Glaucoma is a condition of the eye in which if not treated early can lead to blindness. Since there is no pain or other symptoms, it usually remains undetected until vision is impaired. Peripheral vision is lost when the optic nerve gets damaged due to the increase in IOP or intraocular pressure. Eye drops and laser surgery can be used to control eye pressure. Laser surgery can help lower eye pressure for a certain percentage of patients, but patients need more surgery after a few years if the root cause of glaucoma is not addressed. If a patient has had more than two surgeries, usually scar tissue builds up and the pressure can not be lowered by surgery easily. So many people prefer to try a non-invasive procedure at first, especially if eye pressure is not very high. One of these methods is acupuncture for glaucoma, which is a traditional and ancient form of Chinese medicine.
How Acupuncture Lowers Eye Pressure
If the patient has been diagnosed with glaucoma in its early stages, then acupuncture and acupressure can be very effective. In the later stages of glaucoma, it is better to combine eye drops with acupuncture and acupressure. The insertion of fine needles improves circulation of fluids around the eye without causing dry eyes or infection, if done by an experienced acupuncturist. Especially when patients already have a few laser surgeries and eye pressure is still very high, then acupuncture two to three times a week may be the best choice.
Acupuncture Takes Care of Overall Health of the Eye
Acupuncture also helps to improve vision and slow down degeneration of the optic nerve. Acupuncture for glaucoma supports the function and integrity of the optic nerve. The optic nerve usually is damaged because blood flow to the eyes decreases. Acupuncture increases the retrobulbar circulation which helps not only in decreasing intraocular pressure but also speeding up fluid circulation in and out of the eyes. Researchers have found that even the visual acuity in people suffering from glaucoma can be improved when at least a couple of sessions of acupuncture are done every week.
Acupuncture and Acupressure with Medicines Offer Faster and Better Results
Most experts recommend those patients suffering from glaucoma considering going for a few sessions of acupuncture each month, because eye drops can cause some dryness and reduce fluid circulation around the eyes. Clinically, when patients go to see an acupuncturist at least once a week and practice acupressure every day once or twice, they can lower the eye drop dose to prevent dryness and inflammation in their eyes. Furthermore, patients reported vision acuity improved by combing glaucoma acupuncture and eye drops. The needles that are inserted are retained for about 30 minutes around eyes, neck, hands and feet, and the depth of the insertion is about 3-10mm.