​Singapore Eye Research Insitute (SERI) collaborates with Singapore Chung Hwa medical Institution and an academically trained Singapore Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician to scientifically study the efficacy and safety of TCM in treating dry eye.  

The study is led by Associate Professor Louis Tong, head of the Ocular Surface Research Group at SERI. It will recruit 150 patients, aged 40-85 years, with eye irritation, burning or watering. The team will then treat these patients with herbal preparation and acupuncture and evaluate them over four weeks using SERI’s dry eye monitoring technologies.

Dry eye is a common medical condition. However, there is currently no definitive cure for the condition apart from lubricating eyedrops that only addresses the symptoms, and cyclosporine eyedrops that is expensive and may not be well tolerated. With increasing patient interest in holistic care in Singapore and the rise of scientifically trained TCM practitioners, a study like this one is very timely. 

Prof Tong said, “We would like to approach this in a more holistic way, and if we were to show that this form of treatment is effective, this would just be another kind of therapy that we can incorporate into our armament, for example.”

The study is funded by the Ministry of Health.