Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of acupuncture treatment on dry eye syndrome.
Design: This was a prospective observational study.
Setting: The study was conducted at a clinical evaluation center for acupuncture and moxibustion of the Korean Institute of Oriental Medicine, Republic of Korea.
Subjects: The subjects were patients with dry eye disease (N = 36), defined by Schirmer test scores of <10 mm/5 min and tear film break-up times (BUTs) of <10 seconds.
Treatments: Participants were treated with acupuncture three times per week for 4 weeks. MEASURE OF EFFECTIVENESS: Schirmer test scores, BUTs, symptom scores, ocular surface disease index (OSDI) scores and dry eye symptom questionnaires were compared before and after treatment to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture treatment.
Results: After treatment, symptom scores, OSDI scores and the number of dry eye symptoms were all significantly lower (p < 0.0001). Although tear wettings were significantly higher (left: p < 0.0001, right: p = 0.0012), there were no significant differences in BUTs.
Conclusions: This study suggests that acupuncture treatment can effectively relieve the symptoms of dry eye and increase watery secretion.