What is a neuro-ophthalmologist?
Neuro-ophthalmologist is a super specialty that integrates the fields of neurology and ophthalmology. Neuro-ophthalmologists are qualified for the diagnosis and control of several systemic diseases of the nervous system that affect vision, eye movements, and alignment, as well as pupillary reflexes.
Neuro-ophthalmologists receive specialized training and experience in eye, brain, nerve, and muscle problems. These physicians complete at least five years of clinical training after medical school and normally receive a board certificate in neurology, ophthalmology, or both.
Neuro-ophthalmologist has unique abilities to diagnose and treat a wide variety of problems in patients from a neurological, ophthalmological, and medical point of view. Expensive medical exams are often avoided by consulting a neuro-ophthalmologist.
What are the conditions treated by neuro-ophthalmologists?
Conditions that are treated by a neuro-ophthalmologist, which include:
- Blepharospasm: Unlimited blinking, squeezing, or closing of the eyes
- Brain tumors or strokes that affect vision
- Defects in the visual field
- Double vision
- Droopy eyelids
- Eyelid or facial spasms
- Headache and migraines
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- Involuntary eye movement, including nystagmus (also known as “dancing eyes”): Unusual condition in which the eyes move rapidly in a reversible pattern – sideways, up or down, or in a rotating pattern. This can significantly reduce vision, either temporarily or permanently. It can be inherited or caused by metabolic or neurological problems, including multiple sclerosis, and sometimes in people with an inner ear problem.
- Microcranial nerve palsy
- Myasthenia gravis
- Optic neuritis or neuropathy
- Pseudotumor cerebri
- Unequal pupils
- Unexplained vision loss
Neuro-ophthalmology testing starts with a careful review of the patient’s difficulties and related problems, followed by an evaluation of vision and eye movements, usually with visual acuity, color vision, and visual field tests. The eyes are examined under a microscope (slit lamp) with special attention to the optic nerve and the retina. In most cases, dilating drops are given to enhance the testing of these important structures. Eye movements are also evaluated, which may include the use of prismatic lenses and special graphics.
Also, the pressure and size of each eye can be examined. For unequal students, points can be assigned to identify the cause of the problem. Visual field testing is done using a machine that displays lights in different areas, but the patient presses a button to detect each light and assesses patterns of visual field damage leading to diagnosis. Lastly, neuro-ophthalmologists sit down with their patients to discuss their disease and possible treatments or management strategies.
Whats are the treatments done by neuro-ophthalmologists?
Treatment depends on the specific type of disorder being diagnosed but includes vision restoration therapy (VRT). VRT is a non-invasive treatment that helps repair vision loss as an outcome of a traumatic brain injury such as a stroke. Using a specially designed computer device, VRT promotes visual stimulation to increase visual activity in the brain. This has helped some patients to lose their vision.
After making an appointment, you should be ready to see a neuro-ophthalmologist. The test begins with a complete review of your problems. Your vision is then checked, which often includes visual acuity, visual field tests, and color vision. Eye movement is also assessed using prismatic lenses and graphics.
You can also go through a CT scan or MRI to check if the brain is damaged. Some common diseases and their treatments:
Optic neuritis: This is a condition of a sudden loss of vision, which can be due to information from the optic nerve. It is usually caused by an infection and is associated with multiple sclerosis. If you have optic neuritis, your neuro-ophthalmologist will use antibiotics and corticosteroids appropriately, which can help clear the infection and prevent further damage.
Papilloma: Characterized by inflammation of the optic nerve and can be easily detected by a doctor during an evaluation of the retina. It is usually due to increased pressure in the brain and may be due to a tumor or infection.
If it is due to stress, then medications are used to shrink the joint within the skull, but due to this ridiculous enlargement, you may need surgery.
Nutritional optic neuropathy: In this case, the toxins found in tobacco alcohol can damage the optic nerve. It is also caused by a lack of various nutrients and a deficiency of the vitamin B complex. Your neuro-ophthalmologist will prescribe vitamins and lifestyle changes.
Diabetic retinopathy: The cause of this disease is usually diabetes, and if diabetes is not diagnosed, it is advisable to control and treat diabetes before further damage to the blood vessels occurs.
What are the services given by neuro-ophthalmologists?
Your care begins with a detailed evaluation. Our neuro-ophthalmologist takes a close look at the interactions between the eyes and the brain, getting to the root of the problem. We recommend personalized treatments to restore vision. If other treatments are unsuccessful, we will not stop until you have the relief you need.
Your care may include:
- Special Exam – You have access to the latest imaging technologies, including ocular coherence tomography (OCT). This test uses light waves to examine the layer of tissue in the eye through layers. We are also one of the few multifocal electrocardiogram (ERG) programs offered locally to detect retinal problems.
- Medications: If you have symptoms due to an infection, you may feel better after taking antibiotics. If you experience inflammation, you may need a stronger dose of steroids.
- Surgery: If surgery is required, you have access to all available surgical treatments. Our neuro-ophthalmologist will perform some procedures. You may also receive care from other members of the Storm Eyes team, including specialists in reconstructive eye surgery.
- Low vision therapy: If other treatments don’t relieve symptoms, you have no choice. Our team includes optometrists and therapists who improve the rest of their sight for those with partial but permanent loss of vision (low vision).