This is an integrated protocol for eye sight and visual acuity improvement. It is an integrated approach using auricular acupuncture, micro current treatment of acupuncture points around the eyes as well as body acupuncture points. The following conditions are treated:
- Macular Degeneration
- Stargardts Disease (juvenile macular dystrophy)
AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of central vision loss for people older than 50 in the west. AMD is a progressive, degenerative eye disease which affects the macula (a small area under the retina) which gives us central vision. This allows us to drive, read, and write and other social activities.
The macula has very high metabolic requirements in comparison to other areas of the body. Hence it needs a good supply of nutrients, oxygen and efficient waste elimination. The macula is densely populated with photoreceptors (rods and cones; cones enable us to see colours). These photoreceptors are stacked above the retinal pigmented endothelial (RPE) cells which are responsible for the transport of nutrients and removal of metabolic wastes to and from the RPE cells.
There are two types of AMD (i) dry AMD & (ii) wet or neovascular AMD.
90% of AMD is the dry form. In the early onset of dry AMD creamy plaques called drusen accumulate at the base of RPE cells. Therefore as people age, the macula degenerates and their ability for direct central and fine detailed vision are lost. Subsequently, a dark spot called scotoma develops in place of the central view with concomitant loss of vivid colour; wavy lines may also appear in the vision.
In the passage of time, some dry AMD may advance to the wet form which leads to rapid decrease in eyesight. In wet AMD, new blood vessels grow into the retina in responds to the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) produced by the oxygen-starved RPE cells in order to re-vascularised these cells. These new blood vessels are thin, fragile and tend to leak blood and fluids into the macula and damage it, resulting in scar formation.
EXISTING TREATMENTS OF AMD
Wet AMD are normally treated with thermal laser photocoagulation to slow the progress of the disease, but with immediate loss of visual acuity. Laser has no effect on the dry AMD. Recently, ophthalmologists have used photodynamic therapy intravenous injection of anti-VEGF drug, verteporfin with application of laser.
Intraocular injection of anti-angiogenic drugs such as Macugen (pegaptanib) has also been attempted with variable results, some with improves vision. Other anti VEGF, such as Avastin (bevacizumab)and its derivatives, Lucentis (ranibumab) have been used recently with various degree of success at very high cost of US$3000 per treatment. Some of the side effects of intravetreal injection may include:
- Serious eye infection that may include eye pain, light sensitivity, vision changes.
- Increased ocular(eye) pressure
- Retinal detachment
- Vitreous floaters
People suffering from AMD do not go completely blind as the peripheral vision is normally intact.
For early warning sign of AMD please click at this link: http://www.maculardisease.org
ADVANCED AURICULAR THERAPY FOR EYE DISEASES
An integrated non invasive approach to eye diseases will be used. This includes the following four components:
- Advanced Auricular Therapy – to stimulate production of cortisone and improve blood supply to the retina
- Micro current stimulation of eye points – to stimulate and energise dormant RPE cells and to enhance the ability of cells to eliminate metabolic waste as well as to increase of blood and nutrients to the retina.
- Body acupuncture – acupuncture points benefiting the eyes will be selected
- Eye Qi Gong exercises & massages -this is an added regimen to enable client to enhance treatment efficacy.
As the probable mechanism of the treatment is to enhance blood and nutrient flow to the retina, bleeding or leaking in the retina is contraindicated. Hence, patient should have an ophthalmologists check up indicating that there is no leakage for 3 months for wet AMD and 12 months for dry AMD.