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Acupuncture and dry eye

Can acupuncture help dry eye?

Dunno. There are a few studies, not very compelling on the face of it. Like many possible treatments it seems to me a reasonable thing to pursue if you're either already keenly interested in alternative medicine, or you're desperate for pain relief.


Acupuncture is a technique dating back to ancient China where fine needles are inserted at various points just under the skin. It is meant to penetrate and stimulate specific points in the body. Like other forms of alternative medicine it is increasingly popular and accepted in the West.

We occasionally hear from patients or practitioners about the use of acupuncture in dry eye treatment. Reports range from using it to reduce chronic pain to claims of clinical improvement in dry eye symptoms and tear film quality, but strong patient testimonials seem awfully scarce.


Acupuncture for Xerophthalmia

Acupuncture in Dry Eye Syndromes


Dry eye treatment with acupuncture. A prospective, randomized, double-masked study. Nepp J et al, Adv Exp Med Bio, 1998;438:1011-6. No abstract available, sorry, but click here for the Medline link.

Effect of acupuncture in keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Nepp et al, Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd. 1999 Oct;215(4):228-32. Click here for abstract.

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