The Clinical Division of the School of Chinese Medicine recently conducted a clinical observation on 74 patients who had received consultations on macular diseases at its Chinese medicine clinics since 2011. The observation showed that the overall efficacy rate of treating such diseases with Chinese medicine is near 80 per cent.
The macula lutea is located in the central area of the retina and is the most sensitive part for vision. It is covered with light-sensitive cells that are specialised for the functions of central and colour vision. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, the macula lutea is closely related to the human spleen, heart, liver, gall and kidney. People suffering from macular diseases may have symptoms of macular edema, exudation, subretinal bleeding or atrophic tissues. Their vision will turn vague with distorted images while their colour vision may also be affected. People with a severe case of such an illness may run the risk of becoming blind.
Mr. Liu Xin, a visiting scholar at the Clinical Division, School of Chinese Medicine, announced his clinical observation on macular diseases at a media session today (20 March). He said that from the Chinese medicine perspective the spleen governs the macula lutea. Therefore, macular diseases are mainly aroused from dysfunction of the spleen or heart. Chinese medicine treatment is subject to individual cases while Chinese herbal medicine for strengthening the spleen and reducing phlegm, body dampness and blood stasis is generally adjusted in the treatment of macular diseases.
Mr. Liu Xin conducted clinical observation on 74 patients who had macular diseases (38 males and 36 females aged 5 to 87 years). A total of 47 patients were diagnosed as having macular bleeding (diseases were found in 69 eyes), 14 patients had macular edema (diseases were found in 16 eyes), and 13 patients had atrophic tissues and ceasma (diseases were found in 15 eyes). A specialised diagnosis method was applied when conducting fundus examination on patients. The results generated were measured using an international visual acuity chart and indicators and analysed together with patients’ health conditions so as to identify an appropriate treatment for each patient according to the cause of the disease they were suffering from. The treatment period lasted from a week to eight months in maximum.
The clinical observations revealed that a total of 41 patients (diseases were found in 56 eyes) demonstrated a remarkable curative effect upon receiving the Chinese medicine treatment. These patients’ visual acuity level was enhanced by two levels or above (according to the international standardised visual acuity chart) while the volume of macular edema and bleeding was reduced by 75 per cent or above. The recession of choroidal neovascularisation was degraded with stable locus of infection. The other 16 patients (diseases were found in 23 eyes) also demonstrated a positive curative effect. The patients’ visual acuity level was enhanced by a level or above while the volume of macular edema and bleeding was reduced by 25 to 75 per cent. The recession of choroidal neovascularisation was degraded by a half or above while the locus of infection was reduced by 25 to 75 per cent.
Mr. Liu Xin said that a growing trend of macular diseases was observed in the younger generation in recent years. According to a regional epidemiological study in China, the morbidity rate of people having such diseases in the age of 45 or above is 13 per cent. He pointed out that the clinical results indicated that the efficacy rate of treating macular diseases with Chinese medicine is near 80 per cent. The earlier a patient receives appropriate treatment, the greater the effectiveness. In addition, Chinese medicine treatment not only helps improve the visual ability of people having macular diseases and alleviates the problem of macular edema, exudation and bleeding, but also inhibits the choroidal neovascularisation in the macula lutea region and provides therapeutic effect in curing atrophic tissues, epiretinal membrane and ceasma in the area of the macula lutea.
Mr. Liu Xin (centre) and two patients Mr. Chan (left) and Mr. Mak share the results of clinical observations on Chinese medicine treatment for macular diseases and their treatment experience
Chinese medicine herbs commonly used for the treatment of macular diseases