According to Ayurveda, eye diseases are manifestations of imbalance of 'doshas' within the human body and therefore, needn't be viewed in isolation. Most eye ailments witnessed today are unfortunately lifestyle related. Long hours of work, commuting and travel, bad food habits and of course, smoking and drinking habits play their role. These lead to blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and several other problems. These also lead to degenerative and regenerative diseases of the eyes like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection of ailments helps in faster and better recovery. If treated early, Ayurveda strengthens the nervous system and prevents degeneration of the optic nerves.
Ayurveda deals with “Ashtangas”, the eighth 'Angas' (parts). Among these, Urdhwanga Chikitsa is most important, since it deals with eye, ear, nose, face and head. Head is said to be the 'Uthanaga' (prime part) of human body. There are descriptions of about 76 eye diseases, 28 ear diseases and 31 nose diseases in Shalakya Tantra. Many of the illness like Retinitis Pigmentosa affecting human eyes still have no proper remedies in modern medicine. But certain remedial measures are mentioned in Ayurvedic Grandhas, particularly in Thaliyolas (palm leaves) which unfortunately have not been completely examined yet.