The use of acupuncture in ophthalmology

Am J Chin Med. 1980 Spring-Summer;8(1-2):104-53. doi: 10.1142/s0192415x80000098.


The object of this study is to answer the question: Is acupuncture of any use in ophthalmology? Ophthalmology today can boast of 95% accuracy in diagnosis, but modern therapeutics has not caught up with diagnosis. Despite an inability to explain in modern scientific terms the healing power of acupuncture, documentation of over 500 cases treated shows that this modality can be successful in the treatment of eye diseases, especially in cases of retinitis pigmentosa, high myopia, cataracts, surgical aphakia, controlled glaucoma and re-attached ablation retinae. We notice in these cases that improvement occurs in the central acuity, and no improvement in the visual field, colorvision and nightblindness. Apparently acupuncture acts on the macula alone and not on the entire retina. Acupuncture is not intended to substitute for established medication or surgery in ophthalmology. It cannot restore a tissue or organ damaged beyond regeneration; "incurable" eye diseases per se are not cured by acupuncture. Only symptoms are relieved and dimness of vision is a symptom which can be alleviated in many cases with periodic treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy* / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cataract / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye Diseases / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Acuity