Acupuncture Used To Treat Degenerative Eye Conditions
Results Vary From Patient To Patient
5:33 AM, Mar 22, 2005
Millions of Americans are struggling with degenerative eye conditions.
Treatment options for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa are limited and there is no cure.But some are turning to a form of acupuncture for relief and it's working, according to 10News.Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese medical treatment used to treat everything from PMS to smoking addiction. Now, a slightly different form of acupuncture is being used to treat eye disease.San Diego acupuncturist, Dr. Gail Brent, practices micro-acupuncture -- a treatment that is providing hope for people like Joyce Lea.When Lea was diagnosed with macular degeneration 11 years ago, even a retinal specialist didn't have much to offer."He said, 'We don't know what to do. We don't have anything for this.' There's a lot of research but nothing that can cure it," Lea said.Fortunately, Lea's disease was slow to progress. However, it did start changing how she saw the world."With my checkbook, I would have to make certain I stay on the same line," Lea said.Several years ago, Lea heard about micro-acupuncture and decided to give it a try."When you know Chinese medicine -- how it brings the chi-energy and blood and oxygen to the eyes -- then you're bringing nutrients and oxygen and energy and creating an environment where the body can start to heal," Brent said.Following a visual acuity test, patients undergo a series of treatments. It's called micro-acupuncture because relatively few needles are used.Lea now comes every six months for maintenance treatments. Her disease is stable and she notices improvement after each session."I've had people who've gone from legally blind to driving their cars or people who can now read or see a face when they couldn't see it before," Brent said.Brent emphasised that micro-acupuncture is not a cure, but many people see improvement or a slowing in the progression of their disease. Results vary from patient to patient.Patients initially commit to 15 to 20 treatments.If tests show improvement, patients undergo a maintenance program to maintain positive results.For more information, call the Health and Vision Acupuncture Center at (619) 276-3661.