Ophthalmology in Traditional Chinese Medicine

The treatment of ophthalmologic diseases with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a unique specialty. In the TCM approach, there are internal and external factors that cause eye diseases, and each part of the eye is associated with an internal organ.

 ophthalmologic diseases with Traditional Chinese Medicine The internal cause of ophthalmologic diseases is the dysfunction of organs. The liver is the primary organ relating to the eyes in Chinese medicine. Many eye diseases are related to the health of the liver organ system.

External factors like wind, coldness, dampness, dryness, heat, and fire cause Qi (energy) and blood stagnation or deficiencies, which cause dysfunction in the eyes.

Some common diagnoses for eye diseases in TMC approach:

  1. Liver blood deficiency: may cause blurry vision, myopia, floaters in the eyes, color blindness or dry eyes
  2. Fire in the liver: the eyes are likely to be dry, bloodshot, painful, or have a burning sensation
  3. Wind in the liver: may cause the eyeball to turn upwards and move involuntarily (nystagmus)

Treatable common condition

  • Refractive errors: nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia

  • Cataracts

  • Glaucoma

  • Diabetic retinopathy

  • Age-related macular degeneration

  • Dry AMD or wet AMD

  • Retinitis pigmentosa

  • Xerophthalmia

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are a series of optical defects by which the light cannot be focused properly on the retina. Nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia) are common symptoms of refractive errors in the United States.

 In TCM theory, the major reason of refractive errors is Qi and blood deficiency in and surrounding the area of eyes, which derives from overuse of eyes, reading under insufficient light, malfunction of the inner organs especially the liver, and aging.

Acupuncture is widely practiced to strengthen eye contract function by supplying of Qi and blood in the local eye area.

Cataracts are most commonly due to aging

Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision; it can affect one or both eyes. (See below) Cataracts are most commonly due to aging, but may also occur from trauma, radiation exposure, be present from birth, or occur following eye surgery for other problems.

Numerous treatment cases in Asia, Europe, and USA confirm that acupuncture associated with oriental herbs is an impressive method to prevent and mitigate the symptoms of cataracts.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve and worsens over time. It is often associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye.

Chinese herbs and acupuncture can improve the fluid circulation of the eye, reduce intraocular pressure, and relieve pain.

Diabetic Retinopathy

 Diabetic retinopathy can affect almost anyone with diabetes. In general, the longer someone has diabetes, the greater the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Symptoms include blurriness, floaters, dark areas of vision, and difficulty perceiving colors, and in severe cases, blindness.

In TCM, there are preventive steps that can be taken to reduce the severity of this condition, especially for someone already diagnosed with diabetes. In addition, Chinese herbs and acupuncture can control blood sugar levels and improve circulation in the eyes, increasing blood circulation and preventing the deterioration and leakage of blood into the eye.

Lorraine Yamm, Neck Pain

“I came into the office unable to turn my neck or shoulder to the left without feeling shooting pain down my right side. I was so afraid I had pinched a nerve and would be immobile for months. Within 45 minutes, the pain was gone and I could move my neck and shoulder again. The acupuncture treatment was so effective!  Dr. Liu located an acupuncture spot in my right hand that was connecting to my neck, shoulders and back. It was like magic! He massaged the point on my right hand, and the remainder of the pain was released. Thank you Dr. Liu.”

Raisha Liriano, Back Pain

“I was suffering from the worst back pain ever! I couldn’t stand for long, I couldn’t sit for long. Even lying down was painful. I decided to try Acupuncture. I have to admit I was skeptical.  How could this tiny needle make the pain go away? But IT WORKS! After the first treatment, I felt no pain.  With only three treatments I am PAIN-FREE.”

Michael De Leon, Shoulder Pain

“I came to Dr. Liu with left shoulder pain and numbness on my left index finger. Through his knowledge of Chinese medicine and acupuncture he took the time to explain to me where my injury was located. Within the completion of my first session of acupuncture, I felt results immediately. The pain was less and the numbness to my index finger had resolved and I have finally had a good night’s rest. I look forward to completing the rest of my acupuncture sessions as recommended. I would highly recommend Dr. Liu to anyone. He is a true professional and kind and gentle soul.”

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