Can Acupuncture Offer Relief for Dry Eyes?

Those suffering from dry eyes can find relief through acupuncture sessions, which help in alleviating many of the dry eye symptoms. Acupuncture also improves overall blood circulation and ocular health.

Dry eyes result when tears are insufficient, which prevents the eyes from getting proper lubrication. It can be a result of either having less tears or low-quality tears. Tears are composed of fatty oils and water. They prevent the eye from getting infected and keep the surface clean and smooth. Those suffering from dry eyes may have symptoms such as eye redness, blurred vision, scratchy feeling in the eyes, sensitivity to light, stinging, watery eyes, or eye fatigue.

Further, people with dry eyes may find it challenging to drive and to wear contact lenses. Leaving dry eyes untreated is dangerous; it can lead to damage to the eye surface, infections, and a lower quality of life. Therefore, many patients look for treatments such as acupuncture for dry eye in Boston.

Causes of dry eyes

As you grow older, your tear production may decrease. Some medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin A deficiency, and diabetes may also cause dry eyes. Those who undergo laser surgery for the eye often complain of dry eye for a few months after the procedure. Apart from that, those on medications for acne, acid reflux, Parkinson’s disease, birth control, and glaucoma may also be prone to this problem. Dry eyes can also result from higher tear evaporation due to dry air, faster than normal tear film break up, dehydration, allergy medications, less blinking, smoke, wind, and eyelid problems.

Acupuncture for dry eyes

According to the Healthcare Medicine Institute, acupuncture is effective and safe for dry eye treatment. In fact, studies show a total effective rate of 76.92% when acupuncture is used along with eye drops, as compared to 53.85% when eye drops are used alone. With acupuncture for dry eyes, patients enjoy a slower breakdown of tear film, better film stability, more lacrimal gland secretion, and prevention of ocular surface damage. It’s no wonder patients look to acupuncture for dry eye in Boston, Wellesley, Weston, Needham, Dover, West Wood, Dedham, and Newton, because people in those areas read a lot and use computer for many hours a day.

In traditional Chinese medicine, dry eye is often associated with internal organs having a yin and yang imbalance in combination with excess heat. This can lead to hormonal imbalances and inflammatory conditions. Acupuncture improves overall blood circulation and nourishes the blood. Different acupuncture points such as ST2(Sibai), SP6(Sanyinjiao), Taiyang, BL1(Jingming), BL2(Zanzhu), GB14(YangBai), etc., provide various benefits such as removing excess heat and wind, improving ocular qi and blood, and enhancing ocular health. Studies indicate that, when used in combination with prescribed eye drops, acupuncture can greatly improve overall effectiveness and reduce the dosage of the eye drops. Especially for glaucoma, acupuncture not only reduce the dry eye, but also reduce the eye pressure. Leaving dry eyes untreated can result in discomfort, infection, vision problems, and even, eventually, loss of vision. Thus, the best solution is to get in touch with a clinic that offers acupuncture for dry eye in Boston, Dedham, Framingham, Lexington, Newton, Acton, Andover, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Braintree, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Canton, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Medfield, Melrose, Malden, Milton, Natick, Sharon, Sherborn, Sudbury, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Westwood, Weston, and Winchester.

Case Study

Lori was born in Delray Beach. Her family moved to Boca Raton just before she went into elementary school because of the good school system there.   She studied very hard and got a scholarship at FAU in Boca. Like other young college students, she spent more than eight hours in front of her computer and another two extra hours staring at her cell phone. She was first diagnosed at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, while in college, as being near sighted. She went to an optometrist in Delray Beach and got her first pair of eyeglasses. 

After she graduated from FAU in Boca, she started her medical billing career in a private Boynton Beach clinic. She continued to stare at her computer for over seven hours each day to help the medical doctors receive payment from the insurance companies. She had to change her glasses again two years after beginning her medical billing career in Boynton Beach.

At the age of 25, she decided to get rid of her glasses and had laser surgery done in West Palm Beach Hospital. She was told she may experience a dry eye condition after the surgery and would need to use eye drops to moisturize her eyes. She was advised everything would be all right after a few weeks. (She had taken a week’s vacation to have the surgery performed and then returned to work as a medical billing agent.) Unfortunately, her dry eyes became worse a few weeks after her surgery. She needed to use eye drops every two hours and her eyes were very red whenever she worked in front of the computer for two or three hours. She then developed an infection and had to use antibiotics. 

She went to another ophthalmologist in Coconut Creek in hopes of getting a “magic” treatment. She was given new eye drops by the ophthalmologist in Coconut Creek. She faithfully used the eye drops for a few weeks. She also started another job as a waitress in a restaurant in Pompano Beach so that she could cut down on the hours working at the computer. Her eye condition did not improve significantly. 

A few months after her laser surgery, she was told that her eye pressure had started to increase. The left eye pressure was 21 and the right one was 18. During the laser surgery, her retina tear was repaired in her left and right eyes. She was very surprised that her eye pressure went up because her eye pressure was always below 18 and she had very low blood pressure. She started using eye drops for her high eye pressure. Her dry eye condition got worse because of reduced fluid to nourish her eyes. Finally, she decided to try acupuncture to help lower her eye pressure and relieve her dry eyes.

Lori started acupuncture treatment twice a week in Boca acupuncture clinic six months after her laser surgery in West Palm Beach Hospital. Her Chinese acupuncturist told her to cut down on coffee because caffeine can constrict blood vessels and tighten up the muscles around her eyes, hands and feet. In the meantime, she started drinking raw green juice to help reduce inflammation in her eyes and joints. 

Lori developed tendinitis around her elbow and thumb many years ago because of the typing involved in her medical position. 

After 24 acupuncture treatments, her dry eye condition is much better and her eye pressure dropped to 18. She uses her eye drops only twice a day and her vision has improved with more blood flow to her eyes. Now, Lori comes to the Boca acupuncture clinic only every two to three weeks to keep her eye muscles and elbow ligaments in a balanced condition. So, now she does not have to have surgery to lower her eye pressure and to fix her tendinitis.