Optic Atrophy can result in serious problems with vision and should be treated without any delay. Ayurveda offers a chemical-free optic nerve damage cure that ensures permanent relief without any side effects. It is a widely accepted treatment option in India and several other countries across the world.
What is Optic Atrophy?
Optic atrophy is a condition that affects the optic nerve, which carries impulses or signals from the eye to the brain. It is not a disease but is a sign of a potentially more serious condition. Optic atrophy means the loss or damage to the optic nerve for many different kinds of reasons. If these nerve fibres become damaged, the brain doesn't receive this vision information and sight becomes blurred. This condition can cause problems with vision, including blindness, etc.
Causes of Optic Nerve Atrophy
There are many optic atrophy causes:
- The most common optic atrophy cause is poor blood flow. This is called ischemic optic neuropathy.
- Infections such as toxoplasmosis.
- Ocular herpes.
- Various viral infections.
- Neurological disorders.
- Exposure to toxins, like tobacco, methyl alcohol, and some drugs can damage the optic nerve or causes optic atrophy.
- Hereditary optic neuropathy, an inherited form of vision loss that affects mostly males in their 20s or 30s.
- Radiation, including cancer treatment, can damage the optic nerve and lead to atrophy, which may be sudden or could be a slow progression over the years.
- Nutritional deficiency.
Symptoms of Optic Nerve Atrophy
The symptoms of optic atrophy are related to a change in vision, specifically:
- Blurred vision.
- Difficulties with peripheral vision.
- Difficulties with colour vision.
- A reduction in sharpness of vision.
- Severe headache and dizziness.
Types of Optic Nerve Atrophy
Types of optic atrophy include the following:
- Primary optic atrophy- It is the type in which optic nerve fibres die off and are replaced by glial cells without alteration in the structure of the optic nerve, causing the retinal disc to look white rather than pink-yellow.
- Secondary optic atrophy- In this optic nerve fibres degenerate with excessive proliferation and invasion of glial tissue, which dramatically changes how the area around the retina looks on eye exams.
- Consecutive optic atrophy- It often causes due to high myopia, retinitis pigmentosa, and some other conditions, which cause the retina to turn waxy or pale and result in loss of surrounding arteries.
- Glaucomatous optic atrophy, or damage to the optic nerve caused by high eye pressure associated with glaucoma.
- Circulatory atrophy- It is caused by a lack of blood flow to the optic nerve.
Diagnosis and Optic Atrophy Treatment in Ayurveda
During an eye exam, your eye doctor will look for signs of optic atrophy by conducting tests to evaluate whether you have reduced vision or not.
- Eye pressure measurement- The eye pressure will be measured, and your pupils will be dilated to provide a better view of the eye's interior structures, including the optic nerve and retina.
- Visual field test- If the ophthalmologist suspects you have optic atrophy, a visual field test usually will be performed to determine if you have peripheral vision loss.
- Colour vision testing should be done.
- Tonometry, which measures the pressure inside your eyes.
- MRI – The person might be referred to undergo an MRI of the brain to detect possible underlying causes of optic nerve inflammation.
Ayurvedic treatment for optic nerve damage depends upon the known cause of the condition. Inflammation of arteries can cause swelling within the arteries, leading to blockage and interrupted blood supply, thereby causing partial or permanent damage to the retina and optic nerve. Optic nerve damage eye treatment in Ayurveda plays a significant role in the management, treatment and possible cure of optic atrophy or neuropathy.
Optic atrophy treatment in Ayurveda is aimed at preserving vision, slowing down or reversing the degeneration in the retina and optic nerve and treating the cause, if known. Abhyanga, swedana, Shirodhara, Virechana, tharpana, and nasya are some of the optic atrophy treatments. The treatment at the earliest is required for the best results in optic atrophy.
- Akshitharpanam - This is a cleaning process of the eyes, which gives a cooling effect, preventing eye diseases and strengthening the optic nerve. It is used for patients with a risk of complete loss of eye vision with special herbal clarified butter (ghee) like MahaTriphalaghritam, Jeevanthyadighritam, Ananthaghritam, etc. The entire procedure is repeated at specific intervals and is believed to help in preserving vision in the eyes, strengthening and promoting regeneration of the optic nerve.
- Raktamokshanam - It is believed to be one of the best optic atrophy treatments in India to help in optic atrophy by blood-letting from the skin around the eyes with the application of leeches.
- Shirobasti - In the Shirobasti process, a long cap, open at the top, is fitted around the patient's head. Through the top opening, warm herbal medicated oils are poured onto the head. The oil is retained for some period. This procedure is highly used as an Optic nerve atrophy treatment in Ayurveda.
- Nethradhara - This process includes washing the eyes with freshly prepared medicated decoctions. These decoctions help to strengthen the optic nerve.
Home Remedies for Optic Nerve Atrophy
- Epsom salts - In order to reduce the inflammation in the nerves, it is recommended to take a bath, thrice a week, with Epsom salts.
- Vegetable juice - Spinach, beet, and carrot juice reduce the inflammation of the nerves and resulting pain.
- Vitamin B Supplements - Vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid enhance and protect the function of the inflamed nerves. They act as antioxidants.
- Exercise - Moderate walking for 20 minutes a day enhances the release and distribution of hormones that will help in reducing nerve inflammation.
Preventions/lifestyle for Optic Nerve Atrophy
Optic nerve damage cure also includes some crucial lifestyle changes and preventive measures:
- Adults should carefully manage their blood pressure.
- Use safety precautions to prevent injuries to the face. Most facial injuries are the result of car accidents.
- Schedule a routine annual eye exam to check for glaucoma and other eye diseases.
- Never drink home-brewed alcohol and forms of alcohol that are not intended for drinking. Methanol, which may be found in home-brewed alcohol, can cause optic nerve atrophy in both eyes.
- Safely store chemicals in your home to prevent the spread of toxins.
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, apples, grapes, peaches, plums, cherries should be included in the diet.
- Green vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and turnip tops should also be included.
- Intake of proteins such as nuts, dried fruits, and dairy products should be increased.