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Ischemic optic neuropathy
songbird12345 posted:
Hi there. I'm posting on behalf of my boyfriend...he woke up Sunday half-blind in one eye and was diagnosed Monday as having ischemic optic neuropathy (he basically had a mini-stroke in his eye). He is going tomorrow to a different doctor for a 2nd opinion. My questions are, will his sight get better or worse and how long will it take? And what are the chances of it happening again in the same eye or the other eye? Thank you.
Alan M Kozarsky, MD responded:
Ischemic optic neuropathy is a circulation problem which deprives blood flow to the optic nerve of one eye causing loss of vision.

An important immediate issue is to find out whether there is a systemic (whole body) inflammation related to the circulation problem. The systemic problem that leads to ischemic optic neuropathy is call Temporal (Giant Cell) Arteritis and needs to be diagnosed immediately and treated with high dose steroid to prevent more circulation damage and possibly loss of vision in the other eye.

Thus, ischemic optic neuropathy is a diagnosis that prompts immediate testing for an underlying circulation problem.

As far as improvement is concerned, there may be some. Unfortunately, as part of the central nervous system, just like the brain and the spinal cord, the optic nerve has limited repair possibilities.

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