Ophthalmology focus

DOs explain how OMT can treat common eye conditions

DOs recommend specific techniques to treat dry eye, eye strain and other eye conditions in a recent article in The JAOA.


Common eye conditions are often treated with drugs or other invasive treatments. For dry eye, patients are given punctal plugs or an immunomodulator. For eye strain, patients are typically given pain relievers and told to take breaks from screens and reading.

However, such interventions may not be necessary. In a recent article in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA), Tatyana Sherman, DO, and colleagues explored the less invasive, nonpharmacologic osteopathic manipulative treatment techniques for these and other eye conditions.

To promote tear production, the authors suggest the sphenopalatine release technique; and for headaches caused by eye strain, the authors suggest balanced ligamentous tension, which they propose “could help loosen taut fascial connections in the strained extraocular musculature.”

“All disease processes have numerous management options, but osteopathic physicians who practice OMT have an additional tool,” says Dr. Sherman. Although additional research to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatment options is needed, DOs can apply the general principles of osteopathic medicine to the eye, the article’s authors say.

Read the full article, including descriptions and proposed mechanisms of action of the suggested OMT techniques, in The JAOA.

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