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NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY

Neuro-Ophthalmology examines the relationship between the eye and the brain, focusing on the optic nerve, the eye socket (the orbit) and the brain. Some Neuro-Ophthalmic conditions are relatively harmless, while others can be very serious. The Neuro-Ophthalmology specialists at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute have advanced training and experience to determine what is causing a particular vision problem – is it due to a medical condition or a problem within the nervous system or optic nerve?

Conditions and Symptoms

Neuro-Ophthalmic diseases are often the first sign of a more serious neurologic condition and should always be treated immediately.

Neuro-Ophthalmology

Advances in neuroimaging and interventional techniques have revolutionized the early diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of neuro-ophthalmic disorders.

Neuro-Ophthalmology Symptoms

  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Blurry or darkened vision
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Excessive, involuntary blinking and tightly closing of the eyes
  • Vision disturbance
  • Eyelid and facial spasms
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Unequal pupil size
  • Unexplained visual loss
  • Visual disturbances
  • Visual field loss

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Gregory Henderson - Founder

Some of the most frequent Neuro-Ophthalmic diseases we see at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute:

  • Optic neuritis is the most common cause of a sudden loss of vision in younger individuals. It is the result of an attack on the optic nerve by the immune system. Optic neuritis can be a difficult condition for anyone except a neruo ophthalmologist to diagnose, since both the inside and outside of the eye typically appear normal.
  • Anterior ischemic optic neuropathy is the most common cause of a sudden loss of vision in individuals who are over the age of 50. It takes place when not enough oxygen is reaching the optic nerve, causing a small stroke to occur there. This may result in blurry or darkened vision throughout all or part of the visual field.
  • Microvascular cranial nerve palsy can precipitate double vision, especially in older patients. It occurs most often in those with diabetes or high blood pressure. Microvascular cranial nerve palsy takes place when there is a disruption of the blood supply to a cranial nerve, causing the eye’s movement to be restricted and producing a double image.
  • Blepharospasm causes sufferers to excessively, involuntarily blink and tightly close their eyes. The response is not due to any particular environmental factor, but can be made worse by exposure to bright light, fatigue and dry eyes. Blepharospasm is more typical in women than men and often begins in middle age.
  • Thyroid orbitopathy is an autoimmune condition often brought on by a thyroid problem. The immune system affects the eye muscles and causes them to increase in size, resulting in the eye being pushed forward. If left untreated, the muscles may begin to compress the optic nerve and damage it.

Symptoms associated with these and other neuro-ophthalmic disorders usually include vision loss, vision disturbance, double vision (diplopia) as well as eyelid and facial spasms. Sudden vision loss can be caused by tumors or aneurysms from an obstruction of blood vessels in the optic nerve or retina and should always be diagnosed and treated immediately.

Diagnosis

At Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute, our Neuro-Ophthalmology specialists use the latest technologies to examine, diagnose and treat all types of Neuro-Ophthalmology diseases through a series of tests and therapies. State-of-the art diagnostic services often include fundus photography, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, cerebral angiography and optical coherence tomography. Neuro-ophthalmologic evaluations are detailed and comprehensive examinations that include a complete medical history. Your Neuro-Ophthalmology specialists examines your visual field and eye movement, and performs a complete neurologic exam as needed.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the specific type of disorder that is diagnosed, but can include Vision Restoration Therapy (VRT). VRT is a non-invasive treatment that helps to restore vision 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 relating to vision in the brain. It has helped some patients regain lost sight.

Other methods of treatment often used at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute include:

  • Medical therapies
  • Optic nerve sheath decompression – used to relieve excessive intracranial pressure. An incision is made in the covering of the optic nerve to allow the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid to drain and taking pressure off the nerve.
  • Temporal artery biopsy.
  • Neurosurgical intervention – minimally-invasive, endoscopic methods of tumor removal.

Talk to our Neuro-Ophthalmology Specialists

The eye and brain are both extremely important organs of the body, so their care should be handled by specially-trained professionals. If you are experiencing vision problems that may require neuro-ophthalmic care, call today for a consultation and comprehensive exam.

Neuro-Ophthalmic Specialist

Craig E. Munger

Craig E. Munger

M.D., Ph.D.

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