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Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers

Updated: 3 days ago

According to Ayurveda, dry, red eyes are much more than an ocular surface issue. Let's see what's going on deep inside the doshas. What's at the root of your dry, red, sore eyes?

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Explore more on the Saumya Blog, selected top Ayurveda blogs and websites to watch.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that translates directly as the “knowledge” (veda) of “life” (ayu). Ayurveda is a branch of the Vedic tradition - an ancient Indian knowledge system, and the oldest wisdom tradition in the world - which is based on the idea that all of life, from the mundane to the majestic, is inherently connected and divine

Ayurveda is often thought of as only one component: Ayurvedic medicine. While Ayurveda is a profound approach to holistic health and healing, this is just one small dot on the vast map of this ancient tradition. Ayurveda is a path, a system of living, a spiritual journey that lasts a lifetime.

Ayurveda uses food as medicine, herbs, and lifestyle practices like meditation and breathwork to balance the doshas – creating harmony throughout our inner and outer worlds. According to Harvard Medical School, "Allergies of the eye affect about 20% to 40% of Americans each year and are on the rise. Pollens, animal dander, dust mite feces, and mold—are all triggers of allergic conjunctivitis, also called ocular allergy. It’s an inflammation of the con¬junctiva, the lining of the eye. The symptoms are itchy and red eyes, tearing, edema (swelling) of the conjunctiva or eyelid, and a mucous discharge."

This Pitta aggravation not only feels terrible, doesn't look so great, such inflammation is not healthy for the healthy.

What Is Ayurveda Eye Analysis?

First, to know what is happening with your eyes, an Ayurvedic consultation is needed to get a clear, holistic, systemic picture of the whole you. To identify and understand the root cause of why you're experiencing symptoms of dry, red, irritated, and itchy eyes, Ayurveda uses a comprehensive multi-point assessment to determine one's state of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha--and not just with the eyes, but body and mind.

When that clear assessment is made, and the state of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha is assessed, then a comprehensive, custom Ayurveda plan is designed to address the dosha imbalances at the root cause.

Part of the Ayurveda conusltation involves assessment of the tongue, poo, nails, urine, skin, hair, voice, and eyes which have observable qualities (to the trained eye) that comunicate imbalances occuring throughout the body and mind.

"Let's put it this way, yes, the eyes are red and dry, but what I want to know so I can help my client in the deeest way is what is going on elsewhere that led to red, dry eyes. Sure, we want symptom relief, and we need to understand the pathogensis that led to dry eyes, because it is likely there are other imbalances in the doshas, and the eyes are but one manifestation of the dosha imbalances. This is the systemic, holistic Ayurveda approach. " - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

According to the Ayurveda, eye analysis, known as Netra Pariksha, provides insights into the dosha balance of the mind and body. The eyes are windows through which a picture of Vata, Pitta and Kapha may be seen.

You see, it's interesting isn't it? If you're ready to take a peek, book your free discovery call today.

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers image dry red eye

Many people experience dry and red eyes and typical treatments are focused on treating symptoms of the ocular surface disorder, but Ayurveda looks deeper at why that dryness and redness exist.

Ayurveda sees this not only as an ocular issue, but as an expression of dosha imbalances. The tear film, know as ashru, is considered a by-product (as in left over) of the body’s inner ocean, think of blood and plasma, (rasa and rakta), fat, think of a thick, oily, watery, nourishing lubricant (meda), and the nervous system and marrow (majja). Without restoring balance to the doshas involved in rasa, rakta, meda, and majja, dry, red eyes cannot be optimally treated.

Known as shushkakshipaka in Ayurveda, dry eye syndrome is not only uncomfortable, but can lead to long term eye health issues such as corneal blindness.

According the the American Optometric Association, "More than 16 million Americans—including twice as many women than men—endure dry eye disease (DED)."

Harvard Health reports there are two main types of dry eye diseases.

  1. Type one is "called aqueous deficient dry eye, you don't make enough tears to keep the surface of your eye lubricated. "It can happen as a result of age, environment, medication side effects, or certain conditions such as Sjögren's syndrome."

  2. The second type is called called evaporative dry eye. "There are meibomian glands on the eyelids that put out oil on the surface of the eye that stabilizes the tear film," Dr. Dohlman says. "Meibomian gland dysfunction is more common than we think, and many things can affect the oil glands, such as eyelid inflammation, hormonal changes, and medications."

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Quick Dry Eye Disease Facts

1. A 2012 Gallup Poll suggested that 29 million Americans will suffer from the disease by 2022

2. Google trends for the topic “dry eye syndrome” have doubled between December 2010 and July 2020 3. 4.88 million Americans over the age of 50 have dry eyes.

4. Over 86% of people with dry eyes show signs of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, according to the National Institute of Health.

"Digital screens are not going away, and that has a direct influence on our eye and nervous system health. Saumya Ayurveda offers a healing trifecta of herbs, food as medicine and Ayurveda lifestyle tools to treat, and to take care preventively." --Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

While many factors are involved in dry eyes, such as environmental factors (dust, wind, sun, pollution, dander, digital screens, contacts, medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, anxiolytics...), systemic issues are key. Vata and Pitta doshas, according to Ayurveda, are the major players that are imbalanced.

Each person with dry eye needs a custom approach based on exactly what is going on with Vata and Pitta for them, to restore balance to the doshas. Ayurveda is a systemic, holistic treatment approach.

So, while it looks like it's about the eyes, there's much more to it from Ayurveda's view.

How Do I Know If I Have a Dosha Imbalance?

Peruse these comprehensive and convenient lists of signs and symptoms of dosha imbalances. As we are comprised of all Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, there can be an imabalance in any of the doshas, or a combination of dosha imbalances. Read all three lists and see if anything looks familiar.

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Symptoms of Dry Eyes:

  1. Blurred eyesight. If you blink and you see more clearly, you might have dry eyes.

  2. Stinging, burning

  3. Red

  4. Dry

  5. Itchy

  6. Watery from irritation

  7. Light sensitivity

  8. Feeling strained, fatigued

  9. Sensation of a foreign body in the eye

  10. Filmy obscured vision

  11. Gloppy, crusty, mucousy, glued shut eyes after sleeping

  12. Gritty or sandy

  13. Painful or hurting

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers image Ayurveda herb shelf

Ayurveda's Approach for Dry, Burning Eyes

The Saumya Ayurveda treatment trifecta of herbs, food as medicine, and Ayurveda lifestyle tools are customized to the individual to restore balance to the doshas systemically and can improve irritation as well as other dosha imbalances for overall improved heatlh.

Drinking correct and ample fluids each day to keep well hydrated and remove toxins, relearning how to blink correctly (yes, we don’t blink the correctly or at the optimal rate as devices are so prevalent), yoga eye exercises, eye cupping, and even home treatments are part of a comprehensive approach to treating dry, irritated eyes at the root cause.

"Which Ayurveda tools will optimally rebalance the doshas, is different for each person. A clear assessment creates a clear picture of what's happening with the doshas. Then, a customized, precise Ayurveda treatment plan is created to address the imbalances. Saumya Ayurveda plans are customized to each client." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

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General Guide To Ayurveda Eye Tips

Ayurvedic Eye Analysis: Possible Imbalances

  • Tics and tremors around the eyes indicated deep seated Vata aggravation such as fear, anxiety, profound stress.

  • Droopy eyelids are said to show a sense of insecurity, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and related Vata manifestations.

  • Excessive blinking is a sign of high Vata (nervousness, fear, anxiety, panic)

  • Bulging eyes may indicate non-optimal thyroid function.

  • Yellow conjunctiva indicates liver concerns and pale may mean anemia

  • Red, inflamed eyes indicate an excess of Pitta

Vata, Pitta and Kapha Characteristics of the Eyes

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers image Vata eye

Vata Dosha Eye Insights

Vata eyes are relatively small consistent with Vata’s subtle nature (Vata: air + ether). They may appear sunken, eyelids may droop and the lashes may be scant. Vata eyes may appear nervous. If Vata is high, the eyes may dart around due to the excess movement of Vata especially if the excess is in the mind and nervous system. The sclera (that's the whitish part of the eye) tends to be muddy grey or dull. The iris tends to be dark, dark brown, grey-brown or black, but may be a less common color as well. Eyebrows are thin and may be irregular.

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers image Pitta eye

Pitta Dosha Eye Insights

Pitta eyes are medium in size and deeply set—a thinker’s or philosophical look to the eyes showing the discerning nature and sharp, penetrating nature of Pitta dosha. (Pitta: water + fire). The eyes may appear intense and lustrous. The sclera may have red or yellow coloring and the iris tends to be green or hazel. Pitta eyes may be more sensitive to light with a tendency towards near-sightedness, redness and inflammation. The eye lashes are medium and oily, and the eyebrows and eyelashes are balanced.

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers image Kapha eyes

Kapha Dosha Eye Insights

Kapha eyes are large, moist and surrounded by enviable long, thick lashes. (Kapha: water + earth) The look of the eyes tends to be a soft, gentle, compassionate gaze. The iris tends to be blue. The sclera is perfectly white, and the eyebrows are thick and tend to join in the middle if left on their own.

Ayurvedic Eye Tips for Vata, Pitta and Kapha Dosha

1. Bath the eyes with cool water in the morning while holding water in the mouth at the same time. (not hot, not cold, just right.) Hold the water in the mouth for a few seconds and spit it out. Repeat 2-3 times. This is a nice addition to your Ayurveda Morning Routine.

2. Screen over consumption has many deleterious effects including increasing dry eyes. Remember to blink often when using a screen. Use a stickie note or a timer to remind yourself. Take breaks by looking away from the screen every 15 minutes. Leave the screen and enjoy a screen fast from 6pm to 6am each day. Also consider a digital fast one day a week.

"We will jump on intermittent fasting for detox and weight loss, but are we willing to fast from a screen? We seek peace and calm and feel stressed and anxious--start to consciously transition to digital intermittent fasting.

This fasting may occur every 15 minutes when we look away from the screen and cup our eyes, it can occur from after dinner until breakfast and we can add a day or part of the day on the weekend. This three tiered tool for digital intermittent fasting will make a world of difference not only to your eyes, but to your mind and nervous system. See what it does for your mood and sleep" - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

3. Get good sleep. Try to be in bed and be falling asleep before 10:00pm. You will discover it makes a significant difference due to the times of day and night the doshas dominate. Just before 10:00pm, Pitta dosha begins to rise and that gives us a second fire of productivity. (Mistakenly referred to as a "second wind.") We need to be resting and heading into slumber before that fire gets stoked again.

4. Have proper lighting for the task at hand.

5. Invest in your vision by wearing good quality protective sunglasses. (Wind, sun, sand and pollution affect the eyes and imbalance Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha.) Not only will you look cool, your eyes will be protected.

6. Manage stress levels as stress negatively impact the doshas and that shows in the eyes. Make use of our free guided practices daily.

7. Eat an Ayurvedic diet that is correct for you by having a consultation. Reduce or eliminate white sugars and favor fresh, cooked properly spiced vegetables and fresh fruits that balance your dosha picture. What is your correct Ayurvedic diet? That depends on your constitution, symptoms, location, season and stage of life. This is accurately determined through an Ayurveda Wellness Consultation.

8. Practice one yog-asana every day: Surya Namaskar, or sun salutations. Benefits include increased circulation which directly benefits the eyes and the whole body. Practice these asanas gently and with awareness of the breath. Three salutations done with breath awareness is a complete experience. It's about quality not quantity.

9. Learn to breath diaphragmatically and change your life. In other words, learn this key life skill and Vata, Pitta and Kapha will begin to balance through the natural remedy called, diaphragmatic breathing.

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers image of sign saying food is medicine

Food as Medicine

First, eat an Ayurvedic diet that is correct for your dosha picture, at this particular season, based on your location and your stage of life. Second, eat cooked, spiced foods specific to your dosha and include green leafy veggies. Greens are loaded with antioxidant lutein and zeaxanthin which help to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Almonds are another great food for the eyes. Check out our recipe box for more inspirational ideas.

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes is more than an ocular surface issue according to Ayurveda. Book your free phone consultation to learn more.

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“As a physician, I have always believed ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ In an era of spiraling health care costs, Ayurveda is the logical and natural solution.

I started working with Veena at a time when I was at the end of my tether, juggling my professional and personal aspirations. She responded to my desperate call and went out of her way to find ways to work things into my busy schedule.

I was encouraged to pursue a steady approach to create lasting changes. Now when I see my patients, I see so many sufferings from similar symptoms related to diet and stress. I have routed several of my patients to Saumya Ayurveda. Veena is a blessing to have such a rich resource.

I am eternally grateful to Veena for anchoring me to my present state of health and peacefulness and for helping me to embark on a path towards the balance we all are striving for. Thank you so much.” — Gauri Nagargoje, M.D.


"Intuitive and supportive practitioner rooted in the deep understanding of Ayurveda. Veena is very easy to work with and has a lot in her toolbox to help with specific issues."

--L.A,, South Carolina


“Veena has helped me beyond my expectations! Veena is a wonderfully astute and thorough practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine.She is exceptionally intuitive and empathic and can "see" my body and accurately assess my ailments and condition through virtual visits. She can quickly determine courses of treatment for my health concerns that have produced excellent results for my body and mind.

I have received treatments for chronic fatigue and pain, dry skin, brain fog and more. I am 59 years old, and my body and mind are gradually wearing out. Veena’s specific guidance slows my aging process and bringing my body and mind back into good alignment.

I have vastly improved with Veena’s care.I will continue to trust Veena and her clinic with my health concerns even before consulting "traditional" health care providers. She has been of immense value helping me alleviate chronic health issues that my regular doctor could not. I would highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda to everyone!” -– Paul Kellett, St. Paul, Minnesota

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Ayurveda Remedies for Healthy Eyes

Gain insights into your health with Ayurveda. Ayurvedic diet, herbal remedies, diaphragmatic breathing, Ayurvedic cleanses and guided practices all go a long way to balance Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha and to taking care of your eye health and the whole you.

Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way

We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.

Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.

Saumya Ayurveda provides concierge, top-notch, award-winning Ayurveda care. We strive to keep it simple, so you can focus on you! Opt for virtual consultations and we'll come to you.

Our practice model is client focused, we’re not in the retail herb business. We’ll guide you where to order herbs directly online. Our top-shelf Ayurveda oils and herbalized ghees are the best in the land and we’ll ship your care package right to your doorstep.

Our effective multi-appointment consultation packages provide you with experienced Ayurveda care, enthusiastic guidance, and inspiring support.

Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today. Psst! Our clients say it best – so read and watch our client's stories.

Ayurveda for Dry, Burning Eyes | Vata and Pitta and Your Peepers image Veena

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.

She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.

Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.

These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.

She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.

An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.


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