Macular degeneration is a common eye disorder. It is caused by the deterioration of a small area in the back of the eye known as the macula. If left untreated, it causes central vision loss and other related symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration according to Western medicine. Treatments often focus on slowing down the progression of the disease. Depending on the individual case, there are several therapies, medications, supplements, and medical procedures available.
Conventional Treatment for Macular Degeneration – Western Medicine
- Medications: Doctor may prescribe Anti-VEGF injection into the eye to prevent blood vessel overgrowth, which is associated with macular degeneration. The drugs include Lucentis, Eylea, Beovu, and Avastin.
- Surgery: Laser eye surgery uses a targeted laser to stop the growth of fragile blood vessels in the affected eye.
- Photodynamic Therapy: This procedure involves an injection into the eye and targeted light to narrow small blood vessels in the eye.
Side Effects of Western Medicine Options
Western medicine treatments for macular degeneration are typically invasive and risky. Anything could go wrong when a laser or a needle is inserted straight to your eye.
And according to a study in The Scientific Journal of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, “anti-VEGF agents may be associated with devastating complications.” Some side effects include:
- Endophthalmitis infections
- Intraocular inflammation
- Haemorrhage (bleeding)
- Retinal detachment or tear
- Pressure elevation
- Pain and irritation
- Visual distortion
- Optic neuropathy
Besides, the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) notes that some pharmaceutical drugs increase the risk of developing AMD. They include Ibuprofen, Chloroquine, Allopurinol, Quinine, and Indomethacin, to name a few.
The side effects of macular degeneration treatments and the disease itself have a profound effect on a patient’s quality of life. For this reason, more and more people are seeking safer and less invasive alternative treatments to improve their wellbeing. And this is where acupuncture and Chinese medicine come in – i.e., they are natural, safe, non-invasive, and effective.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treatment for Macular Degeneration
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) includes practices such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. Acupuncture involves the placement of sterilized thin needs at specific points (acupoints) linked to energy channels. It stimulates the body’s Qi (life force) and restore balance.
Acupuncture and TCM can be used as either complementary or alternative treatment of macular degeneration. As a complementary treatment, acupuncture is used together with conventional Western treatment to improve outcomes and reduce side effects. As an alternative AMD treatment, TCM is used as the only treatment.
Whichever way you use TCM to treat macular degeneration, it holds a lot of potential in improving your outlook. Chinese medicine treats the root cause of the illness. In the case of macular degeneration, it improves the circulation of nutrients by resolving stagnation. This allows the eyes to heal and prevent the death of cells.
Additionally, Chinese medicine also promotes healthy lifestyle changes such as healthful diets, exercise, and avoiding toxic substances that disrupt Qi such as smoke.
PS: Acupuncture needles are NOT inserted into your eye.
For more information on macular degeneration treatments, reach out to Centre of Balance, Hamilton today at 07-846 7956.
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Falavarjani, K. G., & Nguyen, Q. D. (2013). Adverse events and complications associated with intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF agents: a review of literature. Eye, 27(7), 787-794.
Medication Cautions in Macular Degeneration – AMDF. (2021). Retrieved 12 February 2021, from https://www.macular.org/medications-use-caution