Optic Nerve Atrophy – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is optic nerve atrophy?
Optic nerve atrophy is damage or degeneration of the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries visual information from the eyes to the brain. This problem most often affects older adults.
What causes optic nerve atrophy?
There are many causes of optic nerve atrophy. The most common cause is poor blood flow. This is called ischemic optic neuropathy. Shock, toxins, radiation, and trauma are the other causes that can damage the optic nerve. Eye diseases, such as glaucoma, can also cause damage to the optic nerve. This condition can also be caused by various diseases of the brain and central nervous system. These may include:
- Brain tumor
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cranial arteritis or temporal arteritis)
What are the symptoms of optic nerve atrophy?
Reduction of the field of vision and dimming of vision are the main symptoms of optic nerve atrophy. The ability to see fine detail will also be lost. Colors will seem faded. Over time, the pupil will be less able to react to light, and eventually, its ability to react to light may be lost.
How is optic nerve atrophy diagnosed?
The eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to look for the condition. The doctor may also do the following tests for diagnosis:
- Visual acuity
- Pupil light reflex
- Color vision
How is optic nerve atrophy treated?
No effective treatment is available to reverse optic nerve atrophy. The eye doctor will try to find out the underlying disease that caused the problem and treats it. Early treatment can help prevent further damage, otherwise, vision loss will continue.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.