Neuro-ophthalmology, a subspecialty of both neurology and ophthalmology, is the treatment of visual problems that are related to the nervous system; that is, visual problems that do not come from the eyes themselves. We use almost half of the brain for vision-related activities.
Neuro-ophthalmologists undergo specialized training and expertise in problems of the eye, brain, nerves and muscles. These physicians complete at least five years of clinical training after medical school and are usually board-certified in neurology, ophthalmology, or both. Neuro-ophthalmologists have unique abilities to evaluate patients from the neurologic, ophthalmologic, and medical standpoints to diagnose and treat a wide variety of problems. Costly medical testing is often avoided by seeing a neuro-ophthalmologist.
Common Problems Evaluated by Neuro-ophthalmologists
Although some problems seen by neuro-ophthalmologists are not worrisome, other conditions can worsen and cause permanent visual loss, or become life threatening. Sometimes the problem is confined to the optic nerve or the nervous system and other times it is related to a general medical condition.
Neuro-ophthalmology symptoms and conditions:
- Abnormal eye movements
- Double vision
- Eyelid abnormalities
- Myasthenia gravis
- Optic nerve problems (such as optic neuritis and ischemic optic neuropathy)
- Thyroid eye disease
- Transient visual loss
- Unequal pupil size
- Unexplained visual loss
- Visual disturbances
- Visual field loss