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Doctor insights on: What Does It Mean When Optic Atrophy

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Moderate Glaucoma with low eye pressure but last exam Dr. says I have optic atrophy. What does this mean?

Moderate Glaucoma with low eye pressure but last exam Dr. says I have optic atrophy. What does this mean?

See a specialist: It is very common for people to be misdiagnosed with "Low Tension Glaucoma" or "Normal Tension Glaucoma." If you have optic atrophy, this means it is probably not glaucoma, and you need to see a specialist, such as a neuro-ophthalmologist, to check for other causes. This will likely include getting an MRI to check for a brain or optic nerve tumor. ...Read more

Atrophy (Definition)

Atrophy usually refers to the skin-as you get older or if you have had alot of sun in the past-the dermis (that is the layer below the top layer which is called the epidermis) gets thinner and the skin looks more wrinked. Muscles and fat can also get thinner -this is another form of atrophy. Even the top layer gets thinner ...Read more


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Right eye open angle glaucoma with moderate field damage and optic atrophy. Does optic atrophy mean end stage glaucoma?

Right eye open angle glaucoma with moderate field damage and optic atrophy. Does optic atrophy mean end stage glaucoma?

No: Glaucoma is staged by the visual field test. Visual loss that approaches the center of the vision or extensive visual field loss overall makes it advanced. End-stage glaucoma has no useful vision. The optic nerve changes usually precede the visual field changes. ...Read more

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Syndrome of optic atrophy?

Syndrome of optic atrophy?

Optic nerve damage: Optic atrophy refers to changes in the appearance of the optic nerve. The optic disc (where the optic nerve enters the eye) appears pale or whitish vs. The normal pink color. The presence of optic atrophy means there is damage to the optic nerve. This can occur with many different diseases (except glaucoma). The degree of visual loss depends on the severity of the optic nerve damage. ...Read more

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What caused my optic atrophy?

What caused my optic atrophy?

Birth defect. MS: Optic atrophy occurs whenever the nerve or blood supply to the main optic nerve is disrupted. This can be present at birth, is associated with some inherited diseases and can occurs in adults after trauma, blood vessel dysfunction, multiple sclerosis and occasionally with no identifiable cause. See your neuro-ophthalmolgist to sort this out. ...Read more

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What is the effect of optic atrophy?

OPTIC ATROPHY: Dominant optic atrophy: most patients have no associated neurologic abnormalities, although nystagmus and hearing loss have been reported. The only symptom is slowly progressive bilateral vision loss, usually mild until late in life there are multiple types and etiologies of optic nerve atrophy. ...Read more

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How is optic atrophy type 1 inherited?

How is optic atrophy type 1 inherited?

Autosomal dominant: Optic atrophy type 1 (opa1, or kjer type optic atrophy) causes a slow loss of vision in both eyes beginning in early childhood which varies but is usually moderate, so that it seldom causes total blindness. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant way, so usually either one or the other parent of the affected person also has the condition, though spontaneous mutation may also occur and cause it. ...Read more

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What are the common symptoms of optic atrophy?

Vision loss: Optic atrophy is the result of neuron cell death, with resultant loss of vision. The more loss of neurons, the more vision loss. Optic atrophy is a clinical sign, not a diagnosis, as many optic nerve diseases may lead to neuronal degeneration (atrophy) and vision loss. ...Read more

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Any treatment on optic atrophy?

Sometimes: Optic atrophy associated with multiple sclerosis, thyroid compression and cerebral spinal fluid elevation can respond to proper therapy. Most others might improve spontaneously but do not respond to treatment. ...Read more

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What is the treatment for optic atrophy?

Mostly no: Most forms of optic atrophy cannot be treated. If associated with multiple sclerosis, steroid infusions can help. If caused by thyroid nerve compression, then treatment of the orbital compression can reverse the atrophy. Sometimes it occurs in associated with long standing elevation of spinal fluid pressure and will improve if the pressure is relieved. A neuro-ophthalmologist can advise you. ...Read more

Dr. Daniel Schainholz
54 doctors shared insights

Optic Atrophy (Definition)

Optic atrophy is an eye condition in which the main nerve that transmits the information the eye receives undergoes damage and shrinkage. Symptoms include dimming of vision and a ...Read more