Despite that many doctors and clinics are not aware of this, treating NAAION is an emergency situation, at least for those approximately 60% of patients who will not see improvements or stabilization of the vision loss occur without intervention.
The two sole existing and potentially working (not with all NAAION patients) treatments available to try stop loss of vision – even possible blindness in one eye or both – by reducing the disc edema faster than occurs naturally, must be started at the latest within 14 days of the NAAION event, preferably a week or more earlier, when optic disc swelling is still present. The earlier the better.
These two potentially working treatments are:
a) Oral steroids following the protocol advised by neuro-ophthalmologist and the ‘father’ of NAAION, Prof. Sohan Hayreh.
For the details of the oral steroids treatment, please consult the section Management of NA-AION of Prof. Hayreh’s excellent online article for clinicians on AION’s. The orals steroids course (not IV!) starts with 2 weeks of 80 mg daily followed by tapering off in weekly steps). The purpose is to speed up the resolution of the optic disc edema to break the cycle of destruction of axons and retinal ganglion cells faster than with letting it run its course without treatment..
b) Join the worldwide clinical trials in 89 locations of the neuroprotectant intravitreal QPI-1007 (by Quark Pharmaceuticals) injections (has a 20% placebo component). Minimum age is 50, maximum age is 80. A previously treated eye disqualifies that eye for this trial. Disclaimer: There is still too little evidence from the preceding phase 1 trial to say that this would work. Neuroprotectants have been used with humans before and failed. Until now (end of July 2018)there have been no intermediary reports about this trial. Thepro ject presupposes 12 months of follow up of a patient and it started in October 2017. In April 2018 the project was redesigned for unknown reasons and its length extended. We point out though that any damage reduced by this drug should already show in the first months, since the all important axons and retinal ganglion cells will incur most of their permanent damage in the first few weeks after an NAAION attack. It will not take a year to see the impact on functioning vision
The NCT02341560 clinical trial information and the full contact details of the 89 clinics offering the trial treatment, can be found here at Phase 2/3, Randomized, Double-Masked, Sham-Controlled Trial of QPI-1007 in Subjects With Acute Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION)
So remember: Time is of the essence! This is an emergency treatment disease, not one to be gradually diagnosed and treated via appointments.
Note: There are presently no other treatments that have a chance of working. Many treatments have been experimented with and failed. Some are outright scams.