What is Neuro-ophthalmology?

Neuro-Ophthalmology is a condition that deals with different eye diseases caused by some neurological conditions and optic nerve disorders. It is a specialty that focuses on neurological issues to the eye. Optic nerves in our eye transmit visual stimuli that our eye captures to the brain, transforming into images. So, any dysfunction in the optic nerves can lead to visual impairment and even in some cases, visual loss to the eye.

Is it a concern for doctors, if not treated on time?

Neuro Ophthalmic issues are such a serious disease to the eye, if not treated promptly. It can cause Optic Nerve atrophy, or in simple words, the death of the optic nerve. Some of the most common symptoms of optic nerve dysfunction are:

Double vision and headaches

Suddenly reduced visual activity

The less reactive pupil which is the central part of the eyeball that allows light to pass through

Color vision impairment (inability to identify colors, especially red and green colors)

Photophobia (Difficulty in seeing light)

Visual field defects (visibility coverage)

What are the Neuro-Ophthalmic Conditions?

Once you feel any kind of symptoms of any diseases in your body and you visit a doctor, it is quite obvious that you will get to know so many strange medical words. However, a friendly doctor always explains to you in detail to avoid panic and fear. So, when the doctor consoles you everything in detail about your concerned disease, you will end up with some available treatment options. Here are a few of the conditions pertaining to neuro-ophthalmology:

Optic Neuritis – In Optic Neuritis, the inflammation of the optic nerve is caused, and the reasons behind this condition can be starting from an infection to an autoimmune disorder.

Nutritional Optic Neuropathy – In this condition, the loss to the optic nerve is caused by some toxic substances that are found in tobacco and alcohol. Lack of nutrients and deficiency of Vitamin-B complex and folic acid can also be the cause of nutritional optic neuropathy.

Papilledema – Here the optic disc of the eye; the circular area where the optic nerve connects with the retina at the back of the eye, inflames because of excessive pressure inside the skull, and it could be due to a tumor perhaps.

Diabetic Neuropathy – Excessive blood sugar level or diabetes can impair the optic nerve. If it gets uncontrollable, the blood supply to the retina gets cut-off, leading to unexpected vision loss.

What are the treatments for Neuro-Ophthalmology?

While doing your eye examination, the eye specialist may detect any optic nerve issue. , you will be prescribed to do a brain CT scan or MRI to assess whether there is any such associated injury to the brain as well. While some simple or minor conditions can be treated by oral medications and injectables, other critical concerns require surgery. From them, some common treatments include:

Optic Neuritis – Antibiotics and corticosteroids are prescribed to flush out infections that happened to the optic nerve, and suppress the immune disorders to do any further damage.

Nutritional Optic Neuropathy – Here vitamin injectables are prescribed, and the patient is advised to change his/her lifestyle.

Papilledema – As the skull receives excessive pressure in this condition, medications are used to reduce it. In some cases, brain surgery is required if the increased pressure is due to tumorous growth.

Diabetic Retinopathy – the diabetic patient is always advised to control his/her diabetes before going through any other eye treatment.

At KomalEyecare, there’s a special team dedicated to treating Neuro Ophthalmic conditions. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy, pupil examination, visual field examinations, ocular motility examinations are some of the tests are done here to identify the core issue and health of the optic nerve. If any further complication is seen from the tests, CT scan and MRI of the brain are also performed.


Most frequent questions and answers about Neuro-ophthalmology

A neuro-ophthalmologic patient deals with eyesight issues that are often because of some sort of disorders in the brain. The eye is an extension of the brain that sends visual impulses into the brain and the brain transmits those impulses to images. Thus, some disorders in the brain can create visual disturbances in your eye.

Microvascular cranial nerve palsy is the most common reason behind the acute binocular double vision. Uncontrolled diabetes/ or hypertension is the common precipitating factor where a decrease in blood supply to the nerves leads to eye misalignment.

Isolated single nerve palsies are not because of any major abnormalities or disorders. So, an expensive CT scan is not often suggested unless there is any other complication that occurred. However, if the single nerve palsies don’t get better in spite of proper medications, controlled diabetes, and/or hypertension, then your doctor may suggest a CT OR MRI scan.

Blurred vision and blind spots can be the symptoms of many eye complications. But multiple sclerosis can only be diagnosed after several tests. Consult your ophthalmologist or GP if you experience any issues with your eyes.

A stroke can damage the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain and optic nerve, resulting in vision loss or blindness. In addition, it can also damage the nerve that helps the eyes to move. The complications depend upon the part of the brain that is affected by stroke. In this case, blurred vision, double vision or loss of side vision are the symptoms that can be identified in some patients.