According to Ayurveda, the eyes are one of the main seats of Pitta dosha. Pitta governs heat, metabolism and transformation. Whenever our eyes are open, they are involved in the complex process of transforming light into ideas: distilling foreground from background, recognizing objects presented in a wide range of orientations, and accurately interpreting spatial cues. In fact, researchers estimate that the human retina can transmit visual input at about the same rate as an Ethernet connection, at roughly 10 million bits per second.
Given the Pitta nature of our eyes, it follows that they become sensitive and irritated when we are exposed to excess heat. Whether you have a lot of Pitta in your constitution or not, everyone should put attention on pacifying or cooling Pitta during the summer, and take extra caution in protecting their eyes.
Tips For Protecting Your Eyes in the Summer
Wear sunglasses and a hat during the day. Bright light can actually cause an inflammatory response in the eyes which can lead to damage of the optic nerve. Sunglasses can also help protect the eyes from the dust and other environmental particles that increase in the summer months.
Cool compresses can help draw out Pitta from the eyes. There is a reason for the traditional spa image of a lady relaxing with slices of cucumbers over her eyes. Cucumbers not only have high water content, they also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Cotton balls with sprayed with rose or chamomile water can also be used as compresses to reduce heat in the eyes.
Air conditioning, dry winds and dust can cause eye dryness or irritation. If your eyes are feeling dry, see an Ayurvedic expert regarding lubrication for the eyes, and drink lots of room temperature water and fluids.
Getting a good night’s sleep will help refresh and rejuvenate the eyes.
During the Pitta season, everyone should eat a Pitta reducing diet, even if Pitta is not your main dosha. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. Cucumbers, cilantro, dill, fennel are all are very cooling. Rice, especially white basmati rice, and barley are ideal grains for summer. Emphasize foods that are liquid rather than dry, and cool or lukewarm rather than hot.
Stress, anger, anxiety, alcohol, spicy food, pollution will all increase your risk for eye irritation
Netra Tarpana is a special Ayurveda treatment that strengthens and protects the eyes against the sun’s rays, relieves tired, achy eyes, and improves vision. This treatment is known to be very rejuvenating for the eyes and is an ancient remedy for many eye and sight ailments.
Freshly made dough rings filled with fragrant oils are placed around the eyes, and gently filled with herbal healing to bathe and lubricate the eyes and surrounding area. As a side benefit, Netra Tarpana also helps address sagging around the eyes and crows feet.
Burning, red, or bloodshot eyes, extreme sensitivity to light, and a yellowish tinge in the whites of the eyes are all signs of excess Pitta circulating in the system. If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with an Ayurvedic expert.
To schedule a consultation with an Ayurveda expert or to learn more about Ayurveda treatments, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:
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