Acupuncture is more effective than artificial tears for dry eye syndrome
Purpose: Evaluate research evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture in dry eye syndrome patients.
Methods: Pubmed, Ovid, Cochrane libraries, CNKI, Wanfang, and CQVIP databases were searched. Outcomes including tear break-up time, Schirmer I test (SIT, a diagnostic method to measure the basic quantity of tear secretion), and cornea fluorescein staining (CFS) were analyzed. Ocular discomfort symptoms related to dry eye (e.g., ocular itching, foreign body sensation, burning, pain and dryness, blurred vision, sensation of photophobia, ocular redness, and sensations of tearing) were quantified and summarized in a standard 100 mm VAS scale. A meta-analysis was performed using both fixed- and random-effects models based on heterogeneity across studies.
Results: Seven studies were included in this study; 198 and 185 patients were randomly treated with acupuncture and artificial tears, respectively. The overall tear break-up time of patients in acupuncture group was significantly longer than that of the artificial tears group after treatment (p<0.00001). The SIT was significantly higher in the acupuncture group than that in the artificial tears group after treatment (p=o.001). The CFS of patients in acupuncture group was significantly improved compared to that in artificial group (p<0.0001). In one study, 6 patients in the acupuncture treatment group felt better after finishing the treatment and no one felt worse, and in the control group no patient felt better and 2 patients felt worse over the same period of time. In another study, the acupuncture group showed greater improvements in VAS values versus control group after 8-week treatment. In still another study statistically significant improvements were reported in the acupuncture group at eight weeks after acupuncture treatment compared with control group.
Conclusions: Acupuncture therapy is effective for the dry eye patients, partly better than artificial tear treatment.
Source: Yang L, et al. (2015) Acupuncture therapy is more effective than artificial tears for dry eye syndrome: Evidence based on a meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2015:143858