Chinese medicine of Acupuncture points in the body such as UB-1 and UB-2 associated with vision could be a valuable alternative to patches or drops commonly used in older children for lazy eye according to new research.
Children receiving acupuncture treatments from a qualified acupuncturist had alike improvement in their affected eyes as in comparison to children who had received conventional treatments such as the patch or drops. Participants in both groups of the study advanced two lines or more on the eye charts during the term of the study.
Medical experts are not advocating to parents to omit patches in lieu of acupuncture treatments right away, further research is still required to confirm the results and try to understand exactly how this therapy works.
Dr. Robert Rich of the New York Eye and Inflammatory states that acupuncture has been used for many conditions and is being used more and more.
In the nation today up to five percent of the population endure amblyopia, which is noted by poor vision in one eye and referred to as lazy eye. It is the most common cause of vision problems in children.
Thirty to fifty percent of amblyopia cases are caused by dissimilarity in the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness between the two eyes.
If noticed at an early age the problem can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Past the age of seven they lose their effectiveness and therefore children then receive the patch.
Dr. Matthew Gearinger of the University of Rochester in New York and not part of this study states that patches are bothersome for children due to social impact of wearing the patch to school and trying to complete homework assignments.
Medicated drops specifically for lazy eye tend to blur vision in the good eye and also tend to make homework difficult.
In this study researchers observed 88 children in China between the ages of seven and twelve who had lazy eye and been wearing glasses for four months. At random selection, half the children wore a patch over the good eye for two hours a day. The other group had undergone five acupuncture sessions a week. Both groups received treatments for 25 weeks.
All the children had received new glasses to wear and asked to perform one hour of daily vision activities.
At the end of the 25 weeks researchers had discovered seven out of ten children in both groups had improvement in lazy eye by at least two lines on a eye chart. Example 20/40 changed to 20/25.
Greater than double the amount of children who had received acupuncture had defeated the condition in comparison to those children who wore the patch at a ratio of 42 percent to 17 percent.
Dr. Geringer does mention this does show a potential for a treatment but reminds people it was based on a small study. He does note that this treatment may not be useful in the United States where some acupuncturist may not be experience with lazy eye.
Even if the acupuncturists are experienced it is a lot for a parent to take their child in five times a week for treatments when they can just use drops or the patch according to Dr. Geringer.
More follow up studies are underway.
Lazy eye can be treated with success up to the age of seventeen. Detection and correction before the age of two has the greatest results.
Both acupressure and acupuncture may used to treat lazy eye. In Chinese medicine disease in which involve the eye are closely associated to the liver. The eye receives nourishment form all the internal organs. The lens of the eye and pupil belong to the kidneys, the sclera to the lungs, arteries, and veins in the heart.
Treatment sessions are dependent upon the acupuncturists and could require several treatments a week..
Vision therapy is an individualized supervised treatment program. It is designed to correct eye movements and visual motor deficiencies. This therapy heightens the brains ability to control:
eye focus abilities
eye movements and/or visual processing
A specialized computer, optical devices including therapeutic lenses, prisms and filters are used. In office and home therapy are both used in order for more cooperation from the child.
It is a well acknowledged fact that eye muscles are linked neurologically with the spinal muscles. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerves branch off the spinal cord. When a misalignment happens in the vertebra it causes nerves to branch off and malfunction. Spinal manipulations can correct the misalignment. There have been times noted that chiropractic care and eye exercises have corrected the problem.Sources:
Dr. Michael Master