Optic nerve disorders
Optic neuritis and optic neuropathy
Duke’s neuro-ophthalmologists are sub-specialists who conduct extensive evaluations to identify the cause of visual complaints including, unexplained visual loss, blurred vision and blind spots that may be related to optic nerve damage (optic neuropathy). Uncovering the underlying cause of your optic nerve disorder is our goal.
Extensive and thorough optic nerve evaluation
You may be sent for a consultation with a neuro-ophthalmologist if your doctor suspects your optic nerve – the cable that connects your eyeball to your brain – is not functioning properly. An extensive neuro-ophthalmologic examination uses sophisticated imaging and advanced diagnostic tools to evaluate the eyes and brain. This helps us uncover whether you have an optic neuropathy, and whether it is caused by an inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis), poor blood flow, poor nutrition, a compression on the nerve (caused by a brain tumor or aneurysm), genetic disorders or cancer.
Choose Duke for your neuro-ophthalmologic evaluation because we offer:
- Top ranked care. The Duke Eye Center is consistently ranked among the top ten eye centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and Ophthalmology Times.
- Team approach. We work closely with neurologists, neurosurgeons, and other specialists throughout Duke to ensure you receive the best possible care for your individual condition.
- Latest imaging devices. We use the most sophisticated imaging to perform important tests that help us diagnose the cause of your vision symptoms. Our high-tech imaging devices allow us to see the outer edges of the eye, a significant advance that better guides the treatment decisions recommended to you by your medical team.
- Advanced sub-specialists. As neuro-ophthalmologists, we undergo advanced ophthalmology training by completing a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology. This allows us to focus our understanding and efforts on how the brain and the nervous system affect the visual system.
- National leaders in neuro-ophthalmology. Our neuro-ophthalmologists lecture and train on the latest advances in eye care around the world, and publish research in our specialized field.
- Comprehensive support. Our clinical social worker is available to help you cope with the emotional and psychological stress of vision loss, as well as other medical or environmental concerns.
OPTIC NERVE DISORDERS
We conduct an extensive and thorough evaluation that may take up to three to four hours to complete. The evaluation is tailored to your specific visual symptoms. Your evaluation will include a complete medical history, an examination of your eye structure, inspection of your retina and optic nerve, and several imaging scans. The following tests may be conducted:
Measures the accuracy of your vision by determining the smallest letters you can see on a chart.
A lighted instrument with a special lens provides your doctor with a 3-D view of the inside or your eye. Careful ophthalmoscopy is the most important way to detect inflammation and damage to the optic nerve.
OCT is a computer-guided imaging device that creates a 3-D image map of the optic nerve, and the macula of the retina. It detects small defects that may be difficult to obtain during a visual field test.
Measures your peripheral or side visual field in each eye. During the test, you look straight ahead while lights flash at various levels of brightness in your side vision. The test allows doctors to detect defects in your visual field.
Dye is injected into your arm to identify constricted or blocked blood vessels. Magnified devices capture images that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Uses ultrasound to evaluate blood flow through the vessels around the eye to determine if there are any restrictions.
May be scheduled if needed to identify if there are structural causes, such as tumors, that may be responsible for your visual symptoms. We use the latest MRI technology to ensure superior imaging, and CT to produce superior results with less exposure to radiation.