Myopia affects more than 80 million people in the US. It is a condition where objects can be seen more clearly up close than objects at a distance. Conventional medicine believes that myopia occurs as a result of an excessive curvature of the cornea, and a longer-thannormal eyeball.
Myopia develops gradually over time, where most of those afflicted show signs in childhood. Most often myopia develops around age eight and progresses for the next ten years or so. Most conditions stabilize in the late teens and early twenties. Jobs or hobbies that require excessive “near work” can be a major factor of progression, as it puts significant strain on the eyes. Jobs like bookkeeping, computer programming and data entry, editing, academic pursuits, etc., are among the occupations that may overwork near vision.
Chinese Medical Diagnosis
Chinese medicine uses the “four pillars” of diagnosis to determine the underlying pattern of a given eye condition. These pillars are:
- Listening and Smelling
When observing a patient, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner looks at body type, demeanor, tongue, complexion, spirit/energy, skin, hair, nails, etc. We listen for the volume and tone of the voice, breathing rhythm, and digestive sounds. A third way to get information from a patient is to ask questions. Finally, palpation of the skin, limbs,abdomen, muscles, acu-points, and pulse is performed as the fourth means of acquiring information.
Once this information is gathered, the practitioner will look for patterns of disharmony that underlie the chief complaint. For example,a person may have dry skin, dry stool, dry throat, thin pulse, red tongue with a dry coat, and be diagnosed with ARMD. This would most likely be a pattern of insufficient Liver Blood and Kidney Yin.
Another person diagnosed with ARMD could have loose stool,chronic fatigue, edema, dizziness, heavy limbs, and lots of gas and
bloating. This person’s pulse is “slippery” and weak in the first position,and there is a swollen, pale tongue. This person has a pattern of Central Qi Sinking with Damp Accumulation. The two patients would be treated completely differently based on the pattern diagnosis.