Acupuncture out-performs artificial tears in the treatment of dry eye syndrome, according to South Korean researchers. The team enrolled 150 patients with moderate to severe dry eye in a multi-centre randomised controlled trial. Participants were randomly allocated to receive either acupuncture treatment (at Zanzhu BL-2, Yangbai GB-14, Sizhukong SJ-23, Chengqi ST-1, Fengchi GB-20, Hegu L.I.-4, Quchi L.I.-11, Yintang N-HN-3 and Shangxing DU-23), or to an active control group that received treatment with artificial tears (sodium carboxymethylcellulose), for four weeks. At the end of the treatment period both groups showed similar improvement in subjective dry eye symptom scores and quality of life. However, tear film break-up time (an objective opthalmological test for assessing tear film stability) was found to have increased significantly following acupuncture, compared with artificial tears. In addition, eight weeks after the end of treatment, the acupuncture group demonstrated a significant improvement in dry eye symptoms compared with the artificial tears group. (Acupuncture for the treatment of dry eye: a multicenter randomised controlled trial with active comparison intervention (artificial teardrops). PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36638).