Age related macular degeneration(AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. There are two types of AMD, dry AMD and wet AMD.
Dry macular degeneration develops due to degeneration of cells in the macula. The macula is part of the retina. Deposits, known as drusen commonly form in the macula as the condition progresses. Vision becomes distorted and central vision is slowly lost.
Wet macular degeneration involves the development of new blood vessels beneath the macula. These blood vessels then leak blood and fluid into the retina. Vision becomes distorted and central vision is progressively lost.
Dry macular degeneration can progress to wet macular degeneration and typically does so in about 10% of cases. Regular eye tests will pick up macular degeneration at the early stage and allow for early intervention and care.
Specialised ophthalmic acupuncture is now emerging as a treatment option to help slow, halt and in some cases reverse the progression of the disease.
Some of the evidence for the treatment of macular degeneration with acupuncture:
One study(Xia, Y. et al., 2013) concluded that: 'Acupuncture could significantly improve eye symptoms of dry AMD cases including blurred vision, drastic decrease in visual acuity, distorted vision, central scotomas, visual fatigue and dry eyes as well as other systemic symptoms related to macular degeneration.'
And the results from another study(Lundgren, A.C., 2005) are as follows: '69% of patients improved in distant vision and 69% improved in near vision. Patients with both wet and dry forms of AMD benefited equally. Half of patients had subjective vision improvement, 33% of patients gained more than 2 lines on EDTRS charts, 20% reported lessening or disappearance of scotomas, 7% of patients noted improved color vision'
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