Acupuncture for Dry Eyes

A natural solution for dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that leads to a lack of moisture in the eyes, a gritty sensation, irritation, burning, difficulty reading, and (oddly enough) excessive watering of the eyes.  The dryness affects not only the eyes, but other mucus membranes throughout the body as well as the joints and nails.  Dry eye is increasingly common in people who work on computers and electronic devices because they tend to blink 66% less than normal, causing the eyes to dry and burn.  Dry eye can also be brought on by aging, as our tear volume decreases by 60% by the age of 65.

Over 33 million Americans experience dry eyes, and the commonly prescribed eye drops often don't help.  This is because they don't address the underlying cause, which is why they may provide only limited relief and lead to unwanted side-effects including vision loss.

Causes of dry eye:

  • excessive use of electronic devices

  • dehydration

  • aging

  • smoking

  • excessive alcohol, coffee or green tea

  • use of contact lenses

  • too much sugar in the diet

  • allergies

  • sinus infection

  • inflammation

  • autoimmune disease

  • hormonal changes

  • chlorine

  • air-conditioning/heat

  • medications

  • LASIK surgery

Diseases associated with dry eye include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • thyroid disease

  • diabetes

  • glaucoma

  • lupus 

  • asthma

In Chinese medicine, we identify the root cause of dry eye and use acupuncture and /or herbal medicine to increase fluid production from the inside out (rather than just the surface of the eyes).  Acupuncture points around the eyes are used to stimulate the lacrimal (tear) gland to produce fluids and lubricate the eyes naturally.  

 

Herbal medicine can also be effective in helping the body to generate more fluids, decrease inflammation, and address the underlying factors and pathologies causing dry eye.

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