Acute Conjunctivitis

It is an acute communicable eye disease infected by bacteria or virus, usually occurred in the spring and autumn.

Symptoms and Signs:

The primary symptom of this disease is redness of conjunctivae with increasing of secretion.

In mild cases, only congestion appears in retrotarsal fornix and the palpebra conjunctiva, while in those of acute cases, generalized congestion of eyeball associated, and mucoid or mucopurulent discharge may be presented.

Swelling of lids, itching sensation, foreign body sensation, photophobia, heating sensation, headache etc may be associated.


Points: Taiyang, Jingming, Fengchi, Hegu, Ear Lobule (for taking blood)

Procedure: Puncture Taiyang with three edged needle, if there is blood stasis around the Taiyang.

If there is no blood stasis around Taiyang, penetrate Taiyang, Jingming and Fengchi till bleeding. Take few drops of blood from ear lobule, then drop it into the diseased eyes, and puncture Jingming, Fengchi and Hegu afterward.

Let patient lie on his back and close the eyes, penetrate Jingming 0.5 ~ 1cm in depth, which is a point easily bleeding, therefore, insertion of needle must be gentle. Fast twirling and lifting needle is contraindicated, but scraping the needle is appreciated. Ask patient to be in sitting position after the needle has been inserted.

In penetrating Fengchi, the needle should be toward left for the right eye, and toward right for the left eye. The depth of needle insertion is 0.5 ~ 1 inch and twirling the needle during puncturing.

Hegu is penetrated with needle toward Laogong. Twirling and scraping technique are used.

Retaining the needles in above remedy are 30 ~ 60 minutes. Manipulate the needle once every 15 ~ 20 minutes. Acupuncture given once every 2 ~ 3 days for seven cases, and once a day for usual cases.

Case example:

Oct 3, 1963, O.P.D. patient Wang, female 29 years of age, a peasant.

Lacrimation and itching of both eyes for 3 days.

Examination revealed swelling of lids, redness of conjunctivae. Purulent discharge occurred. Patient had her head with her arms for intolerable pain. The diagnosis was acute conjunctivitis. In treatment, puncture blood stasis area in Taiyang point till bleeding. Take few drops of blood from ear lobule and drop into the eye.

Puncture Jingming, Fengchi and Hegu with retaining the needle for 1 hour. Manipulated the needle once every 20 minutes.

Thirty minutes of penetration led the improvement of headache and painful sensation of eyes.

Patient could open here eyes after puncture. Acupunctures were given twice with interval of 6 hours.

On the next day, headache and swelling of lids lost redness of conjunctiva reduced. Remedy was given once again.

Oct 6, that was the third visit, treatments were given 3 times. All symptoms lost except lacrimation. Fengchi, Taiyang and Jingming were punctured and were manipulated as above.

Retaining the needle for 30 minutes. Needle was manipulated once every 10 minutes. Remedy was given every other day since then.

Two further treatments were given for strengthening the effect.


In Chinese traditional medicine, acute conjunctivitis was called “Tian Xing Chi Yan” or “Bao Fa Huo Yan”. It’s local name is “Hong Yan”.

This disease has been recognized in Chinese traditional medical book. A “Precious Book of Ophthalmology” as following: “The communicable diseases become fashionable in hot weather, thus triple warms are excited … those phlegm fire heat diseases are infected to every body.

The pathogenesis described in “Essentials of Ophthalmology” was “The acute contagious epidemic conjunctivitis is due to transmission of toxic air to the human body.

Treatments described in “A Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion” were: “Redness and painful sensation are in relation to Tianzhu, while the impairment of vision and itching of eyes are in relation to Jingming.”

“Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion” considered: “ In treating swelling, congestion and itching pain of eyes, Zanzhu, Hegu, Yingxiang, may be used.”

The principles of treating acute conjunctivitis are to clear away the heat evil and wind; relieve swelling and pain; calm the liver; expel the heat evil; clean the blood and expel the toxic substances.

Puncture of Taiyang, Sizhukong and Tongziliao till bleeding can clean the blood and expel toxic substances, relieve pain and swelling.

Fengchi locates on the across of channels of Hand-Shaoyang, gallbladder channel of Foot-Shaoyang and Yangwei Mai. Channels of liver and gall bladder are related to each other superficially and internally, therefore, penetration of Fengchi may both calm the liver expel the heat evil and clean away the wind.

Hegu is a point belonging to large intestine channel and promote sweating to expel the exogenous evils from the body surface.

Jingming is the point specialized in treating eye diseases. Penetration of Jingming can clear the wind, expel heat evil and improve the visual acuity.

Blood taken from ear lobule dropping into eye, may control inflammation and eliminate the nebula with good effect.

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