Neuro-ophthalmology is a type of super-specialty which involves the field of neurology and ophthalmology together. Neurophthalmologist is responsible for the diagnosis and management of complex systemic disease of the nervous system which affects vision, eye movement, and alignment as well as papillary reflexes.
Symptoms of Neuro-Opthalmology Disorders -
- A sudden diminishing of sight and in worse cases, even total loss of sight
- A sudden eye stroke or blackout (loss of vision called transient ischemic attack)
- Visual hallucinations, where patients see things, shapes, or silhouettes where there are none
- Diplopia (Double vision)
- Intractable headaches without any seeming cause or plausible reason
- Abnormalities of the pupil (slow reaction, the difference in the size of the pupils)
- Difficulties in identifying colors or differentiating between them
- Intolerance to bright light often causes momentary blindness or headaches
Types of Neurophthalm disorders :
- Optic Neuritis: This is a condition that involves inflammation of the optic nerve. An inflammation could occur due to various reasons – starting from an infection to an autoimmune disorder.
- Papilloedema: In this case, the optic disc (the circular area where the optic nerve connects to the retina, at the back of the eye) swells up due to excessive pressure from inside the skull may be due to a tumor for instance.
- Nutritional Optic Neuropathy: Here the damage to the optic nerve is caused by certain toxic substances found in tobacco & alcohol. This could also occur due to lack of nutrients and deficiency of vitamin B-complex and folic acid.
- Diabetic Neuropathy: In this, the optic nerve is damaged due to excessive blood sugar or diabetes. As the disease progresses, the blood supply to the retina gets cut off, leading to vision loss.
Diagnostic test for Neurophthalm disorders :
- Diplopia charting
- Neurological visual field screening
- OCT of the optic nerve
- Evaluation of color vision & contrast sensitivity
- Evaluation of ocular movement
- Orthoptic evaluation
- VEP / ERG
- CT Scan / MRI / MR venogram
- Lumbar Puncture