Optic Nerve Atrophy

Optic nerve atrophy is a destruction of the optic nerve fibers. In a healthy eye, the optic nerve transmits visual impulses from the eyes to the brain. In this condition of atrophy, the nerve fibers weaken and lose function. The degree of atrophy and vision loss varies from person to person, and may affect one or both eyes.

The cause of this may be hereditary or secondary to a pre-existing neurological disorder such as multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, I have also seen this condition result from ophthalmic medical errors.

Chinese medicine is a great way to “jump-start” the optic nerve and restore eye function. I have seen people do exceptionally well with this condition when treated according to TCM principles. Micro-Acupuncture works beautifully, usually strengthening the nerve fibers and nerve conduction, thus dramatically improving the vision to normal or near normal. Such dramatic results are less likely when the atrophy is caused by medical errors, due to the trauma inflicted on the eye(s). Surgical procedures, medications, and ophthalmic injections can be helpful in some cases, while they can cause more damage in others.

In Chinese medicine this condition is most often a deficiency of Qi, Blood, and Yang. Although optic nerve atrophy will usually
respond within a reasonable time frame (10–30 treatments), rebuilding can take months or years. Using Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and Qigong can do wonders for this kind of condition.

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