The Eyes Have It…

Zheng Guang Xia is a Chinese medical category that includes Macular Degeneration and other “loss of vision with no abnormal appearance of the eye” diseases. Some of the other conditions that fall within this category are glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and degeneration of the optic nerve.

Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back wall of the eye, that records the images we see and sends them, via the optic nerve, to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.

If one compares the human eye to a film camera, the macula would be the central and most sensitive area of the film. When it is in good health, the macula collects highly detailed images at the center of the field of vision and sends them through the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as sight.  If the cells of the macula deteriorate, images are not received correctly and the center of the focal field becomes distorted and eventually nonexistent. In the very early stages, macular degeneration does not affect vision, but later, if the disease progresses, people experience wavy or blurred vision in the center of the visual field. If the condition continues to worsen the blurred area becomes darker and larger and eventually central vision may be completely lost.

People with very advanced macular degeneration can be considered legally blind. Even so, because the rest of the retina is still working, they usually retain their peripheral vision which is not as clear as central vision but there is still some vision.

At Atlantic Acupuncture we treat macular degeneration and other visual conditions with Traditional Chinese Medicine at our Vero Beach office using both herbal medicine and acupuncture.

The Chinese medical understanding is that disharmonies of the liver and kidneys cause or exacerbate conditions like macular degeneration. We have found that herbal medicines made up of substances like celosia, chrysanthemum, gentian and prunella can be used in combination with other herbs to nourish the eye and stop the degeneration of the macula. If caught in the early stages we have been able to restore the central vision and in later stages we have been able to arrest the deterioration of the macula. These herbs and formulas that regulate the liver and kidneys harmonize and balance their functions to restore visual health.

Acupuncture is also very effective in the treatment of disharmonies of the eye. Acupuncture points with names like pupil bone hole, eye window, eye ascension, bright eyes and tear overlook all have the function or stimulating the flow of Qi and blood to the eyes, optic nerve and brain. Scientific studies in China and other Asian countries focusing on these acupuncture points have verified that they do indeed increase vascular dilation and blood flow to the eyes and specifically the macula.

Although the use of Chinese medicine for degenerative eye diseases is not a quick fix, there is nothing in conventional medicine that compares to the safety and efficacy that Chinese medicine has for the treatment of degenerative eye diseases.

Yours in good health,

Robert Kienitz, DTCM


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