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Ethambutol toxic optic nerve


I was diagnosed with Ethambutol toxic optic nerve since 2015. I have blurred diminished vision in both eyes. I am looking for a suitable TCM specialist who can help me.


TCM is unlike western medicine in many ways, including for the most part a lack of specialization. Any well trained and experienced acupuncturist in your area should be able to help you.


Thank you Stephen

I was in New Delhi in April this year where I saw a famous acupuncturist. Unfortunately the treatment I got did not improve my vision. At the moment I can only see a few metres and. The vision is blurred. I no longer able to read small prints. I would appreciate any help. Thank you.


How many treatments did you get and how often did you go? Keep in mind as well that the damage to the optic nerve may be permanent and a restoration of perfect vision may not be possible. From what I understand that may depend on the both the dosage and duration of taking ethambutol as well as how long you went before starting any kind of treatment.


Hello again

I have a 6day session from Monday to Saturday for four weeks. I took Ethambutol for 2 months and as soon as I developed vision problem, I immediately stopped. I read an article on a combination of TCM medicine with a vitamin called methycobal, link below

Is there specialised TCM who can offer this formulas please. Thank you once again.


If you did not improve with a month of treatment either your practitioner was flat out terrible or your condition is more severe than acupuncture is able to treat. In all honestly it is more likely the latter. There are multiple sites where you can order customized herbal formulas, the ingredients and the dosages of each were listed in the research paper. Or you could order the individual herbs listed in granule form and prepare the formula yourself which is probably cheaper.



Thank you for your feedback. Regarding acupuncture I am planning a trip to China for a second opinion treatment. I also have sent a dozen emails to traditional Chinese medicine online to find out if they can prepare rhe formula without any joy. I would appreciate your recommendations on websites that can assist me please.


Generally speaking there are no websites, certainly in the US, that will make custom formulas for the public (i.e. not a licensed practitioner). In China, that would be another story. Most practitioners are probably turning you down because it is largely unethical to make a formula for someone where you don’t know their entire medical history, can’t track their progress well, and, most importantly, are doing it without the ability to physically inspect them (tongue, pulse, diagnosis, etc.). Studies, while valuable, rarely offer cookie cutter approaches as outcomes, so some will correctly feel that making a formula for you, without seeing you personally, based only on a fairly small study, would be wildly unethical (and I would agree with them).

Again, most practitioners should be able to help with this. Our page, acupuncture for optic nerve atrophy, has some general pointers for working with this range of issues. This is, of course, somewhat different when it is result of ethambutol reactions. These are somewhat rare, seem to self resolve within a few months in most people, but can be complicated particularly if the western physicians didn’t monitor vision during treatment and/or a dose that was too high was given. Either way I think if you can find someone to treat you for 3-4 months (only 1-2x week would be required, more than that would likely be far less effective, possibly even counterproductive) who is reasonable skilled you should be fine. Keep in mind that you want to see a fully trained Chinese Medicine practitioner, not a general medical person (MD, PT, Physiotherapist, etc.) that also practices “acupuncture”.


Thank you Chad for that highlight

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