Optic Neuropathy

At the Spokane Eye Clinic we are equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of neurological and systemically related visual disorders. We address vision loss from cerebrovascular disease, optic neuropathy, facial movement disorders including blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm, abnormal eye movements (gaze palsy and nystagmus), cranial nerve disorders, papilledema (increased intracranial pressure), optic disc edema, optic neuritis, unexplained vision loss and facial pain, myasthenia gravis, ptosis, and thyroid eye disease. We do pupil testing and photos for anisocoria, electrophysiology, ultrasound, and botox injections.

Neuro-Ophthalmology involves both neurology and ophthalmology specialties focusing on visual impairments that originate from the nervous system and or the eye, frequently resulting in dysfunction of the optic nerve. Visual impairments can be transient or permanent, and can range from visual distortion to visual field defects. Neuro-ophthalmology also addresses vision changes from systemic illness such as autoimmune, inflammatory, infectious, infiltrative, and malignant diseases. Please see the following links for more information on Neuro-ophthalmology and specific entities.

http://novel.utah.edu/diseases/patient-portal

http://www.nanosweb.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3280

What is optic neuropathy?

Optic neuropathy is a broad term encompassing any damage to the optic nerve that results in dysfunction of the optic nerve.

What causes optic neuropathy?

Trauma. Compression from tumors or other mass lesions. Systemic autoimmune, inflammatory, or infiltrative diseases. Glaucoma. Ischemic events that result in lack of blood flow and subsequent death of the individual nerve fibers in the optic nerve. Papilledema refers to increased intracranial pressure that places pressure on the optic nerve and can lead to permanent damage. Hereditary and congenital diseases. Malignancy. Toxins including certain medications and heavy metals. Nutritional deficiencies. Amblyopia.

How is optic neuropathy diagnosed?

Based on history, examination and testing of optic nerve function. This often involves color vision, contrast, pupil evaluation, visuals fields, and OCT. VEP can also be done.

How does optic neuropathy affect vision?

Damage to the optic nerve can result in decrease in color vision, blurry vision, or defects in the field of vision (blindspots). The vision can range from almost normal to complete loss of vision.

Is there treatment for optic neuropathy?

This depends on the etiology of the optic neuropathy. If it is from a compressive lesion or process the treatment is decompression of the optic nerve. There is no specific treatment for ischemic optic neuropathy other than control of atherosclerotic risk factors. If the neuropathy is due to cancer or diabetes or other systemic illness, treatment is by managing the underlying illness. Optic neuritis and other inflammatory/autoimmune conditions can be treated with steroids and other immunosuppressive medications.

 

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