Rod Cone Dystrophy Natural Treatment – Acupuncture, Herbs, and Supplements

Rod cone dystrophy is a group of rare and inherited eye disorders affecting the rods and cones in eye. Rod cells are photoreceptor cells in the retina that function in low-light conditions. They are concentrated at the outer edges of the retina and are used in peripheral and night vision. Cone cells are responsible for color vision, perceiving finer detail, and more rapid changes in images. They function best in bright light.

Rod-cone dystrophy occurs in 1 in 30,000 to 40,000 people worldwide, showing different inheritance patterns. There are more than 30 cone and rod dystrophy types, depending on the inheritance patterns and genetic causes. It can occur alone, without any other symptom, or it can be a part of the syndrome that affects multiple body parts. People with rod and cone dystrophy usually experience decreased sharpness of vision and increased sensitivity to light.

Cone rod dystrophy treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and optimizing the remaining sight. Unfortunately, there are no approved conventional treatments that are effective. However, TCM can offer a solution. It can include acupuncture, Micro acupuncture 48, Chinese herbal therapy, nutrition, and supplements to help in maximizing an individual’s remaining vision.

Rodcone Dystrophy Natural Treatment at Makari Wellness in San Diego and Oceanside

Our main goal is to improve blood flow and nerve conductivity in cones and rods in the eye. With Mike’s extensive experience, we offer one of the best acupuncture treatments to slow down or even stop the degenerative process. Act promptly; call us at (888) 871-8889 and try our unique approach.

At Makari Wellness, our focus is on the patient itself, his energy, and overall health instead of focusing on the disease only. We are finding solutions for conditions that are considered hopeless or incurable at our eye clinics in San Diego and Oceanside. However, if you live outside of California, we can offer you video telemedicine consultations from the convenience of your home. Michael will be able to recommend the Chinese Medicine treatments that may include Chinese herbal recommendations, dietary recommendations, meditation advice, and instructions on at-home acupressure. Take care of your well-being, try Makari Wellness.

What is Cone Rod Dystrophy?

Cone rod dystrophy includes a group of generalized inherited rod cone dystrophies that affect the photoreceptor cells (cones and rods in eyes). These cells are responsible for capturing images from the visual field and they line the back of the eye in the retinal region. In rode cone dystrophy, they gradually deteriorate, with cones that typically break down before rods.

Cone rod dystrophy may sometimes be a part of several syndromes, including Usher syndrome, Leber’s Amaurosis, Batten disease, retinitis pigmentosa, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7, and many more.

Cone Rod Dystrophy vs Retinitis Pigmentosa

Typical retinitis pigmentosa is known as rod cone dystrophy – rod cells deteriorate first, and then the cone cells are lost. Cone rod dystrophies reflect the opposite sequence of events, where cone cells are first affected, and then rod cells are lost.

Cone Rod Dystrophy Symptoms

Symptoms of rodcone dystrophy usually begin in childhood up to early adulthood, with progressive deterioration of visual function over time. The disease progression, the onset of symptoms, and severity of sight impairment depend on the inheritance pattern and the causative gene. Due to the fact that the person is born with the disorder, the signs of dystrophy can be detected at an early age. The rod cone dystrophy symptoms usually include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased visual acuity
  • Difficulty recognizing colors
  • Photophobia (increased light sensitivity)
  • Extreme short-sightedness
  • Involuntary eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Night blindness (nyctalopia)
  • Blind spots in peripheral vision

What Causes Cone Rod Dystrophy?

Mutations of more than 30 genes are responsible for cone rod dystrophy. Those genes are responsible for providing instructions to make proteins that are vital for the healthy development and function of the retinal cells. There are three inheritance patterns of cone rod dystrophy:

  • Autosomal recessive pattern (50-60%) – the parents of an affected person each carry one copy of the mutated gene. Still, they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.
  • Autosomal dominant pattern (30-40%) – one parent of the person usually has the condition, so one copy of the altered gene can result in illness.
  • X-linked pattern (10-15%) – this pattern is linked to the X chromosome, one of the two sex chromosomes. One copy of the mutated gene can cause the condition in males. In females (which have two X chromosomes), a mutation would have to occur in both copies of the gene to cause the disorder. So, males are more affected by X-linked disorders than females.

Cone Rod Dystrophy Cure

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cone rod dystrophy. Regular eye check-ups are extremely important, as people with this condition are still prone to other eye problems that may be treatable. Preserving the remaining vision is crucial, with many low vision aids that provide a lot of choices for users at all stages of sight loss.

Cone Rod Dystrophy Alternative Treatments

At Makari Wellness, we successfully treat symptoms of cone rod dystrophy. Unlike conventional medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) aims at treating the entire human being, not only the disease. The main idea behind the TCM is to restore balance by manipulating the flow of Qi – vital energy within the body. Qi energy flows through meridians, pathways that are present throughout the body. Supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms can boost overall visual acuity, eliminate blurred vision, and reduce the sensitivity to light.


Acupuncture as a primary TCM modality is a procedure of inserting sterile, small needles into specific acupoints in the body. Restoring the Qi balance by bringing energy and blood to the eyes will nourish them in the right, natural, and drug-free way. We present some of the primary acupoints selected for improving adaptation to darkness, visual acuity, and night vision:

  • Jingming – benefits the eyes, expels Wind, and clears Heat.
  • Tongzilia – lightens the eyes.
  • Chengqi – main point for eye problems, like those connected to Wind Cold, Wind Heat, and hyperactive Liver Yang.
  • Sizhukong – expels Wind, brightens the eyes.
  • Zanzhu – eliminates Wind and clears Heat, benefits the eyes.
  • Yuyao – clears Heat, brightens the eyes, removes obstructions from the channel.

Micro Acupuncture 48, as a relatively new acupuncture system, has proven effective for cone rod dystrophy vision improvement. It is the Gold Standard in Ophthalmic acupuncture. The treatment consists of the needle insertion in acupuncture points located in hands, feet, and forehead. It stimulates the production of stem cells, which is vital for retina rods, vascular regeneration, and photoreceptor nerve repair.

Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbal therapy can be a perfect addition to acupuncture treatments. Combined with acupuncture, it provides the best results. A certified Chinese herbalist will provide you with the right mix to address your specific case. The herbal therapy does not focus only on the condition but also aims at strengthening the overall immune system. The herbs are usually consumed in the form of teas, pills, fresh or dried herbs, extracts, powders, pills, or tablets. Some of the most common are:

  • Gingko Biloba – improves blood flow in the back of the eye and is a powerful antioxidant. It also protects nerve cells throughout the eye and body.
  • Chrysanthemum flower – it has proven beneficial for blurred vision.
  • Green tea – rich in antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, helps guard eye tissue against vision loss.
  • Buddleia flower bud – help alleviate light sensitivity and dim eyesight.
  • Wolfberries – improve eyesight, moisten dry eyes, and reduce blurred vision.
  • Coleus – reduces the production of the eye fluid.

Nutritional Supplements

Many of those eye-supportive nutrients can be found in natural food sources, like meat, eggs, green vegetables, fish, and nuts. A well-balanced diet will provide all the nutrients to maintain good eye health. Some of them are:

  • Vitamin A – reduces the risk of night blindness and helps maintain clear, sharp vision. It can be found in carrots, egg yolks, animal liver, and broccoli.
  • Zinc – helps strengthen retinal cells. The excellent sources are seafood, turkey, beans, chickpeas, nuts, milk, and whole grains.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – are found in tuna, salmon, mackerel, flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and all leafy greens have a role in helping retinal cells to heal and regenerate.
  • Vitamin C – improving circulation and reducing the risk of cataracts. It can be found in citrus fruits, grapefruit, blackberries, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin B complex – improve blood circulation in the retina. Good sources of the vitamin B complex are seafood, meat, poultry, legumes, leafy greens, liver, and dairy products.
  • Vitamin E – is a powerful antioxidant that helps clear the vision. Almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, asparagus contain a high dosage of vitamin E.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin – these carotenoids help reduce oxidative damage of the retina. They can be found in dark leafy greens, egg yolks, corn, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, and spinach.