What is Neuro – Ophtalmology?
The neuro – ophtalmology is the science which concerns the joint diseases of the eye and the nervous system. The visual pathways connecting the optic nervous to the visual cortex (where the vision is realized) and diseases that occur at the cerebral cortex are the subjects of the neuro ophtalmology. Additionally, this field of science concerns the coherent movement of the eyes. Temporary visual loss or double vision, eye lid lowereness, variety of pupil sizes are all subjects of concern of neuro – ophtalmology.
What are the Problems that are Subjected to Neuro – Ophtalmology?
- Sudden visual loss,
- Progressive visual loss,
- Temporary visual loss,
- Color vision defects,
- Any unseen area within the visual field,
- Double vision,
- Thyroid – related visual diseases,
- Migrain and similar eye diseases,
- Size differences between the pupils,
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) – related eye complaints,
- Myasthenia gravis – related eye complaints,
- Seizure – related eye complaints,
- Facial paralysis and spasms in the face.
- Indıcations and Major Reasons
Temporary Visual Loss: The temporary visual losses like sight impairements in a single eye or both eye, blackouts or staggers that may continue for a few seconds or minutes can be the manifestation of temporary stenosis or obstruction of a vein connected to the eye or visual cortex of the brain. In such a case the patient must be immediately examined by an ophtalmologist and a cardiologist. This problem may arise from the problems that occur in the cardiac valve (for young patients) or in carotid artery or aort arteries (for older patients). If not treated properly, this problem may cause the complete obstruction of the vein and thus the complete visual loss. The temporary visual losses that begin with long photopsies, on the other hand, may be related to migrain.
Sudden visual loss: This problem may indicate stenosis or obstruction of a vein connected to the eye or the visual cortex of the brain. The patient must be examined by an ophtalmologist within a few hours. In certain cases, this problem can be related to the diseases that cause transmission defects not in veins but in eye nerves. Since the patient cannot know the reason of the disease, an urgent intervention of an ophtalmologist is needed when a sudden visual loss occurs whether on a single eye or the both of them.
Progressive visual loss: The progressive visual loss generally arises from intraocular reasons like cataract, glaucoma or macular degeneration. However, on rare occasions the progressive loss of the vision can arise from the reasons that compreeses the optic nerve in the brain and that may threat the life. The patient shall visit an ophtalmologists without negligence and try to find the reason .
Double vision: When an unbalanced functioning of the muscles (that drive the eyes)occur due to a problem on the nerves that drive these muscles or on the muscles itself, the eyes cannot align eachother and when both eyes transmit different messages to the brain a double vision occurs. An ophtalmologist must be visited as soon as possible to identify the reason. If the nervous problems are of cerebral origin, possible neurologic disease shall be investigated and then treated. If the problems are of vascular origin, the situation of the brain and the motives in the cardia must be analyzed and treated. The treatment shall be planned with a neurologist in cases where the disease is of muscular origin (which can affect the other muscles of the body) and in cases where the eye muscle problem develops in relation to hormonal diseases, the treatment shall be planned with an endocrine specialist.
Dilatation and lower eye lid: Dilatation or lower eye lid problem may occur in one eye or both of the eyes when an unbalanced functioning of the muscles (that drive the eyes)occur due to a problem on the nerves that drive these muscles or on the muscles itself. The dilatation most frequently occurs in goiter disease while the lower eye lid may arise from muscle disease or the vasodilatation in brain. Since the vasodilatation in brain is a life threating situation, the patients shall apply to a physician as soon as possible when one of the eye lids lowers and especially when the pupil of this eye enlarges.
Disequilibrium between Eye Pupils: The disequilibrium between the eye pupils is infact a natural situation. However when there is a large difference or when the difference increases in birghter or darker environments, this difference may indicate an important defect in neck or brain veins or an important lung disease. An immediate intervention of the ophtalmologist can safe the life.
Spasms in the face: The spams in the eye or in one part of the face can occur due to a former facial paralysis and as well as occasional compression of an thickened vein to the nervous in the brain. This disorder, which some times occur without any reason but which irritates the social life of the individual, is completely curable.
Accidents and impacts: The muscles or nerves of the eye lids, the eye muscles or nerves are all vulnerable. The early diagnosis and treatment of certain accidental damages and impacts that does not indicate any manifestations that the indivudual can notice, can only be held by the examination of an ophtalmologist.
As it can be inferred from all these informations a neuro – ophtalmologist or an eye neurology specialist becomes a guide or a traffic police while diagnosing a disease and even sometimes, a neuro – ophtalmologists plays the role of an external relations expert when identifying the relationship between the eye and the whole body. Most of the time, these roles are life or vision savers.