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Optic Nerve Related Questions

What is an optic nerve? What does damage to this nerve mean for you? The optic nerve is vital to your eyes and keeping it healthy is a must. When infection or damage occurs, consult with an Expert for accurate and timely information. Read below for additional questions verified medical Experts have answered.

What is an optic nerve?


The optic nerve, or cranial nerve II, is a paired nerve that sends visual data from the eye’s retina to the brain. The type of data that is send includes:

  • brightness perception
  • red-green color perception
  • contrast
  • visual fields

What conditions cause damage to the optic nerve?


Optic nerve injury can be a result of congenital or inheritable issues which include Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, glaucoma, ischemia, toxicity, trauma, compression, or rarely infection. Optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve is often associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Optic nerve hypoplasia occurs when the optic nerve is underdeveloped. Different optic nerve issues often are dependent on other conditions.

What is the status on optic nerve regeneration?


Currently there is no way that vision can be restored when the optic nerve is damaged or dead. Even the newer retinal implants would not work if either should occur. There are many research projects that are focused on optic nerve protection and a few that are being performed on restoring function in partially damaged nerves; however, the result of regeneration just aren’t there.

Does optic neuritis lead to thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer in the temporal quadrant of the eye?

Loss of retinal nerve fiber layer is expected in the area of optic nerve tissue loss if there is damage to the optic nerve that causes loss of optic nerve tissue. In some cases, there may not be any loss of visual function especially if extensive testing has been performed that returns results of vision that is functioning normally in all respects.

Would haziness in the peripheral vision warrant an eye exam?


This can be caused from a variety of conditions. When peripheral vision is decreased as a result of reduced blood flow to the optic nerve or retina or retinal detachment then an ophthalmologist should perform an exam. Most conditions are diagnosed following a complete eye exam.

What causes eye pressure of 22 in the left eye and 29 in the right eye?


Elevated eye pressure is ocular hypertension. High pressure can damage the optic nerve and result in decreased peripheral vision. The eye pressure readings will depend on the ophthalmologist’s examination and what risk factors were found. If a patient was taking steroids it can lead to a raised intraocular pressure that can lead to glaucoma. Even after discontinuation of steroids the pressure readings can remain elevated for some time.

What is recommended when a person’s eye exam is not normal and glaucoma might be associated?


In an eye exam the optic nerve will be checked. If it is not normal then glaucoma is often suspected. This is based also on eye pressure. Everyone’s optic nerve pressure level to which will cause glaucoma to present is different so pressure levels alone cannot dictate.

A doctor will determine if glaucoma is getting worse based on how the optic nerve looks during regular scheduled tests and on the individual’s eye pressure. When a patient has glaucoma and the eye pressure is steady but glaucoma testing points to more damage, then likely the pressure is not low enough and treatment options would be discussed.

The optic nerve is important to vision. You may find you have questions even after visiting with an eye doctor that involves this nerve. Verified ophthalmic Experts can help answer questions about complications, treatments, or prognosis. Contact verified Experts now to get all your questions answered.

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