Background: Red ginseng has been found to improve ocular perfusion and dry eye syndrome in glaucomatous eyes; however, its effects on visual function and vision-related quality of life have not been investigated. This study sought to evaluate the effects of red ginseng on visual function and vision-related quality of life in glaucoma patients using contrast sensitivity and a questionnaire. Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to two groups in this prospective, randomized, double-blind study: in one group, red ginseng was taken first, followed by a placebo, and in the other, placebo was taken first, followed by red ginseng. We measured and compared changes in contrast sensitivity and vision-related quality of life between the two groups. Contrast sensitivity was measured using OPTEC® 6500P, and vision-related quality of life was evaluated using the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire. One-way and two-way repeated measure analyses of variance were used for the comparison. Relationships between respective changes in dry eye syndrome and contrast sensitivity were also analyzed. Results: Daytime contrast sensitivity and ocular pain improved after the administration of red ginseng. Nighttime contrast sensitivity was improved in early or moderate glaucoma. Improved contrast sensitivity was not associated with improvement in dry eye syndrome. Conclusion: Red ginseng could improve contrast sensitivity and ocular pain in patients with glaucoma. The mechanism underlying improvement in contrast sensitivity appears to be associated with enhanced retinal perfusion or retinal ganglion cell function, but not dry eye syndrome.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dajeong Kim for administering the medication, patient randomization, and collection of the patient data. This work was supported by a grant from the Korean Society of Ginseng , Seoul, Korea, received in 2018.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Complementary and alternative medicine