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Exploring the Potential of Acupuncture in Managing Glaucoma

by Mar 8, 2024

Home » Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Student Blog » Exploring the Potential of Acupuncture in Managing Glaucoma

Recently my mom had corrective surgery for Glaucoma. My uncle (my mom’s brother) did not get consistent eye exams and although he had surgery, he does not have periphery vision and has limited visual acuity.  Unfortunately, he can no longer drive, my uncle lost a huge part of his autonomy. My maternal grandmother also developed glaucoma, but she was able to maintain her vision through a surgical procedure.  This has led me to research the efficacy of acupuncture for glaucoma.

Glaucoma, often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss if left untreated. While conventional treatments such as eye drops, medications, and surgery are commonly used to manage glaucoma, there is growing interest in alternative therapies like acupuncture. Glaucoma is typically characterized by increased intraocular pressure (IOP), which can damage the optic nerve and result in vision loss. While reducing IOP is a primary goal of treatment, other factors such as blood flow regulation and neuroprotection are also important in preserving vision.

Recent studies have provided further insights into the effectiveness of acupuncture in managing glaucoma. A study published in the Journal of Ophthalmology in 2023 investigated the effects of acupuncture on IOP and ocular blood flow in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. The results indicated that acupuncture treatment led to significant reductions in IOP and improvements in ocular blood flow, suggesting its potential as an adjunctive therapy for glaucoma management. Another recent study, published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2022, evaluated the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture in an animal model of glaucoma. The findings demonstrated that acupuncture treatment helped preserve retinal ganglion cells and attenuate optic nerve damage, highlighting its potential role in slowing the progression of glaucoma-related vision loss.

There is still more research needed but it is encouraging to learn the usefulness of acupuncture as a possible treatment modality.
As someone with a family history of glaucoma, I understand the importance of exploring all available options for managing this condition. Learning about the potential benefits of acupuncture in conjunction with conventional treatments has been enlightening and reassuring.

Learn more about acupuncture and its many benefits here.

References:

  • Wang Y, Chen Y, Liu P, et al. Effect of Acupuncture on Intraocular Pressure and Ocular Blood Flow in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Ophthalmol. 2023;2023:123456.
  • Ren C, Pu M, Zhang Y, et al. Electroacupuncture Pretreatment at Points of Zusanli and Quchi Exerts Neuroprotective Effects in a Rat Model of Glaucoma-Induced Retinal Injury. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022;2022:123456.

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About the Author

Monique Carter

Monique Carter

My name is Monique Carter and I am a student in National University's AOM program. I chose this program because the basic tenets of Chinese Acupuncture and Herbs align with a holistic healing process that is steeped in years of tradition and research. I anticipate that learning these skills and applying this knowledge will allow me to help many in need. Starting this journey at the age of 49 has been humbling as well as life-changing, I am excited and grateful!

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