Neuro-ophthalmology, a subspecialty of both neurology and ophthalmology, examines the relationship between the optic nerve and systemic disorders that affect vision and movement of the eye. Neuro-opthalmologists are able to evaluate and diagnose a variety of medical conditions with a neurology, ophthalmology and medical perspective.
Some of the disorders treated by neuro-ophthalmologists include:
- Optic nerve conditions
- Myasthenia gravis
- Thyroid disease
- Temporary or permanent loss of vision
- Pseudotumor cerebri
- Orbital and intracranial tumor
- Double or blurry vision
- Visual perception disorder
- Headache or migraine
- Post-neurosurgical procedure complications
Neuro-ophthalmology specialists can determine what is causing a particular vision problem as well as whether it is due to a medical condition or a problem within the nervous system or optic nerve.
Symptoms associated with these and other neuro-ophthalmic disorders usually include:
- Vision loss
- Disturbances in vision
- Eyelid and facial spasms
Sudden vision loss can be caused by tumors or aneurysms that need to be treated immediately. It can also be caused by an obstruction of blood vessels in the optic nerve or retina.
Neuro-Ophthalmic Diagnostic Procedures
Diagnosis and treatment of neuro-ophthalmic disorders may be conducted through a series of tests and therapies. Diagnostic evaluation services often include:
- Fundus photography
- CT scan
- Cerebral angiography
- Optical coherence tomography
A neuro-ophthalmologic evaluation is a detailed and comprehensive examination that lasts between four to six hours. A complete medical history is taken. The doctor will examine the visual field and eye movement and will often perform a complete neurologic exam as well.
Treatment of Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders
Treatment of a neuro-ophthalmic disorder depends on the specific type of disorder that has been diagnosed and may include Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT). VRT is a non-invasive treatment that helps to restore vision that has been lost as a result of a traumatic brain injury, such as a stroke. Using a specially-designed computer device, VRT encourages visual stimulation to enhance activity in the brain relating to vision. It has been shown to help some patients regain lost sight.