What is Neuro-Ophthalmology?
A sub-specialty of general ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology deals with problems relating to the central nervous system, blood vessels, and the many systemic diseases that affect the eye secondarily. These diseases include strokes, thyroid eye disease, orbital tumors, brain tumors, diseases of the blood vessels and heart, multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, as well as diseases of the muscles such as myasthenia. Because of this, the neuro-ophthalmologist works closely with physicians and health care professionals in many other fields.
Symptoms That Require a Neuro-Ophthalmologist
Common symptoms for which a patient is sent to a neuro-ophthalmologist include double vision, drooping eyelids, eye pain, loss of vision, and loss of visual field and peripheral vision.
The Neuro-Ophthalmologic Exam
Because of the complexity of neuro-ophthalmologic problems and the relationship to other aspects of the body, the neuro-ophthalmologic examination needs to be in-depth and usually takes significantly longer than a routine eye examination. Frequently, additional tests need to be performed such as visual field testing, head scans such as an MRI or a CAT scan, or other tests of the heart, blood vessels, and retina.