Vision Loss Caused by Optic Nerve Damage
Optic neuropathy is a broad term encompassing any damage to the optic nerve that results in dysfunction of the optic nerve which can cause a decrease in color vision, blurry vision, or defects in vision (blindspots). The amount of vision impairment can range from almost normal to complete loss of vision.
The specialists at Spokane Eye Clinic are equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of neurological and systemically-related vision disorders including:
- abnormal eye movements (gaze palsy and nystagmus)
- blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm
- cerebrovascular disease and ischemic events
- cranial nerve disorders
- hereditary and congenital diseases
- malignancies, mass lesions, and other tumors
- myasthenia gravis
- nutritional deficiencies
- optic disc edema
- optic neuritis
- optic neuropathy
- papilledema (increased intracranial pressure)ptosis
- systemic autoimmune, inflammatory, or infiltrative diseases
- thyroid eye disease
- toxins including certain medications and heavy metals
How is optic neuropathy diagnosed?
You and your specialist will discuss your health history then the specialist will complete a thorough examination and test the optic nerve function. This often involves color vision, contrast, pupil evaluation, visuals fields, and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Visual Evoked Potential (VEP).
Is there treatment for optic neuropathy?
Treatment depends on the cause 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 condition. Optic neuritis and other inflammatory/autoimmune conditions can be treated with steroids and other immunosuppressive medications.