What is macular degeneration? This condition is one of the most common causes of vision impairment, and develops in three stages. Early macular degeneration doesn’t cause obvious symptoms in your daily life and is harder to diagnose. The intermediate stage has mild symptoms, but the late stage is significantly disabling and can make driving dangerous. To prevent this, patients in Glenview, Illinois, are increasingly turning to therapies such as acupuncture.
Unlike diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration causes a loss of central vision. Another difference is that straight lines can appear wavy, or you notice blank spots and must turn your head to see something.
The two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry MD, have one key difference. As dry macular degeneration involves the macula being worn down, vision loss is always gradual. The wet form involves inappropriate blood vessel growth, and because these are less resilient than healthy vessels they will eventually break and damage the retina. This increases the risk of sudden vision loss.
Macular degeneration is driven by aging, which is itself driven partly by inflammation. Some factors that increase this inflammation are smoking, being overweight or obese, lack of exercise, and a diet high in nutrient-poor processed foods. Wet MD includes an excess of VEGF, a growth factor that encourages blood vessel development, as an underlying contributor.
Macular degeneration therapy is inadequate in conventional medicine. Wet MD, which affects only 10-15% of patients, can be treated with medications that reduce VEGF, and the dry form can be slowed with antioxidant supplementation.
Acupuncture for macular degeneration is a new treatment that Dr. Vadim Dekhtyar, DACM is proud to offer at Life Balance Clinic. The AcuNova system of AcuVision was developed by Danish physician Dr. Boel, and uses acupuncture points on the hands and feet that benefit eye health when stimulated correctly. One study shows an average improvement in vision of 27%, an amazing result when you consider that macular degeneration worsens over time and other treatments only slow the disease.
German research shows that the points used in AcuNova can effectively improve or stabilize macular degeneration, even though the condition is usually age-related and becomes worse over time. In a Chinese trial of 47 patients, acupuncture treatment led to greater benefits in symptoms such as blurred vision, eye fatigue, and distorted vision compared to supplementation with vitamins C and E. Seemingly unrelated symptoms improved too, such as poor memory, constipation, and lower back pain. These were related to Chinese medicine’s syndrome patterns, however.
New treatments for macular degeneration using modern acupuncture techniques, such as AcuNova, can significantly improve age-related vision loss. Dr. Vadim Dekhtyar, DACM is highly sought after by patients as one of the few US physicians to offer this treatment, and he was trained by Dr. Boel himself. To learn more about whether AcuNova is right for you, contact us at Life Balance Clinic to book an appointment.