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Neuro-ophthalmology

Neuro-ophthalmology focuses on vision issues relating to multiple sclerosis, cranial nerve palsy, and other neurological disorders.

Specialized Treatment to Protect Your Vision

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Neuro-ophthalmology is a highly specialized branch of medicine focusing on eye conditions caused by health issues that affect the nervous system. Our specialists can provide compassionate care to control your symptoms and, if possible, cure your eye condition. 

Video: Nervous System Eye Conditions

Dr. Buono explains how neuro-ophthalmology deals with the nerves that supply the visual system. Neuro-Ophthalmologists typically see patients with headaches, unexplained vision loss, and double vision. They treat a number of diseases and conditions.

Symptoms of Neuro-ophthalmic Conditions

Symptoms of neuro-ophthalmic conditions vary, depending on their exact cause and the specific nerves being affected. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Double vision: This symptom may indicate a neurological condition or a more common eye disorder, such as astigmatism.
  • Sudden vision loss: Whether full or partial, sudden vision loss should always be treated as a medical emergency.
  • Unequal pupils: This can sometimes be a sign of an extremely serious medical condition, so it is important to contact the doctor as soon as possible.
  • Nystagmus: While there is no cure for rapid uncontrolled eye movement, proper treatment can help minimize its effect on vision and quality of life.
  • Drooping of the eyelids: Ptosis is a common result of aging, but it can also result from neurological conditions such as Horner syndrome and cranial nerve palsy.
  • Bulging of the eye: If the white of the eye shows above the iris, this can indicate that the eyes are bulging, which is considered a serious medical condition.

Types of Neuro-ophthalmic Disorders

Our specialists can treat a variety of neuro-ophthalmology disorders, including:

  • Pseudotumor cerebri: Mimicking the symptoms of a brain tumor, this condition is actually caused by a buildup of pressure in the skull. It can result in blurred vision and double vision.
  • Myasthenia gravis: This condition is characterized by intermittent weakness of voluntary muscles. It can cause severe muscle weakness all over the body, especially affecting the eyelids.
  • Multiple sclerosis: MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system that causes a degeneration of myelin, the protective coating that surrounds the nerves. It can result in difficulties with mobility, overwhelming fatigue, and other symptoms. It can also affect the optic nerve, resulting in compromised vision, or loss of vision. MS can also result in compromised eye movement.
  • Giant cell arteritis: Inflammation of the arteries can lead to pain, inflammation, and loss of vision.
  • Ischemic optic neuropathy: Sometimes called "a stroke of the optic nerve," this condition can lead to sudden vision loss.
  • Optic neuritis: Inflammation of the optic nerve is often a result of MS, and it can lead to sudden, though reversible, vision loss.
  • Cranial nerve palsy: The third, fourth and sixth cranial nerves, which emanate from the brain stem, help control eye movement. Malfunction of these nerves can result in limited eye movement and drooping eyelids.
  • Toxic optic neuropathy: Certain poisonous substances, medical overdoses, or nutritional deficits can lead to progressive vision degeneration.
  • Horner syndrome: When the sympathetic nerves of the head and neck are disrupted, patients may suffer from ptosis, small pupil, and reduced sweating of the face.
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