2 January, 2019 Physician Victoria Tan

TCM for Dry Eyes

Dry eyes occur when there is a decrease in tear production, or when tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Elderly people frequently experience dryness of the eyes, but dry eyes can occur at any age.

Tears, made by the lacrimal gland, are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision. Tears bathe the surface of the eye, keeping it moist, and washes away dust and debris. They also help protect the eye from bacterial and other types of infections.

Tears are constantly produced to nourish and protect the eye’s surface. They are also produced in response to emergencies, such as a particle of dust in the eye, irritation of the eye, or an onset of strong emotions. When the lacrimal glands fail to produce sufficient tears, it can result in dry eyes.

Inflammation of the eye can accompany dry eye syndrome due to the lack of moisture as a protective layer. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain or scars on the cornea, and could potentially cause a loss of vision to some extent. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eyes is uncommon.


Dry eye symptoms include:

  • Difficulty reading/concentrating on a computer screen for an extended period of time.
  • Lowered tolerance to strong lighting, dry and dusty environment.  
  • Eye fatigue.

 

Why do dry eyes occur:

  • Inflammation on the eye’s surface, the lacrimal gland, or the conjunctiva.
  • Any disease that affects the meibomian or lacrimal gland function.
  • Increase in the surface of the eye (eg. Thyroid disease when the eye protrudes forward).
  • Aesthetics surgery, if the eyelids are opened too widely.


Dry eyes can be managed as an ongoing condition. The first priority is to determine if a disease is the underlying cause of dry eyes (such as lacrimal and meibomian gland dysfunction). If it is, then the underlying disease needs to be treated. 
The typical course of a TCM treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome includes acupuncture and herbal medication.

If symptoms of dry eye persist, consult our professional TCM physicians to get a diagnosis of the condition and begin treatment to avoid permanent damage.

Article by Physician Victoria Tan

 

Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions and diagnosis. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

About the Author

Physician Victoria Tan

Physician Victoria Tan

TCM Physician

Double Degree (1st Class Hon): Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences & Bachelor of Medicine (Chinese Medicine), Nanyang Technological University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

Physician Victoria Tan was a scholarship recipient of Ngee Ann Kongsi Tertiary Scholarship and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Foreign Students Scholarship in her undergraduate days, and the Valedictorian of her batch in NTU.

Currently a recipient of the graduate scholarship by the Academy of Chinese Medicine, Singapore, she is undertaking her graduate studies in Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology in NUS.

Physician Tan co-authored with A*STAR and is a co-investigator in East-West Medicine clinical research in public hospitals. One of the youngest TCM Instructor with the People’s Association, Victoria is also seen sharing TCM knowledge and professional advice through various media.

Her amiable personality and professionalism have won her patients’ trust in her craft.

Physician Tan’s expertise: Internal Disorders, Pain & Injury Management, Fertility Planning, Facial, Skin and Eye Disorders, Endocrine Conditions and Paediatric Tuina.

 

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