I must admit, I am not well versed in acupuncture, although it is an intriguing treatment option.  But this morning, I was staring at the computer in bewilderment after reading an article about using acupuncture to treat a common childhood vision problem.

The condition is called amblyopia. Abmlyopia occurs when one or both eyes doesn’t ever develop good vision because there isn’t a clear image in the back of the eye.  This most commonly occurs either because one eye constantly turns in or out, thus never seeing straight head, or because one or both eyes has a very high prescription and never sees a clear image.

Traditionally, optometrists treat amblyopia by trying to get a clear image in the eye and making the child use their amblyopic eye more by patching the good eye.  There is a critical period, until about age 12, that the brain can learn to see better, after which a persons best vision will never improve past a certain point.

So the acupuncture study looked at kids who had one eye with a much higher prescription than the other. This type of amblyopia was always treated by giving glasses and using a patch on the good eye for many hours a day. The study compared this treatment to daily acupuncture sessions.

And according to their results, the acupuncture was slightly more successful than patching in correcting the weak eye.

I just can’t imagine children sitting still long enough for a 25 minutes TV show, let alone an acupuncture session.  But I can’t argue with the results.

Of course there has to be a lot of followup to this study.  There are many different types and methods of acupuncture and just like every optometrist does an eye exam differently, I imagine every practitioner performs acupuncture differently.

I’m all for anything that improves vision and can help, so this is worth looking into.  I guess I’ll have start by scheduling my first acupuncture session.

This information is brought to you by Clarin Eye Care, a family Optometry practice in Palmetto Bay, Florida.  Please call or contact our office for more information.

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