Seka and Aschyotan are significant procedures used in eye diseases. Seka means washing of eye with medicated liquid. Aschyotan means applying the medicated liquid like decoctions, herbal juices or oil as drops. Seka is pouring liquid in thin streams continuously for a period of time in all eye diseases.
Procedure: Seka is pouring in thin streams of any liquid over closed eyes from a height of about four fingers.
Duration and types of Seka: In the disorders of vata, snehana seka is done for 600 matras (10 minutes), in the disorders of rakta and pitta, ropana seka is done for 400 matras (6 minutes), in the disorder of Kapha, lekhana seka is done for 300 matras (5 minutes). Matra means duration of time to pronounce a syllable.
When to do Seka?
Seka is done during day time only. In an emergency it can be done at night time also.
Three popular Seka medicines:
1. In vataja abhishyanda, goat's milk boiled with leaves, roots and bark of eranda is filtered and used in lukewarm state.
2. Seka with warm milk mixed with saindhava or with rajani, daru is effective in Vatabhisyanada, maruta paryaya and sushkaksi paka.
3. Sweta lodra is powdered well and fried in ghee, mixed with warm water and used as seka relieves pain in the eyes.
Aschyotan (Eye Drops) When and how to do?
In all eye diseases Aschyotan is the first procedure of choice. It is beneficial in the early stages in the eye diseases. To prevent bleeding, excessive lacrimation, redness, tearing, pain, ulceration and swelling with different formulations of various drugs.²
Aschyotan is always to be done in daytime only. The eyes open, the medicines being instilled from a height of two fingers.
Procedure: The person is made to lie in a place devoid of breeze, his eyes opened with the left hand of the physician. The medicine dispenser, either a seashell or a wick is held in the right hand of the physician. 10 to 12 drops should be instilled in just two fingers above the inner canthus of the eye. After that, eye should be cleaned with soft cloth and mild fomentation is given.
Duration and types of aschyotan: In Vata disorder ten drops of warm snehana medicine is used, in Kapha disorder seven to eight of lukewarm lekana medicine is used, in Pitta disorder twelve drops of cold ropana medicine is used.
Precautions for Aschyotan: Very strong and hot medicinal drops can cause pain, redness and loss of vision. Very cold drops can cause pricking pain and discomfort. Excess of therapy reduces roughness of the lids. Inadequate therapy leads to exacerbation of the diseases and increases swelling.
Three popular aschyotan medicines:
1. For vata abhisyanda, Panchmoola kashya instilled warm is very beneficial.
2. Aschyotana with Triphala kashaya cures all Abhisyanada
3. Kshira sarpi or Kshira navanitha can be used in Pitta Rakta abhisyanada.
Recommended period for therapy: Both seka and aschyothana should be done on the 4th day of manifestation of the diseases when complete signs and symptoms of disease appear.
Difference between seka and aschyothana: Sushruta says that aschyotan and seka are applied in different conditions of the doshas. Aschyotan alleviates the diseases, which is not very severe, while seka over comes even the stronger one by its potency. (Su.Ut. 18)
Common Seka & Aschyotan Medicines:
1. Conjunctivitis: Kumari swaras & Turmeric powder as Seka
2. Early stages of cataract: Triphala churan and Yastimadhu with madhu
3. Watering of eye: Triphala kashaya and honey
4. Injury to the eye: Dasamoola ksheer paak as Seka.