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    Complementary and alternative medicine help dry eye patients

    Consider therapies such as acupuncture to augment your clinical tools


    Patients willing to try CAM therapies

    According to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, more than one third of adults in the U.S. use CAM therapies. Usage is greater among women and people with higher levels of education and higher incomes.6

    According to a 2007 government survey, U.S. consumer spending on CAM therapies is about $33.9 billion annually.7 It is clear that our patients embrace CAM in health and disease management.

    Related: Why you’re missing the dry eye right in front of you

    I look forward to the outcomes of acupuncture for our select dry eye patients. I am eager to understand if this ancient practice, in conjunction with current therapy, effects positive change in our dry eye patients. I will keep you informed of our progress.


    1. Yang L, Yang Z, Yu H, Song H. Acupuncture therapy is more effective than artificial tears for dry eye syndrome: evidence based on a meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:143858.

    2. Lin T, Gong L, Liu X, Ma X. Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography for monitoring the lower tear meniscus in dry eye after acupuncture treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:492150.

    3. Celikbilek A, Adam M. The relationship between dry eye and migraine. Acta Neurol Belg. 2015 Sep;115(3):329-33.

    4. Tjensvoll AB, Harboe E, Gøransson LG, Beyer MK, Greve OJ, Kvaløy JT, Omdal R. Headache in primary Sjøgren's syndrome: a population-based retrospective cohort study. Eur J Neurol. 2013 Mar;20(3):558-63.

    5. Coeytaux RR1,2, Befus D3. Role of Acupuncture in the Treatment or Prevention of Migraine, Tension-Type Headache, or Chronic Headache Disorders. Headache. 2016 Jul;56(7):1238-40. doi: 10.1111/head.12857. Epub 2016 Jul 13. Accessed 9/12/16.

    6. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States. Available at: https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm#use. Accessed 9/12/16.

    7. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Americans Spent $33.9 Billion Out-of-Pocket on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2009 Jul 30. Available at: https://

    Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO
    Director of Optometry, New York Hotel Trades Council, Hotel Association of New York City, Health Center, Inc.


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