The macula is a small disc in the back of the eye where the lens sends the images. As a person ages, the macula can develop problems.
One of the things that can happen is called dry macular degeneration. This is when fatty cells or plaques form behind the macula. This causes a blurring of vision in the center of the vision. It progresses slowly and is usually treated with vitamins and watched on a regular basis.
One of the other things that can happen is wet macular degeneration. This is when clusters of blood vessels grow or proliferate under and around the macula. This is a more aggressive type of macular degeneration and the blood vessels compressing on the nerves can lead to significant loss of vision or even blindness. This is treated more aggressively with injections in the eye with medicines that slow or stop the blood vessels from growing or proliferating more. The injections in the eye can be as little as a couple and then watched or as much as an injection every couple months.
We have a unique way of treating macular degeneration, both wet and dry types. We use 2 different types of acupuncture and a short course of Chinese herbs.
We use Auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture) were we use a device to deliver a mild electrical stimulation to the acupuncture points in the ear. Most patients feel nothing.
We then use acupuncture needles on points on the legs from the knee down. At no time do we put needles near the eye.
We also usually use a Chinese herb for the first month to jump start the program.
All of these treatments are aimed at treating the Liver Meridian. In acupuncture, the Liver Meridian is responsible for the eyes and eye diseases. Once we normalize the Liver Meridian, the eye can heal. We usually see dry macular degeneration slow down or stop and the vision slightly improve. We usually see the wet macular degeneration slow down or stop bleeding and no longer need the injections in the eye. As with anything in medicine, there are no guarantees and some occasional failures.
Since wet is so much more aggressive, we treat it more aggressively. The patient is seen 2 times per week for 4 to 5 weeks before their next retina specialist appointment. If they do not need a shot, then we see them on a decreasing basis. If they need a shot, then we were not able to help, and they are released.
The initial visit is $90.00 and all follow up visits are $45.00. Herbs are usually $60.00 for the first month.
If you have any questions, feel free to talk to Dr. Devine either in person or by phone.