Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Can TCM Cure Eyes Diseases? Such as Glaucoma, Age-related Macular Degenration AMD, Retinitis Pigmentosa RP

Can TCM Cure Eyes Diseases? Such as Glaucoma, Age-related Macular Degenration AMD, Retinitis Pigmentosa RP

Age-/Related Macula Degeneration (AMD)

I had learned under Professor Deng Sue Hua.  She is a senior lecturer in Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and also a senior ophthalmologist attached with Jiangsu Province TCM Hospital (江苏省中医院). She specialises on eyes diseases especially on those eye diseases that cannot be treated or have little hope of improvement or still in research stage by Western medicine such as Retinitis Pigmentosa (commonly known as Night Blindness), Age-related Macula Degeneration, Maculopathy, Retinopathy, Optic Nerve Atrophy etc.

The followings are some questions posed to me:


Question by patient who had night blindness (by email to me):

I'm so glad to have found your blog. I'm 19 this year. Since age 14, I started having difficulties seeing in the night. I wasn't that worried till my vision is getting worse. I went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital to do a check up to see what's going on. And its Retinitis Pigmentosa. According to the western doctor, this can't be treated and I will be blind by the age of 40. I was only told by the doctors to take vitamin A. As it might help to slow down the progress. I did all kinds of research trying to find hope, but all I found was negative reviews.

Can you treat my eyes? I want to give it a try even if the percentage of success is low. I really hope I can walk on my own in the day and night again without anybody's assistance.

I look forward to your reply.

My answer to her:
I understand you suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa (commonly know as Night Blindness) and I sympathize with you. I did some research during my stay in Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China. My research was on eyes diseases, especially on those eye diseases that cannot be treated or have little hope of improvement or still in the research stage by Western medicine, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, Age-related Macula Degeneration, Maculopathy, Retinopathy, Optic Nerve Atrophy etc.

The Retinitis Pigmentosa disease may affect people ranging from 8~65 years old, especially the young adults, According to the statistics, it affects approximately 1/3500~1/4500 and 1~2/5000 newborn. Estimated figures show that 1.5 million people in the world suffer from this disease.

Although many research & experimental studies had been carried out in the past years. There is still no effective treatment method to date. It has become key research topic for many ophthalmologists.

In RP patients it shows hereditary characters such as autosomal dominant, adRP, autosomal recessive, arRP and X-linked manner, xlRP etc. The autosomal dominant develops slowly and comparatively later in age with less changes in electroretinograms, ERG; whereas autosomal recessive often develop in early stage, condition become serious and chronic with more changes in electroretinograms. Most often, patients lose their eyesight at age 40.

Well, I have treated many Retinitis Pigmentosa patients over the years, they seems to be doing quite well (in the sense that they are not blind yet).

As you know that Retinitis Pigmentosa is a genetic problem, its condition becomes worse as years pass by. However, research has shown that TCM (with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine) can prolong the photoreceptors in the retinal from worsening.

1) 有个私人问题想请教。我的叔叔患有青光眼,医生说已很严重,需要动手术。请问手术后,他应该做什么,尽快帮助眼睛康复呢?手术成功的话,是否表示他就不会变盲呢?
2) 请问手术后,他应该做什么,尽快帮助眼睛康复呢?
3) 手术成功的话,是否表示他就不会变盲呢?

1) 你的叔叔有青光眼,医生认为已很严重, 必须手术。手术的选择通常是眼压继续不降(不能通过外滴眼药水而达到眼压下降) 。手术治疗通常是建立一条人工引流通路,使房水流通,眼压就不会增高。
2) 手术后, 多休息,少用眼神, 最好暂时别做剧烈或低头的运动,眼睛的伤口会慢慢康复。伤口康复以及病情稳定后,可以进行针灸治疗及吃一些中药,使视神经受损或视野缺损的程度改善。
3) 手术成功的话,临床观察,病人一般不会盲。根据本人的经验, 青光眼的病人若激光治疗次数超过10次以上, 通常会盲。


Glaucoma can be divided roughly into two main categories:

  1. “Closed angle” glaucoma 闭角型青光眼—Closed angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful.  If it is untreated it can lead to visual loss. One must seek medical attention immediately before permanent damage occurs.
  2. “Open angle” glaucoma 开角型青光眼--- Open angle glaucoma tends to progress at a slower rate and patients may not notice they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly. Very often raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for developing glaucoma (intraocular pressure above 21 mmHg is considered as high 眼压高).

Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage, permanently damaging vision in the affected eye(s) and sometimes leads to blindness if untreated.
In Singapore, TCM physicians treat glaucoma with acupuncture and Chinese herbal Medicine.  It is to enhance circulation, expel excess fluid, nourish the eyes etc. In many cases, it helps to maintain glaucoma from deteriorating further. I have seen a patient, a young man age 26, who told me that he went through more than ten rounds of laser and ended up losing his eye sight. He wondered whether his blindness was due to too many times of laser.

青光眼属严重眼疾,预后不佳。正常人眼压不应高过21 mmHg。中医认为青光眼的病因是肝经实热、肝郁气逆、阴虚火旺或其他兼症如高血压,糖尿病导致。
急性青光眼(闭角型青光眼), 患者会感觉眼睛剧痛, 眼压突然升高,非常不舒服, 必须马上到医院治疗。慢性青光眼(开角型青光眼) 也可根据病情, 眼压是否受到控制的情况, 尽早寻求治疗。除西医手术治疗外, 中医中药也是一种的辅助治疗。
        在新加坡,中医治疗青光眼主要以针灸与中药治疗。 中医以活血化瘀,健脾利水之法或辨证论治方法来治疗青光眼。重点是改善青光眼视盘血供, 减少房水生成或促进视神经细胞代谢等功效。中国有很多大学研究与论文发表提示通过针灸与中药治疗,在一定程度上可缓解病情,达到协同治疗作用,优于单用西药。

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