Optic Nerve Atrophy:
Optic Nerve Atrophy is a permanent visual impairment caused by damage to the optic nerve.
The optic nerve carries information from the eye to the brain for processing. The optic nerve consists of over a million tiny nerve fibers called axons.
The disease or degenerative process will damage the axons. The atrophy may be partial where some axons are damaged or profound in which most of them are damaged. This damage prevents the brain from receiving an complete signal. This results in the sight becoming blurred or a noticable decrease in visual function. It can affect both eyes or just one and the disease may be progressive.
Acupuncture and optic nerve atrophy:
Acupuncture is used for the treatment of optic nerve atrophy. Differentiation for the condition is as follows:
KID/LIV Yin Xu -> The Blood (Xue) and the essence (Jing) are failing to nourish the eyes.
SP Deficiency -> Irregular diet and stress leads to a Qi and Blood deficiency.
LIV Qi and Blood Stagnation.
Treatment principles involve reducing any associated inflammation and to enable the functioning of the optic nerve without obstruction.
The following article "Bright Eyes - The treatment of eye diseases by Acupuncture" by Richard Blackwell and Hugh Macpherson discusses a variety of treatment protocols and clinical cases for eye diseases.