How Acupuncture Helps Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Approximately 1.6 million Americans aged 50 and older have AMD, according to the Center of Disease and Control. The two forms of the disease are dry and wet. Ninety percent of patients have the dry form. Central geographic atrophy, the dry-type form of advanced AMD, results from atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelial layer underneath the retina, which causes vision loss through loss of photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the central part of the eye. No medical or surgical treatment is available for this condition.
The wet-type form of advanced AMD causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth in the choriocapillaris through Bruch's membrane, ultimately leading to blood and protein leakage below the macula. Bleeding, leaking, and scarring from these blood vessels eventually cause irreversible damage to the photoreceptors, and rapid vision loss if left untreated.
Chinese Medical Diagnosis of Dry-Type AMD from Deficient Qi and Blood In Eye
Acupuncture treatment in age-related macular degeneration has better results for the dry-type. By puncturing acupuncture points, blood flow can be increased to reinforce and nourish both qi and the blood.