surfer’s eyes! According to Chinese medicine, the eyes are affected by the state of the liver and therefore pterygiums can be seen as the liver not processing fats efficiently.
Recently my eyes became very sore, sensitive and bloodshot so I went to visit the ophthalmic surgeon. He examined my eyes and told me, not only did I have a pterygium but I also had blepharitis. Blepharitis is a persistent inflammation of the eyelids which can cause irritation, itching, stinging, burning and redness. The upper and lower eyelids become coated with an oily debris and bacteria near the lashes.
The recommendation for the pterygium was removal and a graft, taken from the conjunctiva under the upper eyelid to ensure it didn’t grow back. But the ophthalmologist also told me this may not reduce the symptoms, as some of them were being caused by the blepharitis.
I was given a sheet of paper on blepharitis, which told me it was incurable, and could be possibly helped by doing a few things, none of which I thought sounded great. I did some research and found some wonderful Manuka honey eye drops that have helped the blepharitis tremendously. Other remedies that may help with blepharitis are eyebright drops (two drops in an eyebath of cooled, boiled water up to three times a day) and cleaning the eyelids with coconut oil which is anti-bacterial. Because blepharitis is an inflammatory condition (anything ending in “itis” means inflammation) taking natural anti-inflammatories will be helpful. These would include essential fatty acids, i.e. fish oils and flaxseed oil, as well as turmeric and ginger.
Back to my pterygium
As this growth was starting to impinge on my iris (the coloured part of the eye) and the surgeon told me it could eventually pull the cornea out of shape and affect my sight, I decided to book in for the operation with some trepidation. I was told this would be done without a general anaesthetic and just with a local injection and no sedation! Being a fairly anxious person when it comes to medical procedures, I was not looking forward to being awake while someone cut something off my eye and then graft another piece back on.
However, I was committed to having this done and so armed my self with appropriate remedies.
1. Kava tablets 2 X a day to help with anxiety and to relax me on the day. Also, Emergency Essence – 7 drops to be taken regularly the day of the operation and after as required.
2. Zinc (30 mg) and Vit C powder (2.5 gms) 2 X a day before and after operation to help with healing.
3. B Complex – 1 a day to help with stress levels generally and for optimal recovery.
4. Magnesium – 400 mg 2 X a day for anxiety and to relax muscles and also to help with good sleep which is essential for healing after any operation but especially for the eye to heal.
5. Homeopathics – Aconite 200 (also called the “Arnica” of the eye) 2 pills 2-3 x a day for shock and trauma to the eye; Arnica 200 – 2 pills 2-3 X a day after surgery to help curtail bleeding, for shock, trauma, swelling and bruising and to aid general recovery; Hypericum 200 – 2 pills 2-3 X a day for nerve damage and pain relief. I continued this programme for the first week or 10 days after the operation and then started reducing the dose.
Armed with all my natural remedies, I prepared for surgery. It is important to note that before any surgery it is wise to stop any blood thinning medication, including natural remedies like fish oils and turmeric. At least for a few days before and after the surgery to make sure there is no unwanted bleeding. The operation went well and I was surprised at how little pain I felt, if any, even the needle as it went into my eye. This was helped by the numbing drops beforehand.
The pain afterwards was fairly intense but with the help of all my remedies and a couple of panadol, I slept well the first night and was able to make it through the first few days with mainly a feeling of irritation in the eye from the stitches.
It is now two and half weeks from my surgery and my eye is improving every day. I would not say I would be happy to go through this again. But I am grateful for the help of my pharmacy of natural remedies to help me along the healing journey.When needed modern medicine is a blessing, I am grateful for this amazing technique and the competence of my surgeon.
Other remedies I have been including into my regime as of late are blueberries and all the wonderful colourful fruits. Especially the berries that contain anthocyanins that have been proven to aid in support and healing for our eyes.
Sometimes we can take our eyes for granted until we have a problem with them. I am very grateful for my eyes and the removal of the growth and for modern medicine combined with the help of natural remedies.
I hope my soul is looking a bit clearer now too!
Suzanne Staples ND DBM
Naturopath Herbalist Homoeopath