Dry Eye Syndrome
Do you have dry, burning or tired eyes?
If so, you may have Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome affects over 33 million people in America.
Symptoms may include: scratchy eyes, stinging, gritty, blurry eyes, eye fatigue, red itchy eyes, a dry burning sensation or excessive tearing.
Under normal conditions the eyes will blink every 5 seconds. Blinking pumps the surrounding tear ducts which keeps the eyes lubricated. Eyes need to remain moist to maintain aqueous and lipid mucus layers. By producing a steady flow of basal tears, the eyes remain moist and comfortable. When tear production decreases, an imbalance occurs responding in dry eye syndrome.
The most common causes of dry eye syndrome are:
- Age: Tear volume decreases with age. By age 65, there may be 65% decrease in tear production.
- Medications: Antihistamines, codeine, decongestants, diuretics, birth control
- Hormonal changes: Post menopause
- Environmental quality: Tobacco, allergens, pollution
- Diseases: Sjogren’s, rheumatoid arthritis, blepharitis, autoimmune disorders
- Surgeries: Lasik surgery
- Computer use: Over use of computers, tablets and cell phones
Common western medical treatment:
- Eye drops: corticosteroid drops, antibiotic drops.
- Punctual plugs: to block tear ducts
- Special light therapy
Traditional Chinese Medicine:
Traditional Chinese medicine treats the body from a standpoint of whole integration.
Symptoms in the eyes may also be systemic throughout the body.
In addition, any organ imbalances may contribute to dry eye conditions.
In Chinese medicine, the liver is said to: “open to the eyes” and support eye health.
Any liver imbalances may have direct negative consequences to the eyes.
Acupuncture and Dry Eye Syndrome:
Acupuncture can both directly and indirectly stimulate the glands around the eyes. Acupuncture increases the circulation of blood and fluid to the eye. Increased blood flow adds more lubrication, oxygen and nutrients to the eyes as well as the removal of waste.
In addition to increasing fluids, blood and oxygen, acupuncture may have an overall anti-inflammatory effect on the eyes.
Needles are never placed in the eyes!
Acupuncture needles may be inserted around the eyes, on the hands, feet and other locations.
Treatments usually last 20 -40 minutes and may be combined with other modalities as necessary.
For any questions or further information on this topic please visit us at our website.
Marc Bystock L.Ac.
Acupuncture for Eyes
280 Madison Avenue, 905
NY, NY 10016