When suffering macular degeneration eye disease, daily functions could become more difficult and quality of life suffers. Eye health is crucial for obtaining normalcy in life—like watching television, driving, taking photos, etc.
When people age, the eyes begin to deteriorate and can result in poor eyesight, light sensitivity, blindness, or other eye symptoms. Complications with the eyes can begin as early as 40 years old, and over 4.2 million Americans are legally blind or have impaired eyesight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Macular Degeneration can cause irreversible blindness and some believe there is no cure for this disease. It is considered a more common eye condition than cataracts or glaucoma. However, research has shown that acupuncture is a viable treatment option for Macular Degeneration with effective results.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Eye Disease
Most people lose their eyesight at an old age due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This eye disease can be seen in adults starting at the age 40–50 years old. AMD is a cardiovascular disease that results in vision loss and affects millions of Americans each year.
Macular degeneration eye disease causes damage to the retina, which in turn affects people’s ability to see. This is why a common symptom of AMD is blindness or impaired vision. The eye’s retina is a layer at the back of the eyeball that is light sensitive and triggers nerve impulses. This part of the eye sends signals to the brain that translate into eyesight. Without the retina, the eyes would not be able to see.
There are different case types for AMD that vary from person to person. Macular Degeneration can be dry (atrophic) or wet (exudative). Most cases of AMD are dry, while approximately 10% of cases are wet. However, some AMD cases progress from dry to wet.
Signs of Macular Degeneration
The most obvious sign of AMD is vision loss, but there are other symptoms of AMD that can arise for some patients. Types of symptoms from AMD are usually determined by whether the degeneration is wet or dry.
For example, those with dry macular degeneration eye disease could have small yellow spots called drusen on their eyeball. These spots form under the macula, which is in the central portion of the retina. Dry AMD causes vision loss as the drusen slowly damage macula cells.
Wet AMD is considered to be a more severe condition than dry due to the symptoms that arise. Eye leaking could occur with wet AMD. This could be of either blood or vessel fluids escaping from the eye. The leaking could damage the eye further, making vision loss more rapid. Due to the quickened blinding pace from wet AMD, it is considered a more severe condition than dry AMD.
Acupuncture Treatment for
macular degeneration eye disease
Some patients are told that a decline in their vision is natural and there are no preventative measures for worsening symptoms. This is not the case when acupuncture is taken into effect.
Acupuncture comes from ancient Chinese medicine and is a technique used to naturally optimize the body’s healing process. The treatment involves small, hair-like needles being placed at specific acupressure points around the body (such as the ears, feet, hands, etc.)
Acupuncture is considered an alternative treatment option for eye conditions, which means patients can avoid surgery or medications if they suffer from eye health issues. A wide variety of eye conditions can be treated through acupuncture; some treatable conditions are (but are not limited to):
- Macular Degeneration
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Optic Nerve Atrophy
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Optic Neuritis (MS)
AcuVision is an ophthalmological practice that integrates Traditional Chinese medicine with Naturopathic Eye Therapies. Dr. Andy Rosenfarb developed this technique in 1997 to treat degenerative eye disorders. Since then, some doctors have begun to include AcuVision in their patient practice, including Dr. Eric Sherrell of Augusta Acupuncture Clinic.
Due to this technique being a little over 20 years old, the practice is constantly evolving to improve outcomes and guarantee patient satisfaction. Over a decade of clinical research and observation is used to treat eye conditions with AcuVision.
The goal of AcuVision is to improve and preserve vision, which is accomplished by combining various approaches to natural medicine from micro acupuncture to functional medicine.
Acupuncture consists of many different approaches—such as micro acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, and auricular acupuncture. Each approach has a specific result and certain acupuncture points utilized during treatment.
Micro acupuncture is an acupunctural focus for treating degenerative eye diseases. This type of acupuncture is considered the most effective for treating vision loss, with an 85% success rate. Mico acupuncture is a recommended treatment option for patients with degenerative vision loss who prefer to avoid extensive eye surgeries.
The eye is able to heal with micro acupuncture because blood flow increases. A patient can begin to see results within two days, depending on the intensity of the treatment. This is due to the fact that the cells in the back of the eye regenerate every two days.
An expert hand is required for micro acupuncture as the placement of the needles must be precisely placed at small points on the hands and feet. There are around 48 newly discovered acupoints used for micro acupuncture that are not a part of other acupuncture systems. Misplacement of acupuncture needles could result in undesirable effects.
What Eye Acupuncture Patients Can Expect
Conventional approaches for eye disease include “corrective glasses or contacts, medications, and surgery. Acupuncture provides an alternative option for treating eye disease, including Macular Degeneration. Some eye doctors suggest waiting for eye treatment to see if the condition stabilizes or gets worse.
Acupuncture treats the entire body rather than focusing on just the eyeball or its symptoms. While others view vision deterioration as a “natural occurrence,” acupuncturists work to correct the whole body to make sure everything is properly connected.
Vision can be influenced by organ health, meaning liver or kidney dysfunction could have an effect on the eyes. Acupuncture channels the natural energy running through the body to essentially jumpstart the healing process to solve the complications causing the person’s eye condition.
Multiple acupuncture sessions are usually needed to ensure to best possible results of treatment. With the AcuVision Program, there are 10 initial treatment sessions to determine the person’s rate of response. These sessions are twice a week, but can be done more frequently if the patient chooses to do so.
Acupuncture can be done as often as twice a day for five days, which allows for faster results and quicker relief. In addition, Chinese Herbal Medicine is used for eye treatment, which involves the patient intaking herbs and other natural supplements.
AcuVision contains three phases of treatment for the body to heal and for the eye condition to improve. Each phase explains how the body reacts to the AcuVision Program and what happens for the healing to occur.
The first phase focuses on the nerve cells of the body. Dormant cells are aroused and recharged to start the body’s recovery process. Once these nerve cells are activated, the body can begin its communication to identify where the body needs to heal.
The next phase demonstrates how acupuncture is not a “quick fix.” The body begins to repair and regenerate after acupuncture sessions, but the healing process is ongoing. The repair process can take anywhere from 8–15 months as the body regrows and cells are healed.
The goal of acupuncture is not only to relieve conditions but also to take prevention measures. The third phase of AcuVision is long-term maintenance and preserving the vision. With acupuncture, worsening of the eye can be prevented and the body can essentially feel “younger” for longer.
An important step for eye treatment to have the most optimal results is for patients to follow the home care instructions. These instructions include taking supplements and living a healthy lifestyle.
Having a healthy diet, proper sleep patterns, and regular exercise helps the body be in the best shape for the recovery and heal process to be effective. Eliminating stress and unhealthy stimulates (such as eating excessive amounts of sugar) will have better results from acupuncture as the body can be more relaxed and not aggravated by harmful foods.
Another reason for following the home care instructions is to control eye deterioration. Poor nutrition and stress could factor into eye health, which is why diet, sleep, and stress are important for treating eye conditions.
Benefits of Acupuncture when suffering macular degeneration eye disease
Acupuncture treats the underlying cause of the eye condition, which in turn improves the eyes and relieves the symptoms. Some of the ways acupuncture helps the eyes are increased blood flow, nerve cell stimulation, and the promoting of a parasympathetic response.
Acupuncture shows how surgery and medications are not the only options for treating Macular Degeneration. Whether the person’s macular degeneration eye disease is wet or dry, acupuncture can provide relief and improve the symptoms that come from degenerative eye disease. Acupuncture is an effective eye treatment option and can be a helpful reminder for people with eye deterioration that there is another option.