What is Allergic Conjunctivitis,VKC?
Allergic conjunctivitis refers to allergic manifestation in eyes, commonly occurring in childhood and adolescent age. Among the different varieties of allergic conjunctivitis, vernal kerato conjunctivitis (VKC)/ spring catarahh is the most troublesome, wherein, the child suffers from intense itching grittiness, mucoid discharge, redness, lacrimation, photophobia, and so on. The disease becomes worse during the warm months.Pollens are considered to be the main allergens, but recent observations show that VKC appears perennially, and that the pollens are not the sole cause behind it.
What happens in VKC?
It is an extremely discomforting disease of childhood, decreasing the learning hours of the child, and may last for years. Although the disease does not directly affect the vision,these children may be at high risk of visual impairment due to complications like refractive errors, keratoconus, corneal scarring. Moreover the commonly used drug in the management of Allergic Conjunctivitis poses a threat of drug induced glaucoma and cataract formation.
Allergic manifestations in children with VKC
The children with this type of allergic manifestation of eyes will be having medical history of allergic rhinitis, asthma or eczema. If these atopic diseases are properly managed from the root then we can prevent the child from developing allergic conjunctivitis/VKC. If VKC is not given appropriate and timely management then there will be severe visual complications.
VKC in Ayurveda
As per Ayurvedic medicine, the human body is maintained by three factors called the Vata, pitta, kapha. The maintainence of healthy body is through the proportionate balance of these three elements. At each stages of life, one element will be dominant.As childhood is the growing age and kaphadosha plays a vital role in the physiology of growth, it is the KaphaDosha– dominant period of life.
The body, according to Ayurveda, is the result of an outcome of nutrition and the diseases on the other hand are the result of impaired nutrition. The main factors responsible for this destruction leading to the causation of allergy(anurjata) are ama (toxins), asatmyaaharavihara(incompatible food and regimen), virudhaharavihara(antagonistic foods and regimen)
Concept of Ama: It refers to the undigested materials which get accumulated in the stomach and gradualy enters the channels like circulatory system, lymphatic system and causes obstruction wherevever there is a weak portion. The main reason for the production of these toxins are the weak metabolic fire(jataragnimandhya).
Concept of asatmyaahara : It refers to certain foods which causes health hazards like allergic reactions in your body. It is also clearly said that the wholesome diet and regimen for a person is decided after analyzing his prakruthi(body constion). One who follows this will lead a healthy life.
Concept of virudhahara: It refers to certain diets and regimens which are antagonistic. For eg. Consumption of milk and fish, ghee and honey in equal proportion, heating honey and consuming, taking cold water immediately after coming from hot sun.
Children will be consuming kapha aggravating substances like sweets, curd, fluids like milk,juices, excess consumption of wheat, sugarcane, sweet melon, water melon, masha()
and day sleep, sedentary habits which easily leads to disturbance of kapha in this age. Kapha will get disturbed as there is rising atmospheric temperature in the spring season. If the child indulges in too spicey, sour diet, heavy diet and consumes food before the previous meal is properly digested, or taking untimely foods then the other elements also gets disturbed and combines with kaphadosha and through the blood stream causes allergic manifestations.
Allergic conjunctivitis is a distressing illness of childhood, which can be better managed with a simple, safe, non-toxic, and effective Ayurvedic therapeutics and life style modifications.
The treatment should be done to passify the condition along with removing the toxins. We have certain special therapies locally for the eyes with pure herbal medicines which has been giving us excellent management in conjunctivitis.
How to prevent your child from getting allergic manifestations?
Eat healthy and well cooked foods. Assess the prakruthi of your child and based on that fix the diet and regimen of your child.
Include certain healthy Ayurvedic practices in your daily regimen like waking up early morning, performing yogic postures, applying oil to body and head, herbal colyrium application to the eyes daily, oil pulling with gingery oil, eye wash with a fresh medicated kashaya, eye exercises as per instructions, oil massage to foot, timely consumption of food.