Corneal Ulcersaccording to TCM

Symptom families: Eye Disorders and Symptoms, Corneal Disorders

Did you mean? Keratitis

What are Corneal Ulcers?

Corneal ulcers are open sores on the cornea, the clear, protective outer layer of the eye. They are often caused by infections, particularly bacterial, viral, or fungal, but can also result from severe dry eye, eye trauma, or wearing contact lenses for extended periods.

Symptoms include severe pain, redness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and a feeling of grittiness in the eye. Corneal ulcers are a serious condition that can lead to permanent vision impairment if not treated promptly and effectively, typically with antibiotic or antifungal medication.

How does TCM view Corneal Ulcers?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches corneal ulcers quite differently than Western medicine. In TCM, this eye condition is viewed as a manifestation of internal imbalances and disharmonies. The health of the eyes is closely linked to the Liver, but other organs like the Kidney and Heart can also play a role.

TCM emphasizes that symptoms like corneal ulcers arise from various disharmonies such as Qi Stagnation, Blood stasis, Heat, or Dampness. Identifying and addressing these underlying patterns is essential for effective TCM treatment.

Causes of Corneal Ulcers According to TCM

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, corneal ulcers are often attributed to specific imbalances or disruptions in the body's natural systems. A common cause is the presence of internal parasites, which TCM believes can lead to a variety of health issues, including ocular problems. This perspective views corneal ulcers as a manifestation of deeper systemic issues rather than isolated eye conditions.

Another TCM view considers the influence of Cold affecting the Stomach Channel, leading to a Deficiency in Stomach Yang energy. This imbalance can manifest physically as corneal ulcers, highlighting the interconnectedness of the body's systems in TCM.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Corneal Ulcers

For the treatment of corneal ulcers, TCM recommends specific formulas based on the identified underlying patterns. In cases where parasites are suspected to be the cause, the formula Wu Mei Wan is often used. This formula, centered around the key herb Chinese Plums (Wu Mei), is known for its Sour and Neutral properties and is particularly effective in treating symptoms in the Terminal Yin stage. This formula belongs to the category of expelling parasites.

Additionally, for conditions characterized by Stomach Yang Deficiency and Cold, Wu Zhu Yu Tang is recommended. This formula contains Evodia Fruits (Wu Zhu Yu) and is valued for its Bitter, Pungent, and Hot properties, making it suitable for warming the Middle and dispelling Cold. These treatments are part of TCM's holistic approach, targeting the root causes of symptoms to restore balance within the body.

Explore below some TCM herbal formulas used to address corneal ulcers, organized by formula type.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that expel parasites
  • Formulas that warm the middle and dispel cold

TCM Herbs for Corneal Ulcers

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address corneal ulcers, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Herbs that clear heat and purge fire and/or clear summer heat
  • Herbs that stabilize and bind
  • Herbs that warm the interior and/or expel cold