Optic Neuropathy Specialist

IC Laser Eye Care

Ophthalmology & Eye Surgery Center located in Philadelphia, PA, Bensalem, PA, & Hamilton, NJ

If you suffer from optic neuropathy, your optic nerve is damaged. Ischemic optic neuropathy is often related to chronic diseases including diabetes and hypertension. A similar condition, optic neuritis, often occurs in people with multiple sclerosis. If you’re suffering from optic neuropathy or other conditions that damage your vision, you can trust the team of specialists at IC Laser Eye Care for personalized attention and expert care. There are three convenient locations in Bensalem and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, New Jersey, so call your nearest office.

Optic Neuropathy Q&A

What is optic neuropathy?

Optic neuropathy is optic nerve damage. Your optic nerve relays impulses from your retina to your brain so your brain can translate them to images. A damaged optic nerve can lead to serious vision problems, such as:

  • Sudden vision loss
  • Cloudy vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of side (peripheral) vision
  • Poor color vision
  • Fluctuating vision

There are many causes of optic neuropathy, including systemic disease, blood flow problems, stroke, genetics, environmental toxins, some medications, eye trauma, and optic neuritis. The condition is usually classified based on what causes it and/or where it occurs within the eye.

What is optic neuritis?

Optic neuritis is one cause of optic neuropathy. This condition is related to inflammation and is fairly common among those who have multiple sclerosis. When you have multiple sclerosis, your immune system attacks the myelin, the sheath that protects your nerves. Your myelin responds by swelling significantly, and this is what leads to optic nerve damage. 

Eye symptoms caused by optic neuritis are frequently the first warning sign of multiple sclerosis in undiagnosed patients. Optic neuritis is the most frequently occurring acute optic nerve disorder among patients ages 15-45. 

How do you diagnose optic neuropathy?

The IC Laser Eye Care team performs a comprehensive eye exam. This includes a medical history review, symptom evaluation, and specific tests to check eye health and vision. 

To diagnose optic neuropathy, your provider dilates your eyes. This opens your pupil wide enough to let them see the back of your eye, including the retina and optic nerve. 

You may also need advanced imaging tests, including eye angiography, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and B-scan ultrasonography to diagnose optic neuropathy. 

If you have optic neuritis and haven’t been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you may need magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI can be a strong predictor of multiple sclerosis in this situation.

What is the best treatment approach for optic neuropathy?

Because optic neuropathy is often related to underlying health problems, such as multiple sclerosis, hypertension, or diabetes, tight management of the condition causing it is important. The IC Laser Eye Care team can work with other medical specialists to help you manage optic neuropathy where necessary.

The IC Laser Eye Care team can help you slow down the progression of optic neuropathy. But you can’t undo damage, so it’s important to get diagnosis and care as soon as you suspect a problem. Call the location nearest you.