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Acupuncture Therapy May Cure Lazy Eye In Older Children, Researchers Say

December 17, 2010 by  

Acupuncture therapy may cure lazy eye in older children, researchers sayAmblyopia is a vision problem that affects millions of children all over the world. Many affected adolescents are self-conscious because of the physical abnormalities associated with some cases, while others may suffer in school because of their vision impairments.

However, researchers have discovered that acupuncture treatment could potentially treat lazy eye in some older children. According to a report in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, a study conducted by medical experts in China revealed that the alternative treatment may help children who have amblyopia, which is the loss of one eye's ability to see details.

The study involved 88 children who had lazy eye — 43 were assigned to acupuncture treatment five times per week and 45 received occlusion therapy, in which one eye was patched for two hours per day. Amblyopia was considered resolved in 41.5 percent of the eyes in the acupuncture group, compared to 16.7 percent in the patched group. After 15 weeks of treatment, children who had acupuncture treatment improved their acuity by an average of 2.3 lines in the vision test.

The authors of the report stated that successful treatment of lazy eye may hinge on the specific acupoints — parts of the body where needles are inserted — used during treatment.

The report revealed that up to 5 percent of individuals worldwide have amblyopia. 

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  • Fenella Pearson

    I wish that I’d known about this when I was 8!

  • Kelly

    My daughter is five and was diagnosed with this problem at age 3. We did the patch and glasses… Is this something that can work for her age?

  • keratos

    A lot of eye conditions are misdiagnosed as lazy eye. If we are truly talking about amblyopia then we need to realize that amblyopia is caused by failure of the growth and maturation of cells in the area of the brain representing the vision coming from a defective eye – an eye that is suppressed by the child due to blurry or double vision. This can be because of problems inside the eye, or the eye not pointing correctly, or the eye being covered by a droopy lid, or etc.
    Therefore in order to corect this, the acupuncture needles woud have to be causing new cells to grow in the occipital calcarine cortex of the brain and we know they aren’t putting needles through the children’s skulls to reach the area that is ffected during the acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture might be helping lid spasms but this therapy is most likely another one of the alternative mediine scams that are so prevalent.
    This validity study is extremely suspect.
    My kid is getting the patch, at least until 7-10 years of age beyond which nothing works. There are recent british studies showing the time needed to patch is less than we thought. Patching doen’t work when – the child is too old (7-10) the chid works the patch and is peeking around it when the parents think she is patched, or the glasses aren’t correct – it can be difficult to get them just right in squirmy cute little kids.


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