[Standardized acupuncture therapy in patients with ocular hypertension or glaucoma--results of a prospective observation study]

Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2003 Oct;10(5):256-61. doi: 10.1159/000074780.
[Article in German]


Background: Glaucoma is one of the most frequent causes of blindness worldwide. The main risk factor for this optic nerve disease is high individual intraocular pressure.

Objective: The aim of this observational study was to investigate the effect of acupuncture therapy on individual internal eye pressure in glaucoma and ocular hypertension patients.

Material and methods: 18 patients (11 female; age 38-75 years) with a diagnosis of glaucoma (n = 3) or ocular hypertension (n = 15) were included in this study. Patients received one session of a standardized acupuncture treatment (acupuncture points Liv 3, Li 4, Gb 37). Target parameters were the change in intraocular pressure and the compatibility of treatment. Measurements of intraocular pressure were carried out 15 min before, 15 min after, and 24 h after acupuncture.

Results: Compared with the mean intraocular pressure in both eyes before treatment (21.94 +/- 2.4 mm Hg), patients showed a significant decrease 15 min after treatment (-2.67 +/- 1.34 mm Hg) as well as 24 h after treatment (-2.5 +/- 2.13 mm Hg). There was no significant difference between the mean intraocular pressure at 15 min after treatment and at 24 h after treatment. No adverse events were observed.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that acupuncture therapy may be a valid treatment option for glaucoma and ocular hypertension patients. Additional and, if possible, randomized studies investigating the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of the above-mentioned conditions still need to be conducted.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome