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Jonghoon Shin, Hyun-kyung Cho, Mingui Kong, Changwon Kee; The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Glaucoma in South Korea. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):445.
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Since there is no report on the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in glaucoma patients in Asia where CAM use is relatively common, there is a need for a study on the prevalence of CAM use in glaucoma patients in Asian countries. Hence, we sought to investigate the use of CAM by glaucoma patients.
A questionnaire-based survey was given to 150 glaucoma patients recruited from a clinic of a glaucoma specialist during the duration of three months between April and August, 2012. After the survey, we reviewed the chart of participants to obtain the glaucomatous information including glaucoma severity and coexisting ocular conditions.
141 of 150 glaucoma patients (94%) completed the questionnaire-based survey totally. The mean age of the participants was 59.4 ± 14.5 years. 42 patients (29.7%) had used at least one CAM for the specific purpose of glaucoma treatment. Herbal remedies (41.7%) were the most commonly used CAM followed by dietary modification (21.6%). Bilberry (13.7%) was the most popular herbal remedy followed by fish oil (11.5%). The patients using CAM reported that most of them had not consulted with their ophthalmologist about using CAM (83.3%).
The use of CAM in glaucoma patients in South Korea was more prevalent than in Western countries. However, a few patients that use CAM for glaucoma had discussed the information regarding CAM with their ophthalmologists. Therefore, it is required to provide accurate information on CAM for more safe and effective use of CAM.
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