By Danisha Bogue, L.Ac. - March 6, 2023
Categories: General

Spring is when many people suffer eye irritation due to pollen and dust allergies from budding plants and windy weather. Although we may not think of using acupuncture when it comes to improving eye health, Traditional Chinese Medicine studies show how acupuncture can not only relieve eye discomfort but even treat diseases such as glaucoma. By treating the whole body with acupuncture and TCM, many eye and vision problems can be lessened.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is used to get the Qi flowing freely along the body’s meridians for optimal health. If our Qi (immune system) is strong, we can do a better job of warding off external causes of eye irritation and disease.

6 Environmental Sources and Eye Symptoms

  • Heat – Causes swelling, inflammation, redness (pink eye)
  • Cold – Slowly causes sharp pain and vision loss (macular degeneration and glaucoma)
  • Wind – Sudden onset of vision loss
  • Dampness – Slowly causes swelling and mucus secretion
  • Dryness – Causes itchy and red dry eyes
  • Summer Heat – Causes inflammation and mucus secretion

Many of these environmental irritants are related to the seasons and are more common during the seasonal change. They can enter the body through the mouth, nose, skin, or the meridians and can cause damage to the eyes and even vision loss.

Wind and heat are usually acute eye problems that are related to Yang conditions of the eyes. Wind is the swift change and sudden onset of symptoms while Heat is in the redness of the inflammation. Dampness and coldness are related to the Yin conditions of the eyes. Cold means poor circulation to the eyes resulting in disease. This is why acupuncture can help with macular degeneration and glaucoma by helping to improve the circulation of the blood to the eye along with the Qi throughout the body.

Eye Treatment with Acupuncture

Of the 12 meridians throughout our bodies, the liver meridian is seen as the opening to the eyes and the main energy flow for healthy eyes and vision. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, all internal organs nourish eye health and all meridians either run through the eyes or can affect vision if out of balance.

Primary Meridians within the Eyes

  • Top Eyelid – Spleen
  • Eye & Pupil – Kidneys
  • Sclera – Lungs
  • Retina – Kidneys and Liver
  • Cornea & Iris – Liver
  • Veins & Arteries – Heart
  • Bottom Eyelid – Stomach

In acupuncture, we choose several of these meridians for treatment, often moving among them over a series of treatments. I will work with you as your symptoms improve or change to find the correct meridians to improve your eye health.

Acupuncture Points for Eye Treatment

  • Jingming (UB-1) – Jingming translates as bright eyes and is in the inner corner of the eye. This point improves the flow of Qi and blood into the eyes to treat cataracts, glaucoma, night vision problems, pink eye, and blurry vision.
  • Sizhukong (SJ 23) – In the hollow area on the outside part of the eyebrow. It is to treat eye and facial pain, headaches, redness, blurry vision, eye toothache, and facial paralysis (such as Bell’s Palsy.)
  • Tongsilia (GB 1) – On the outside corner of the eye. This point brightens eyes and treats headaches, redness, eye pain, light sensitivity, dry eyes, cataracts, and pink eye.
  • Yuyao – The middle of the eyebrow right above the pupil. This point treats eye strain & twitches, low hanging upper eyelids, cloudiness of the cornea, redness, and edema.
  • Zanzhu (UB-s2) – The crease at the inner end of the eyebrow. This point treats headaches, blurry vision, pain, tearing, redness, eye twitches, and glaucoma.

TCM Herbs for Eye Treatment

In addition to acupuncture, TCM recommends Chinese herbs to treat different eye disorders and diseases. These herbs treat the internal organs and can help heal the eyes through their connection to them.

  • Chan Tui (Cicada Moulting) – Clears redness and blurry vision in painful, swollen eyes
  • Huai Hua Mi (Pagoda Tree Flower) – Treats dizziness and blurry vision due to liver heat
  • Ju Hua (Chrysanthemum Flower) – Clears the Qi in the liver to relieve eye redness, tearing, and blurry vision
  • Mi Menghua (Buddleia Flower Bud) – Treats light sensitivity and tearing
  • Qing Xiang Zi (Celosia Seeds) – Treats painful red, swollen eyes and cataracts
  • Qou Qi Zi (Wolfberry Fruit) – Helps Qi deficiencies in the liver and kidneys to treat blurred vision loss
  • San Qi (Pseudiginseng Root) – Helps repair broken blood vessels and spots

Acupuncture as Part of Overall Eye Care

Small studies have shown the success of adding acupuncture to your eye care routine by successfully improving the symptoms of glaucoma, myopia, rhinitis, dry eyes, and age-related macular degeneration. Reach out today to schedule your appointment so we can assess your symptoms and set up an optimal treatment plan. Spring doesn’t have to mean red, painful eyes. Acupuncture may be the season-changing relief you’ve been looking for.

Be well.



This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.