NHC has been serving Chicagoland for over 20 years.

Articles About Disorders

We treat many conditions here at NHC and I do my best to write about some of them below. Feel free to search for conditions you are interested in learning more about, as well as to suggest topics you would like me to write more about.

The Acupuncture Treatment of Lazy Eye

Image culled from www.commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Child_eyepatch.jpg

Research published in the Archives of Opthalmology underscore the practical use of using acupuncture to treat lazy eye in children. WebMD printed an analysis of the study here. Acupuncture could potentially become an alternative treatment to occlusion [patching] therapy for ambylopia [lazy eye], the researchers write. An excerpt from the abstract reads:
The mean BSCVA of the amblyopic eye at 15 weeks improved from baseline by 1.83 and 2.27 lines in the patching and acupuncture groups, respectively. Amblyopia was resolved in 7 (16.7%) and 17 (41.5%) eyes in the patching and acupuncture groups, respectively.

It has been our experience, at the Northside Holistic Center, that children with ambylopia do respond extremely well to acupuncture treatment, although it is important that parents frame the experience in a positive light as a wrong choice of wording can frighten the child. The actual treatment is quite easy for most children.

Another research study, published in the April 2011 issue of the journal, Opthamology, and readable at Reuters here, finds that: 

 

Adding to past evidence, acupuncture plus wearing glasses might help kids get over "lazy eye," a new study says.

In kids 3 to 7 years old, acupuncture plus glasses helped vision improve compared with just glasses alone, said study co-author Dr. Dennis Shun-Chiu Lam. 

At the beginning of the study, all of the kids' vision in the bad eye was about the same, around 20/63. The kids who got acupuncture as well as glasses had about 20/32 vision in their bad eye, on average. This is compared to about 20/40 vision in kids that only wore the glasses.

The difference between 20/32 and 20/40 is about the equivalent of being able to read about one line further down on the eye chart, said Dr. Marc Lustig, an assistant professor in department of ophthalmology at the New York University Medical Center.

A previous study by the same group suggested that acupuncture may work as well as patches for treating lazy eye. (See Reuters Health story of December 16, 2010.)

 

A global study in the prestigious journal Pediatrics, evaluating the saftey of acupuncture with children, found that:

 

Treating kids with acupuncture is a common practice and generally safe, according to a new study.

“Like adults, acupuncture is very safe when applied to the children’s population,” said Jamie Starkey, an acupuncturist from the Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study. “And so it basically mimics exactly what is seen in the adult population.”

 

“Any of the serious side effects that they found were definitely due in part to the clinician’s malpractice,” Starkey said. “So, it was certainly somebody who was not necessarily the most trained. The take-home message is that it is absolutely safe in both the adult and pediatric world, but you have to go to somebody who is trained.” [italics mine]

 

 An article about the study is readable here.