Conventional treatments have brought no relief to a girl suffering from apparent recurrent epithelial erosion. Alternative therapies have a better chance of working in these situations, though modern medicine seems to be blind to it
It was yesterday that I got the first email from a mother whose only child has a horrible ailment. I have reproduced here without her name and identity of the doctor mentioned there. The world needs to sit up and act, so to speak.
I wonder if you could point me in the right direction for ayurvedic eye treatment for my daughter who is suffering from apparent recurrent epithelial erosion due to dryness in eyes since more than one year now. She has been under the treatment of ophthalmologists in Dubai and Delhi during this period. They have said that this is a condition could last for years. In the meantime she continues to suffer with recurrent pain, watering and extreme photophobia every few days/couple of weeks. We were recommended a place in Kerala and were wondering whether you could verify or otherwise the credentials of the doctor who runs the place. He also visits Mumbai. My daughter is based in Dubai; she has also been under homeopathic treatment during this period which is ongoing.
I wrote back:
I am sorry for your daughter. I think that place in Kerala is OK. I do not have any personal experience but it sounds good. I shall ask some friends to see if that is OK but I am in the United States at the moment for lectures. Could you please remind me after two weeks, God willing?
She replied within minutes:
Thank you very much for your response!
Will very much appreciate more feedback from you as the situation has become worse over the past two days with the result that my daughter cannot open her eyes at all for hours (the good part of the day), after she wakes up, and can only sit in a dark room during this time.
In the meanwhile someone known to us had visited the facility in Kerala which is quite small and appears to have just three to four beds. They felt that it was situated in a remote place and were concerned about safety as well as doctors, etc, leave at 7pm. The doctor there suggested that we could stay outside and visit for treatment. However, my understanding of ayurvedic treatment is that to be effective one should be in the house and partake of meals, etc, which contribute to the detoxification program. What is your view on this?
Please do let me know as after one year of treatment we would like to be sure that we are in good hands, will be waiting for more information from you.
What is this disease?
“The corneal epithelium is bound to the stroma by special basement membrane adhesion complexes. Any traumatic, dystrophic, or degenerative disturbance to these adhesion complexes can result in the faulty attachment of the epithelial cells and subsequent recurrent erosions.”
“The acute treatment of an erosion is similar to that for a corneal abrasion: Topical antibiotic, cycloplegia, analgesia, and pressure patching or a bandage contact lens. The bandage contact lens may be left in place for several weeks to protect the corneal surface and allow the epithelium to heal better. Medical prophylaxis consists of lubricating eye drops and 5% sodium chloride ointment at bedtime for up to one year. Autologous serum drops have proven beneficial but are infrequently prescribed because of the inconvenience of obtaining them. Another reported topical treatment is P-derived peptide and insulin-like growth factor I drops. A course of topical steroids (t.i.d. for 2-3 weeks) and oral doxycycline (50 mg p.o. for two months) may also be effective, and this therapy should be considered prior to the more invasive options. These matrix metalloproteinase-9 inhibitors appear to work best for traumatic erosions.”
“Surgical procedures include superficial keratectomy (epithelial debridement), superficial keratectomy with diamond burr polishing of the underlying corneal surface, anterior stromal puncture (epithelial reinforcement) with a needle or laser, and phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK).”
“Recurrent erosion syndrome can be frustrating for both the patient and the ophthalmologist. Even after intervention, recurrences are common—hence the name of the condition. The reported rates of recurrence after treatment vary widely, mainly because most have been determined from small series of patients and the underlying etiology affects the success of treatment. In general, one-third of the patients experience a recurrence after medical therapy, and one-quarter have a recurrence after surgical treatment (12%-18% for superficial keratectomy, 6%-25% for diamond burr polishing, up to 40% for stromal puncture, and 24%-27% for PTK)”
This stuff in italics is not my original writing as I am not an ophthalmologist. It is for the mother to understand. I have copied it from a textbook. Obviously, in modern medicine, we do not know what this is and what to do about it? We are groping in the dark as in many other situations as well.
So I wrote this open letter to the mother:
All healing occurs through the human immune system. Our sensible approach here should be to strengthen the immune system. When once the basement membrane gets stabilized, the recurrence of corneal epithelial erosion should cease. I give you below many alternative therapies for stabilising the immune system and, thereby, the basement membrane. Added advantage of the following methods is that they do not have any damaging side effects on the system like the steroids we use blindly in all idiopathic situations — primum non nocere.
1) Metadichol, in nano form, manufactured in Switzerland at the moment, is a derivative of simple rice bran and has been patented by an ethnic Indian US scientist whose contact details I have sent separately. Studies have shown that this stabilizes the immune system in addition to having many other healing properties and is shown to be safe even in the long run. It is waiting to be officially authenticated. I have had personal experience of this drug. It is very simple to take by mouth.
2) Infection could be a problem and we need safe long-term prophylaxis when the process is active. Nano silver in water is an invention of late Prof Rustum Roy, of Penn State University fame, who was the father of nano science with his SOL-GEL technique right from 1954. Silver is not an antibiotic like our synthetic ones. It is a natural germ killer, known even to our grannies, which does not kill friendly germs in the human gut. No side effects and its safety record is excellent. Actually, we Indians eat large amounts of silver in our Indian sweets wrapped in silver foil. There has not been any report of toxicity. Animal studies have also exonerated this, as it is safe in very high doses. Nano particles do not get caught anywhere in the body. Our own studies, already published, have shown this to be a safe germ killer even in drug resistant germs and virus infections.
3) Cow’s urine extract, distilled, and patented by Indian scientists, is a very good immune booster. Auto urine therapy, Swyambhu, is a big chapter in Ayurveda. This might look abhorrent to many of our puritans who were criticising our very able former prime minister Morarji Desai who had no qualms in telling the truth—a man who ‘walked his talk’. If one is a vegetarian, does not love too much spices and has no major illnesses, auto urine therapy is said to be safe. There are studies in PubMed where urine has been shown to be an immune booster in animal studies. I know of many VIPs who have recovered from incurable illnesses and have maintained good health for decades on auto urine therapy but do not want to admit that in public.
4) For those ultra-rationalists who think that I am not a scientist but a fool, I might remind them about the latest treatment for fatal drug resistant infections of the gut with even simple germs like Clostridium difficile. Transplanting a healthy person’s faeces through the nasogastric tube is the latest treatment with 100% success rate within 24 hours. Faecal transplant has come to stay. If human stool could be used in modern medical therapeutics, what is so weird about human urine? This was in vogue since the 17th century in veterinary medicine. The first such success was reported in 1957 but was stopped by rationalists’ criticism. It is being revived now that we are threatened by the deadly super bugs. Johns Hopkins research group is the leader, with many others following!
I am reminded of the old saying that “a wise man knows he is a fool while a fool always thinks he is wise.”
The details as to where to obtain this help is given to the mother separately. I have given the choices here. Accepting them or not is their choice, anyway. Medical treatment today is a partnership between the doctor and the patient and no longer a paternalistic exercise where the doctor orders and the patient follow blindly. Let us hope and pray that her daughter gets better sooner than later. Prayer does help the immune system; the healer is within every human being.
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes
, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected]