In the first study of its kind, Japanese researchers have found that acupuncture appears to benefit glaucoma patients by reducing intraocular pressure, and improving blood circulation behind the eye. Eleven patients with open-angle glaucoma were enrolled to receive either acupuncture treatment or rest. Acupuncture consisted of one 15 minute experimental treatment. Measurements of pressure and blood flow, showed that in the short-term, intraocular pressure decreased significantly after acupuncture, and this was accompanied by improved blood flow behind the eyes.
(Short-Term Effects of Acupuncture on Open-Angle Glaucoma in Retrobulbar Circulation: Additional Therapy to Standard Medication. Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, March 2011 Epub ahead of print.)
Researchers in Hong Kong have carried out a randomised controlled trial to study the effects of acupuncture on lazy eye in children, and have found that it is significantly more effective than standard treatment.
A total of 88 children with a lazy eye (anisometropic amblyopia) were randomly assigned to receive either the standard treatment of two hours daily patching of their sound eye, or five sessions of acupuncture per week, for 15 weeks. The visual acuity of the lazy eye improved by an equivalent amount in both groups. However, the proportion of children whose amblyopia was resolved, was significantly higher in the acupuncture group (42%) compared with the patching group (17%). The researchers conclude that acupuncture could eventually become an alternative treatment option for lazy eye.
(Randomised Controlled Trial of Patching vs Acupuncture for Anisometropic Amblyopia in Children Aged 7 to 12 Years. Archives of Ophthalmology, Dec 2010.)