January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and Chinese medicine has many treatments for this common eye disorder. Gradual blockage of the outflow of aqueous humor (a frontal compartment eye fluid) is the main glaucoma cause. If enough pressure builds, blood vessels and nerve fibers can become compressed and cause irreparable damage. Any glaucoma symptom, such as loss of small areas of peripheral vision (blind spots) may result. Herbal remedies, herb-derived eye drop formulas, a combination of both, and acupuncture have shown promising results in relieving fluid pressure in the eyes.
Because fluids, which are yin in nature, tend to be downward draining, other disorders are usually present in order to cause fluid accumulation in the upper areas of the body. Yang-influenced disorders flow upward like the flames of fire in nature. In the case of glaucoma, a fire syndrome is created internally and carries fluids upward and into the eyes. This explains the glaucoma symptom of pressure build-up in the eyes. In the case of glaucoma, the cause is first thought to be internal in nature rather than environmental. Internal disorders are generally influenced by age and genetics.