Improving Low Vision

Acupuncture and Low-Intensity Light Therapy Combined

A Safe & Effective Way to Improve Low Vision

In the spring of 2004 I was approached by a 75-year old woman and she asked if I was familiar with a Scandinavian acupuncture technique for Macular Degeneration. She had received 2 treatments a day for 5 days and repeated for another 5 days the following week for a total of 20 treatments in 2 weeks. Amazingly, her low vision had improved significantly. I was dumbfounded to learn that there was an acupuncture technique that could improve vision so quickly. Maybe in two months of daily treatments with Chinese acupuncture, but definitely not 2 weeks!

I decided to investigate this interesting technique further and my research lead me to Dr. John Boel of Denmark. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend one week in his clinic observing this procedure. Dr. Boel and his son treat 100 patients a
day from all over Europe in their spacious 15-room clinic. I was told their efficacy rate is better than 75%!

Since then I have successfully treated many patients with dry-type Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, and Diabetic retinopathy at my practice in Tucson. However, I have always wondered if I could do better with the efficacy rate. Then I found another technique that could be combined with the Danish acupuncture to make the treatment more effective. It’s called Low-Intensity Light Therapy.

I first became aware of Low–Intensity Light Therapy for eyes when I met Dr. Harry Whelan of the University of Wisconsin. I attended a conference where he was speaking on low-intensity light in 2004. I was taken aback by his passion on the topic and also amazed that he was doing research on rejuvenation of snake’s retina damaged from a high-intensity laser source with a low-intensity light device called LED or Light Emitting Diode.

In 2008 and 2009 I attended more of his lectures on similar topics but with human subjects diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. After attending these lectures, it occurred to me that it would be possible for me to combine this LED device and the Danish acupuncture methods to achieve better results for the treatment of retina-related low vision disorders. The concept was proven in my Tucson clinic and I decided to introduce this new treatment to the rest of the world through my website.

I found another technique that could be combined with the Danish acupuncture to make the treatment more effective: low-intensity light therapy.

The treatment involves two 30-minute acupuncture treatments daily (no needles are inserted into the eyes) with a 60-minute break between the treatments. During the break the low intensity LED light therapy is given into the eyes through the closed eye lids. Dr. Whelan has obtained a letter from FDA that d eclared the low-intensity LED light presents “Non-Significant Risk” to the human eyes. The low-light treatment lasts 5 minutes and is completely painless. The following week the entire protocol is repeated to complete the 2-week program. Patients may come back in the future for maintenance.

It occurred to me that it would be possible fo me to combine this low-light device called LED and the Danish acupuncture methods to achieve better results in the treatment of retina-related low-vision disorders.

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I noticed my vision starting to deteriorate  for about 9 months and progressing quickly during the last 6 months of that time. I was unable to read newspapers, magazines, unable to read labels at the grocery store, unable to read price tags, unable to read recipes. I had no “straight lines” in my world because everything was wavy which made me feel off balance. I had to stop driving. My eyes were very sensitive to bright sunlight.

I was also told that I was very close to developing glaucoma. My vision was 20/200 in my left eye and 20/80 in my right.

I began treatments [at HLAHC], and when I awoke the morning of the 5th treatment day I was amazed that my vision had improved and I was again beginning to see clearly. I continued through the 10 days of treatment and my vision steadily improved. I was reading newspapers and magazines without a magnifying glass. I had my eyes retested my ophthalmologist after the treatments and my testing was normal for glaucoma and 20/40 for vision in my right eye and 20/30 in my left. Grid test for macular degeneration remained normal. I am driving again.

It is now 4 months since treatment. I just completed another exam with my ophthalmologist. He is thrilled (as am I) that my eyes have stabilized at 20/40. Grid test continues to be normal. I also have noticed that my eyes are no longer extremely sensitive to sunlight. This is incredible.

– Carol B.