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Are There Natural Herbs to Help Restore Optic Nerve Damage?

by
author image Kate Beck
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.
Are There Natural Herbs to Help Restore Optic Nerve Damage?
The optic nerve is located at the back of your eye. Photo Credit eye image by Pali A from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Your optic nerve is a bundle of nerve fibers located at the back of your eye. These fibers send information to your brain to convert into visual information. Certain conditions will affect the optic nerve, and some may damage these fibers. The damage may lead to vision loss that may occur suddenly or progress slowly over time. If you have a condition affecting your optic nerve, you should talk with your doctor about herbs that may help your vision.

Disease

A number of eye diseases or conditions may cause damage to your optic nerve. These conditions include optic neuritis and optic nerve atrophy. Perhaps one of the most common conditions that results in damage is glaucoma, a disease that results from a high intraocular pressure. This pressure limits or cuts off blood flow to the optic nerve, damaging the nerve fibers. If you do not have good control of your eye pressures, this damage will slowly affect your side vision.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is an extract from the leaves of the ginkgo tree. This extract has a long history of use in aiding memory and other cognitive functions. Ginkgo may also help improve blood flow, which could have some effect on improving blood flow to the optic nerve in people with glaucoma. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that a small study conducted on people with glaucoma showed that after eight weeks of taking 120 mg of ginkgo each day, the glaucoma patients showed some improvement in vision. Researchers have not conducted further testing to determine the validity of this small study. If you wish to try ginkgo, you should talk with your doctor about the potential risks before starting a treatment regimen.

Treatment

Your doctor may recommend treating the condition responsible for the damage to your optic nerve, and this will often prevent continued damage. Glaucoma typically requires a prescription eye drop to reduce intraocular pressure. In some cases, your doctor may recommend an oral medication or surgery to help reduce pressure. The treatment will vary for the different types of eye conditions that may cause damage to your optic nerve.

Considerations

In many cases, herbs, supplements or medications will not reverse damage to your optic nerve. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and recommend any possible treatment that may improve your vision or health of your eye. If you experience any changes in vision or other unusual symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Early detection and treatment may offer the best chance for preventing or treating damage.

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