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Acupuncture for Glaucoma

Learn How Acupuncture can Treat Glaucoma

acupuncture for eye conditionsAcupuncture may be an effective treatment method for one of the leading causes of blindness, glaucoma. Cases of glaucoma are expected to rise due to a longer-lived ageing population of ‘baby boomers’ and the lack of a medical cure for the condition. To address the issue, we need to answer the following questions:

  • What exactly is glaucoma?
  • What are the risk factors?
  • Which treatments are available, and are they effective?
  • How can Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine treat glaucoma?

An Overview of Glaucoma

By definition, glaucoma is a group of diseases (congenital glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, normal/low tension glaucoma, and open-angle glaucoma) that damage the optic nerve leading to a progressive loss of vision. If you didn’t already know, everything you see is made possible by the optic nerve – it transmits visual signals to the brain for interpretation. Damage to the optic nerve is often caused by excess pressure in the eye.

*Please Note: Damage to the optic nerve is not necessarily linked to high eye pressure. Whereas glaucoma can occur when eye pressure is normal, other people with high eye pressure do not suffer from glaucoma.

Patients suffering from open-angle glaucoma (the most common type) often go on with their normals lives without knowledge of the condition until they start losing their peripheral vision. If medical intervention is not sought at this point, the vision loss may progress to tunnel vision and even total blindness at an advanced stage. However, some types of glaucoma such as angle-closure glaucoma are characterised by evident symptoms such as blurred vision, redness of the eyes, nausea, and severe pain due to blocked fluid drainage.

What are the Causes of Glaucoma?

Acupuncture to treat GlaucomaAlthough the cause of glaucoma is not known (at least according to conventional medicine), there are lots of theories. Some suggest that poor fluid movement around the eye tissues is the cause, while others claim that glaucoma is predominantly caused by inadequate blood supply. We do know that the following factors increase the risk of developing the condition:


  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid.
  • Medical conditions- heart disease, low/high blood pressure, diabetes etc.
  • Anatomical factors such as the appearance of the optic nerve or corneal thickness.
  • Severe trauma or physical damage to the eye.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Age – The further past the age of 60 you go, the higher the risk.
  • Increased eye pressure.

Conventional Treatments

As discussed earlier, it is possible that you may be suffering from glaucoma without realising. This is why both modern pharmaceuticals and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners advise that you have regular eye check-ups.

Modern pharmaceuticals cannot cure glaucoma – once vision degrades, it cannot be restored. Conventional treatments include eye drops and oral medication to reduce eye pressure and surgery may be suggested in severe cases. As much as these medical interventions can improve fluid movement, they are associated with uncomfortable side effects such as blurred vision, red eyes, and a stinging sensation. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with these side effects. How? Through acupuncture treatment available at Centre of Balance Hamilton.

The Concept Behind Acupuncture Treatment for Glaucoma

Acupuncture PointsWhat is the cause of glaucoma according to traditional Chinese medicine? A healthy mind, body, and spirit are facilitated by a balance of yin and yang energy. So when either of these two forces are in excess or lacking, a disharmony is created. In the case of glaucoma, the buildup of fluids in the eye causes a stagnation. Therefore, equilibrium is achieved by giving yang the necessary ‘boost’ to move the yin (fresh blood to eye tissues) and encourage cellular regeneration.

The ‘boost’ is given in the form of acupuncture and other similar techniques of traditional Chinese medicine. And before you start picturing acupuncture needles in your eyes, you’ll be relieved to learn that most acupoints to treat eye conditions are located on the feet, hands, and eyebrows (that’s the closest we will go). The treatment may prevent/slow further loss of eyesight, manage eye pressure, and encourage the bodys natural healing mechanisms.

Final Remarks

Simply put, acupuncture treatment focuses on strengthening the entire body and maintaining a balanced state.  It aims to increase the supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the eye – without side effects.  However, it’s important to explore acupuncture treatment for glaucoma as early possible to improve the outcome. So if you or your loved is diagnosed with glaucoma or you have an issue with your eyes, please contact Centre of Balance in Hamilton or Remuera, Auckland and let our highly experienced professionals apply their skills and knowledge to help you maintain healthy vision.

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