Keeping eyesight sharp
Low vision and age related macular degeneration is included in February's health awareness observations. In light of that, here is some insight on vision from Eastern Medicine.
Chinese Medicine Perspective
As with all health issues, Chinese Medicine looks at the individual as a whole and identifies the underling pattern leading to any condition. Many vision issues are related to the Liver organ system. Though this may not make sense in western medicine, in Chinese Medicine the liver channel goes to the eyes and is responsible for the easy movement of blood, fluids, and nourishment throughout the body.
Blurry vision, floaters, dryness
Blood in eastern medicine has broad functions that include nourishing and moistening all the organs, muscles, tissues, skin, hair, and eyes. When there is not enough blood circulating, there will be symptoms of dryness.
Other signs of blood deficiency: dryness (eyes, hair, skin, mouth, stool), muscle cramps, numbness, dizziness, palpitations, easily startled, insomnia, and thinning hair.
Blurred or blind spot in central vision, difficulty seeing in poor lighting
(conditions related to retinal disorders like macular degeneration, retinitis)
These conditions related to the retina are connected to the liver and kidney organ systems, especially in regard to yin. Yin is a centerpiece of Chinese Medicine that represents cooling and moistening functions. Yin tends to decline as we age. In the case of age related macular degeneration the reduction in yin in the eyes causes the ocular blood vessels to become brittle and leak blood, impeding vision.
Other signs yin needs to be boosted: dryness (cough, dry eyes, throat), heat (night sweats, hot flashes), joints sore and brittle, insomnia, waking frequently through the night, anxiety.
Make sure to get enough vitamins A, C and E
Add the minerals zinc, selenium, and lutein to your diet. Lutein is naturally found in the retina (specifically in the macula). Supplementing with lutein has been shown to decrease macular degeneration. Take at least 6mg or increase intake of egg yolks, pistachios, kale, leeks, peas, romaine lettuce, and spinach.
Formula to Brighten the Eyes (Ming Mu Di Huang Wan) is a traditional formula that supports underlying health patterns related to weakened Liver and Kidney function and improves diminished, weak, blurry vision.
How can acupuncture help?
Increase blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to the eyes
Stimulate the ocular nerves, improving vision
Treat underlying health patterns and reduce overall pain and inflammation