Hope for Vision: Advances in Treatment for Optic Nerve Damage

Sourav Gupta
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
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Treatment for Optic Nerve Damage

Optic nerve damage is also known as optic neuritis.

It is an inflammatory disease that affects the optic nerve, usually affecting young adults.

According to a study, Optic neuritis is the initial inflammation in 15 to 20 percent of patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). With over half of them facing optic neuritis attacks in the last 15 years.

It can be caused due to some underlying conditions like trauma, infection, vascular disorder, or degeneration of the optic nerve.

Treating these conditions can also help in preventing optic nerve damage

Optic neuritis generally improves on its own. But in some cases, steroid medicines are used to reduce the swelling in the optic nerve.

This condition is sometimes irreversible and may lead to permanent vision loss. 

If diagnosed on time and treated quickly can help in slowing the progression of damage.

Continue reading to learn more about the treatment for optic nerve damage.

Fact
Optic nerve is a bundle of over a million nerve fibers carrying visual messages. Optic nerves are present at the back of the eye, connecting to the brain, which helps us see objects around us.

Treatment for optic nerve damage

Treatment options for optic nerve damage depend on the underlying cause and severity.

Some cases require urgent medical treatment, while others require ongoing treatment and management. 

Treatments cannot cure all instances of damaged optic nerve.

Optic neuritis is often irreversible and may lead to permanent vision loss. 

However, early detection and quick treatment can help slow down the progression.

Here are some treatments for optic nerve damage, depending on the underlying condition.

Trauma

If you face any trauma or sudden impact on your head or in the face, then it can damage the optic nerve.

Any car accident or sports injury may also develop trauma.

This can cause nerve compression and may lead to some visual impairments. 

Some treatments for trauma are

  • You can use cold compresses to treat optic nerve damage caused by trauma.
  • You can wash your eyes with clean water if any impurity enters your eye.
  • Covering your eyes using a patch can also help. This will let your eye rest and heal.

Nerve swelling

If swelling is causing damage to your optic nerve, then treating the swelling can greatly help in relief. 

Some of the remedies to reduce optic nerve swelling include:

  • Massaging a mixture of lavender oil with honey on temples, chest, and ears can relieve swelling.
  • Drinking soybean milk by mixing one tablespoon of honey can also help.
  • Applying cold compresses two to three times a day can also reduce swelling.

Eye infections

eye infection symptomsSource: dragana991_from_Getty_Images
Eye infection

Some infections like Meningitis can directly affect the working of the optic nerve.

While some infections can cause swelling in the surrounding tissues of the eyes.

Other infections like Lyme disease, Tuberculosis, and Syphilis can also damage the optic nerve.

Eye infections can be treated using antibiotic eye drop like Azithral 0.1% (3ml).

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You can purchase Azithral eye drops 0.1% (3ml) from WowRxPharmacy at affordable prices.

Vascular disorder

Vascular disorders can affect the blood vessels and may damage the optic nerve.

These disorders include diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.

Some of the methods to treat vascular disorders are as follows:

  • Some lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy diets and exercising, can help.
  • Non-surgical procedures, which include angioplasty, vein ablation, and stenting, can be used to treat these disorders.
  • Surgeries are the last option if all other treatments don’t work.

Rehabilitation

Your healthcare provider may suggest some vision rehabilitation programs to help those with optic nerve damage.

These programs are created to help patients adapt to visual impairment and learn new skills. 

The treatments for optic nerve damage depend on the underlying cause and extent of the damage. 

It is crucial to consult your Ophthalmologist to know about the best treatment.

Ayurvedic treatments for optic nerve damage

Optic nerve swelling home remediesSource: siniehinaalona
Optic Nerve

There are some ayurvedic treatments for optic nerve damage. 

Some of the ayurvedic treatments are as follows:

Akshitharpanam

Akshitharpanam is a cleaning process for the eyes. 

This gives a cooling effect to the eye and prevents eye diseases.

It also helps strengthen the optic nerve and reduces the risk of complete vision loss.

This procedure includes herbal clarified butter like Jeevanthyadiaghritam, MahaTriphalaghritam, etc.

The procedure is believed to strengthen and promote optic nerve regeneration.

Raktamokshanam

In this procedure, blood-letting is done from the skin around the eyes. 

The blood is sucked out of that area by the application of leeches.

Nethradhara

Nethradhara is a process that includes washing the eyes using freshly prepared medicated brew.

The brew is prepared by heating or boiling a certain plant.

This procedure helps strengthen the optic nerve.

Shirobasti

In this process, a long cap is placed on the top of the head. The cap is kept open from the top.

Warm herbal medicated oil is poured onto the head through the top opening.

The oil is kept on the head for some time.

This procedure is highly used for the treatment of optic nerve damage. 

Warning
Consult your doctor before undergoing any treatment or medicinal procedures. As the side effects may lead to severe consequences.

Diagnosis

Your eye specialist may do a routine eye checkup for any physical changes in the eye.

Some of the other tests that your doctor may perform are as follows:

Ophthalmoscopy

In this examination, the doctor shines a bright light into the eye and examines the structure of the back of your eye.

This test checks the optic disk, where the optic nerve enters the eye. 

The optic disk is swollen in about one-third of the cases with optic nerve damage.

Pupillary light reaction tests

Your eye doctor may shine a bright light before your eyes to check how your pupil reacts. 

If you have optic neuritis, your pupils will not contract as much as healthy eyes would.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

mri scannerSource: helovi_from_Getty_Images_Signature
mri scanner

MRI scan uses a magnetic field and radio waves to make pictures of your body.

You may receive a contrast solution injection to make your optic nerve more visible in images.

MRI can determine the damaged areas of your brain. 

It can also find other causes of visual problems, such as a tumor.

Blood tests

A blood test is essential to identify any infections or antibodies.

For atypical optic neuritis cases, blood is tested for MOG antibodies.

Visual evoked response

In this test, you sit in front of a screen displaying alternate checkboard patterns.

Wires with tiny patches are attached to your head to record the brain’s response to what you see on the screen.

This test can confirm whether optic nerve injury is the cause of any slow electrical impulses traveling from your body to your brain.

Prevention

There are many causes that cannot be prevented.

However, some preventive measures include the following:

  • The doctor should closely monitor the blood pressure of older persons.
  • Prevent facial injuries. Car accidents are the leading cause of facial injuries. These injuries might be avoided with the use of seatbelts.
  • Schedule a regular checkup for your eyes to check for glaucoma.
  • Never consume homemade alcohol or alcohol. Optic nerve damage can occur in both eyes due to methanol, which can be present in home-brewed alcohol.

When to contact the doctor

Contact your doctor if you develop new symptoms, such as eye pain or vision change.

If you have symptoms like vision loss in both eyes, double vision, or numbness in the limbs. 

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if your symptoms keep worsening.

Conclusion

Optic nerve damage is a severe condition that can lead to complete vision loss if not treated properly. 

Several treatment options are available for optic nerve damage.

These treatments depend on the underlying cause of the damage. Treatments may include medications, surgery, and vision rehabilitation.

Steroids and immunosuppressants can help reduce inflammation and swelling, sometimes improving vision. 

Surgery may be necessary to remove tumors or repair traumatic injuries that have damaged the optic nerve.

Rehabilitation can help individuals learn to live with their condition in cases where vision loss is permanent. 

This may include assistive devices, such as magnifiers or electronic reading aids, and daily living skills training.

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for the best possible outcome. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can optic nerve damage be cured?

There are no effective treatments to regenerate nerve cells. There is no way to restore connections between the eye and the brain once the optic nerve is damaged.

What is the best treatment for optic nerve damage?

The damage in the optic nerve generally improves on its own. But in some cases, the doctor may recommend corticosteroids to reduce the swelling in the optic nerve.

Can stem cells repair optic nerve damage?

Optic nerve damage results in impaired visual signals to the brain through the optic nerve. This leads to the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Therapies, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), have been used as an experiment to increase the survival of RGCs.

Citations:
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