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Optic Neuropathy

Information You Want to Know
About Optic Neuropathy

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What is Optic Neuropathy?

Optic Neuropathy is a condition that results from any damage that occurs to the optic nerve. This damage can lead to loss of vision, inability to distinguish colors, and/or blindness.

Lebers Optic Neuropathy - a hereditary disease

Types of Optic Neuropathy

Toxic optic neuropathy is caused by consumption of methyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol can cause the onset of optic neuropathy in less than 48 hours. Methyl alcohol used as an antifreeze and solvent and fuel and as a denaturant for ethyl alcohol

Glaucoma is another form of optic neuropathy. Glaucoma leads to blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Elevated pressure in the eye is a risk factor, but even people with normal pressure can lose vision to glaucoma.

Ischemic optic neuropathy is caused by a blockage in the blood supply to the optic nerve. Loss of vision may be rapid(in minutes) or make occur over several days. Vision may be affected in one or both eyes. Vision impairment can range from a small amount to complete blindness.

Blunt force trauma to the head can also be a cause of optic neuropathy and it may lead to blindness.

If you are dealing with a disease like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, you have a higher risk of having some form of optic neuropathy. If you have loved ones in your family who have had a history of optic neuropathy, you may be at an even higher risk for developing optic neuropathy. As always, consult with your physician about any concerns you may have regarding your family's medical history. Regular visits to the eye doctor are essential as he can easily keep track of the pressure in your eye.