What is Neuro Ophthalmology?
It is a branch of science that deals with common diseases of the eye and nervous system. The visual pathways from the optic nerve to the visual cortex where vision occurs and the diseases in the brain cortex are the subjects of neuro ophthalmology. It also deals with the coordinated movement of the eyes.
What are the Disorders Field of Neuro-Ophthalmology Deals With?
- Sudden loss of vision
- Slow progressive vision loss
- Temporary loss of vision
- Color vision disorders
- An area that cannot be seen in the field of vision
- Double vision
- Eye disease due to thyroid
- Migraine and similar eye pain
- Size differences of pupils
- Ocular complaints due to multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Eye complaints due to myasthenia gravis
- Eye complaints due to strokes
- Facial paralysis and contractions of the face
It might be a sign of constriction or obstruction of a vessel leading to the eye or the visual center of the brain. The ophthalmologist should see you within a few hours. Sometimes it may be due to diseases that cause transmission disturbances among the eye nerves instead of the eye vessels. As the patient cannot determine the cause of the disorder, it is necessary to see an ophthalmologist immediately in case of sudden vision loss in one or both eyes.
Slowly progressive vision loss usually occurs due to intraocular disorders such as cataract, glaucoma or yellow spot disease, however it may be due to a rare life-threatening problem in the brain that pressures the eye nerve. The eye doctor should be consulted without neglect and the cause of the symptom must be diagnosed.
Darkening or blotting in one or both eyes that last for a few seconds or minutes, might be a sign of a temporary constriction or blockage in one of the vessels leading to the eye or the visual center of the brain. An ophthalmologist and a cardiologist must be consulted as soon as possible. For young individuals, it might be caused by problems with the heart valves, and for elderly individuals, it might be due to problems in jugular veins in the neck or heart vessels. Failure to treat may result in complete blockage of the vessel followed up by permanent loss of vision. Transient visual loss, which begins with prolonged light flashes, may be due to migraines.
Due to a problem of the muscles or motor nerves that connect with muscles, the muscle tissue that moves the eyes might work irregularly, preventing the eyes from being parallel to each other, causing two different impulses being sent to the brain and resulting in double vision. This problem has to be examined by an ophthalmologist imminently to be diagnosed. If the issue with the nerves is brain related, neurological diseases must be investigated and treated. If the issue is vessel related, possible causes from the brain and heart must be investigated and treated. The treatment must be conducted by a neurologist if it is caused by a muscle disorder that is capable of affecting other muscles in the body. If the problem is linked to a hormonal disorder that affects eye muscles, the treatment must be planned along with an endocrinologist.
If there is an unequal movement of the muscles that move the eyes due to a problem with the nerves or muscles that connect to the eyelids, one or both of the eyelids may droop or open. While opening is mostly seen in goiter disease, drooping may occur due to muscle diseases or enlarged brain vessels. Since enlarged brain vessels is a life-threatening condition, especially when one of the eyelids is drooping and a pupil is dilated, the doctor should be consulted immediately.
There is a natural difference between the size of the pupils. However if there is a big difference or the difference gets bigger when exposed to light or darkness, it might indicate a vital complication with the neck or brain vessels or a significant lung disease. Immediately consulting an ophthalmologist can save your life.
Contractions, which can occur in both eyes or just one half of the face, may be caused by an old facial paralysis or by a thickened vessel pressuring a nerve in the brain occasionaly. Sometimes these contractions that result in difficulties in social life might not be caused by an important problem, yet they are still possible to be treated nonetheless.
Muscles and nerves of the eyelids, eye muscles or the optic nerve might get injured. Accidents and impacts that can only be noticed in the early phases by the patient can be early diagnosed and treated through the examination of an ophthalmologist.