In the recent decades, stem cell therapy for optic nerve damage has gained tremendous ground. Injected stem cells can rejuvenate and/or replenish damaged optic nerve cells, slowing down the rate of progression of the condition (causing the damage), and improving vision and quality of life.
In this article, we’ll look at optic nerve damage in detail, understand its causes and symptoms, and explore the potential benefits of stem cell therapy for optic nerve damage.
Causes of optic nerve damage
Optic nerve damage refers to degeneration or injury of the optic nerve typically resulting in partial or complete blindness. inflicted on the optic nerve. The following have been identified as the typical causes of optic nerve damage:
- Compressive Lesions: Tumors or other growths near the optic nerve exert pressure and may damage it. A common example of such a lesion is a pituitary tumor.
- Hereditary Conditions: Certain types of genetic conditions, such as Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) can damage the optic nerve.
- Trauma: Any kind of physical trauma to the eye or head can disrupt blood supply to the optic nerve or cause damage to it.
- Medications: Certain medications can harm the optic nerve.
- Lifestyle: Tobacco and alcohol can cause damage to the optic nerve.
- Glaucoma: Elevated pressure damages the optic nerve over time.
- Optic Neuropathy: Optic neuropathy involves damage to the optic nerve, and may be caused by inflammation, toxins, trauma, and other factors
- Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: Ischemic optic neuropathy is caused by insufficient blood flow to the optic nerve.
- Optic Neuritis: Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve, commonly associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).
You can read more about optic neuritis here.
Symptoms of optic nerve damage
The following are the most common symptoms of optic nerve damage:
- Flashing or flickering of lights when moving eyes
- Recurrent loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Gradual or sudden vision loss
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Pain (in the face, eye socket, and/or inside the eye (symptom of optic neuritis)
- Less vivid vision
- Decreased color vision
- Abnormal pupillary responses.
- Changes in the appearance of the optic disc
Stem cell therapy for optic nerve damage
The most common practice to restrict damage to the optic nerve is by preventing/slowing down further damage to the optic nerve is by controlling blood pressure, and symptoms management.
Today, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or neural stem cells are being used to manage the condition. Injected into the retrobulbar region of the eye, these progenitor cells can activate neurofilament genes, rejuvenate damaged nerve cells, and also secrete neurotrophic factors that enable the formation of neuronal cells.
It must be mentioned here that stem cell therapy can slow down or prevent further damage to the optic nerve only if the condition is detected in the early stages. Stem cell therapy must be considered as a preventive rather than a cure. While stem cells have the power to regenerate damaged cells and restore vision, the results will vary on a case to case basis.
Stem cell therapy at Plexus
Plexus is India’s first ISO-certified stem cell research centre. We offer customised regenerative rehabilitation programmes for several neurological conditions.
Harnessing your body’s self-healing capabilities, autologous mesenchymal stem cells are taken from your body, cultured in a laboratory, and injected back into your body. Risk-free and pain-free, stem cell therapy at Plexus has improved the quality of life of patients with optic nerve damage.
Connect with us to know more about our regenerative rehabilitation.
WhatsApp +91 89048 42087
Call +91 78159 64668 (Hyderabad) | +91 82299 99888 (Bangalore)
Can a damaged optic nerve regenerate?
Yes, if detected early, damaged optic nerve can be regenerated with stem cell therapy.
Can vision be restored after optic nerve damage?
As long as the damage is detected in its initial stages, deterioration of vision can be prevented, and in many cases can be completely restored.
What is the best treatment for optic nerve damage?
Stem cell therapy is regarded as the safest and best intervention for optic nerve damage.
How can I strengthen my optic nerve?
A diet rich in vitamins B12, C and E, antioxidants, folate, calcium, magnesium, quercetin is known to improve optic nerve health and function.
How long does it take to cure optic neuritis?
Depending on the extent of damage and degree of loss of vision, optic neuritis can take anywhere between 1 and 3 months to improve.