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Acupuncture to treat lazy eye
Sat, 30 Apr 2011 13:11:35 GMT
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Acupuncture may increase the effectiveness of wearing corrective glasses in children suffering from amblyopia, or lazy eye, a new study suggests.

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is the most common cause of vision problems in children. If the condition remains untreated, the vision loss may become permanent and the patient may lose his/her perception of depth.

A combination of prescription corrective glasses, prisms, vision therapy and eye patching are used to treat the condition, in which one eye loses ability to see details.

A team of Chinese researchers studied the effect of using acupuncture on the treatment process of 83 children with lazy eye who were using corrective glasses as the main therapy.

According to the findings published in the journal Ophthalmology, the vision in the bad eye improved from 20/63 to 20/32 in those receiving acupuncture versus 20/40 in those just given glasses.

However, after 30 weeks of treatment, vision in the bad eye was around 20/30 after both groups received the glasses and acupuncture.

Acupuncture plus glasses helps improve vision more effectively than just glasses in children aged between 3 to 7 years, said study co-author Dennis Shun-Chiu Lam from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Some previous studies have shown that acupuncture increases blood flow in the brain and eye, stimulating the release of retinal nerve growth factors and subsequently leading to metabolic changes in the central nervous system.

The new findings adds weight to the researchers' previous study showing that acupuncture is as effective as patches in treating lazy eye, especially in older children.

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