Treatments with acupuncture and herbal medicine for retinitis pigmentosa, a disorder that is a genetically inherited condition that may lead to blindness, have demonstrated positive clinical outcomes in several studies. A groundbreaking study was published in 2011 wherein it was discovered that acupuncture protects the optic nerve from damage caused by intraocular pressure by alleviating stresses on retinal and optic nerve axonal ultrastructures. Another study showed that Chinese medicine improved retinal cone activity for patients with retinitis pigmentosa, even in cases of advanced retinal degeneration.
A more aggressive study was published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 2013. She Xiang was injected into acupuncture points UB18 and UB23 and results showed that acupuncture improved eyesight for patients with retinitis pigmentosa. The study concludes that injection of She Xiang into Ganshu (UB18) and Shenshu (UB23) "can improve effectively the function and metabolism of optic cells, promote blood circulation of the retina, enhance the visual acuity, and protect the central vision for the patient of retinitis pigmentosa.”