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Neuro-Ophthalmology


What is Neuro-Ophthalmology?

Neuro ophthalmology deals with visual problems, which are due to disorders of the brain. The eye is not an isolated organ acting independently. It is an extension of the brain and it sends visual impulses into the brain and lets the brain recognize the images seen by the eye. Thus some disorders of the brain can involve the visual nerve fibers in its substance and cause visual disturbances.

PLEASE NOTE: All ophthalmologists have training in neuro-ophthalmology. However, some conditions require the care of a fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmologist. Our doctors are NOT fellowship trained in neuro-ophthalmology. There are only 2 neuro-ophthalmologists in the city of San Antonio. They are John Carter, M.D. and Martha Schatz, M.D. They both practice at the UT Health Science Center, Phone: (210) 592-0400). Another option is Rosa Tang, M.D. in Houston, (713) 942-2187. If you have already been diagnosed with a neuro-ophthalmic condition that requires the care of a neuro-ophthalmologist, please contact Dr. Carter, Dr. Schatz, or Dr. Tang

 

neuro-ophthalmology

 

Neuro-ophthalmic conditions can be very complex and may require the treatment of multiple specialist including neuro-ophthalmologists, neurologists, radiologists, oculo-plastic surgeons, endocrinologists, and neurosurgeons. If we determine that you have a neuro-ophthalmic condition, we will refer you to a fellowship-trainined neuro-ophthalmologist. 

 

When the brain and nervous system is involved, what kind of visual or ocular symptoms can develop?

  • Decrease in central vision
  • Abnormalities of the visual field (peripheral/side vision)
  • Double vision (seeing double due to misalignment of the eye with abnormal eye movements)
  • Pupillary abnormalities
  • Abnormal drooping of the eyelids
  • Severe headache, which may or may not be associated intermittent blurring of vision and vomiting


What are some of the most common neuro-ophthalmological diseases?

  • Optic nerve disorders, such as optic neuritis 
  • Ischemic optic neuropathy, compressive optic neuropathies, Leber’s optic neuropathy
  • Visual field defects related to stroke or multiple sclerosis
  • Double vision from ocular motor nerve palsies
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Thyroid eye disease
  • Orbital tumors
  • Blepharospasm and other involuntary facial movements
  • Pupillary abnormalities (e.g., anisocoria or uneven pupils)