Optic Nerve Atrophy

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Case I :- Another big success with acupuncture has been complete recovery of vision in a lady with OPTIC ATROPHY who had total loss of vision (Read on for the complete case history of this patient).

This is a condition in which there is a wasting away or near total disuse of the eyes due to degeneration of the optic nerve.

Divya Chopra , female, 57 years. She came for the first time on January 15, 1998 , with complaints of complete loss of vision in both eyes. She was only able to make out hand movements, but was unable to count the fingers. Her history revealed that she had been suffering from recurrent fever with chills from December, 1996. The fever was associated with loss of appetite and loss of weight. She was investigated for the same. A chest X-ray showed prominence of the left hilum which was most likely due to enlarged left hilar lymph nodes.

Divya Chopra's case was diagnosed as pulmonary tuberculosis and she was put on ATT (Anti Tubercular Therapy) from may 3, 1997. She started noticing slight blurring of vision from September 1997. This blurring worsened on October 18, 1997 . It was accompanied with formication in both feet and associated tiredness. Her visual acuity at this stage was 6/36.

She was diagnosed as having acute Ethambutol toxicity and her Ethambutol was stopped. She was treated for pan uveitis (bilateral). The VEP (Visual Evoked Potential) done at the Rajendra Prasad Ophthalmic Centre showed prolonged latency. A trial of systemic steroids was given with no improvement in vision. A perimetry (charting for any visual blind spots) done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi on November 18 showed poor fixation with poor response in both eyes. A brain MRI done on December 13 was normal. She was seen by a team of top doctors at AIIMS and then at Mohan Eye Institute, Delhi , but medication produced no improvement. Her vision steadily went on deteriorating and she was diagnosed as having developed bilateral toxic optic nerve atrophy for which there was no treatment possible. She even tried homoeopathy medicine with no response.

Accupuncture treatment was given to her initially on a daily basis for a duration of about two months. Within the first week of treatment, her vision showed such a sudden change that a woman who had not been able to move out of her room without support, was able to read the number plate of her car. Her vision gradually went on improving and the treatment was reduced to an alternate day schedule. She was then given acupuncture only twice a week. The improvement in her vision was substantial and she regained seventy-five per cent of her vision.

In order to clinically correlate the symptomatic improvement, she was referred to Dr. S.N. Jha at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital , Delhi on June 11, 1998 . He checked her vision and found it to be 6/24. He also did perimetry on this patient and found a substantial improvement as compared to the previous perimetry done at AIIMS. Even he was amazed to see such an improvement. This patient finally improved her vision by ninety-five per cent.

Case-II :- Mrs. Sunita Sharma, a 42 years old woman, suddenly had a brain hemorrhage and developed optic nerve atrophy in both her eyes. This led to complete vision loss in both eyes. The doctors at the hospital where she got treated told her that her vision can not come back. Acupuncture treatment with Dr. Kapur has been able to bring her vision back by 60% in over 6 months time.