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Traumatic Optic Neuropathy

What is Traumatic Optic Neuropathy?

Traumatic optic neuropathy is a condition in which injury to the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain, results in partial or complete vision loss.

Optic nerve injuries are divided into two categories:

  • Direct – open injuries caused by external objects penetrating tissue
  • Indirect – injuries caused by the transmission of forces to the skull

Symptoms of Traumatic Optic Neuropathy

Symptoms of traumatic optic neuropathy may include:

  • Partial or complete vision loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased color vision
  • Afferent pupillary defect (abnormal response by a pupil when exposed to light)

Contact a medical professional if you are having any symptoms.

Treatments for Traumatic Optic Neuropathy

Treatment for traumatic optic neuropathy may include corticosteroids, surgical decompression of the optic nerve, or a combination of both.

Additional Information

How common is traumatic optic neuropathy?

Traumatic optic neuropathy is not common. Rates depend on the occurrence of causative events, such as nonfatal motor vehicle accidents and assaults.

Who gets traumatic optic neuropathy?

Anyone can get traumatic optic neuropathy, but studies show that the majority of people with this condition are men.

Causes of optic nerve injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Falls
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Assaults

How is traumatic optic neuropathy diagnosed?

The following may be used to diagnose traumatic optic neuropathy:

  • Eye examination
  • Medical history
  • Imaging tests, such as an MRI or a CT scan

Additional Resources

Medscape | Traumatic Optic Neuropathy

Request an Appointment with a Traumatic Optic Neuropathy Specialist