An observational study on the effects of acupuncture on age related macular degeneration (ARMD) published in a Chinese journal showed significant improvement with acupuncture versus using vitamins A, E and a type of moss.
This was a small study with 84 patients and a total of 90 eyes that had age-related macular degeneration. They were randomly assigned to the acupuncture group or the medication group.
The acupuncture patients all had tiny, solid needles inserted into specific acupuncture points. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of health management that treats patients by puncturing specific points in the body. The theory is that disease is caused by disruptions in “chi” or life force energy. Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the body to unblock the chi and allow life force to flow. In the United States, acupuncturists are licensed by the state.
The control group in the study was given vitamin E, vitamin C, and injections of a medication derived from a moss called “Entodon.”
The control group who received vitamins and medication had a 60% improvement in ARMD. However, the acupuncture group had a total effective rate of 88%, meaning that 53 out of the 60 eyes in the study had fewer symptoms of ARMD.
ARMD is a serious generative eye disease in which the cells of the macula gradually break down. The yellow-colored part of the eye near the center of the retina is the macula, and it is crucial for good vision. With ARMD, central vision is damaged, making it difficult to recognize faces, write, read and drive. Peripheral vision remains unaffected by this disease, which is most prevalent in the elderly.
These results do not necessarily mean that acupuncture is the cure for ARMD, but may show the treatment’s potential as an adjunct in an overall treatment plan for patients.
Note: Dr. Michael Edson at Natural Eye Care offers acupuncture in conjunction with eye care at his offices in New Paltz, New York. Our single most important recommendation for ARMD patients is Dr. Grossman’s Advanced Eye & Vision Support Formula. See other suggestions to support macular health.
Study: Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion; Observation on Therapeutic Effect of Age-related Macular Degeneration; N.J. Jiao; January 2011