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  • 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

    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

    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.

    Information and Resources about Traumatic Optic Neuropathy

    Medscape | Traumatic Optic Neuropathy

    Request an Appointment with a Traumatic Optic Neuropathy Specialist

    Call (602) 406-6262

    • Date of last review: January 6, 2020

    About Barrow Neurological Institute
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