Diseases caused by Optical nerves
Damage to the optic nerve typically causes permanent and potentially severe loss of vision, as well as an abnormal pupillary reflex, which is diagnostically important. The type of visual field loss will depend on which portions of the optic nerve were damaged. Generally speaking:
Damage before the optic chiasm causes loss of vision in the visual field of the same side only. Damage in the chiasm causes loss of vision laterally in both visual fields (bitemporal hemianopia). It may occur in large pituitary adenomata. Damage after the chiasm causes loss of vision on one side but affecting both visual fields: the visual field affected is located on the opposite side of the lesion. Injury to the optic nerve can be the result of congenital or inheritable problems like Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, glaucoma, trauma, toxicity, inflammation, ischemia, infection (very rarely), or compression from tumors or aneurysms. By far, the three most common injuries to the optic nerve are from glaucoma, optic neuritis (especially in those younger than 50 years of age) and anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (usually in those older than 50).
Glaucoma is a group of diseases involving loss of retinal ganglion cells causing optic neuropathy in a pattern of peripheral vision loss, initially sparing central vision. Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve. It is associated with a number of diseases, most notably multiple sclerosis.
Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy is a particular type of infarct that affects patients with an anatomical predisposition and cardiovascular risk factors. Ophthalmologists, particularly those sub specialists who are neuro-ophthalmologists, are often best suited to diagnose and treat diseases of the optic nerve.
The International Foundation for Optic Nerve Diseases IFOND sponsors research and information on a variety of optic nerve disorders and may provide general direction.From the lateral geniculate body, fibers of the optic radiation pass to the visual cortex in the occipital lobe of the brain. More specifically, fibers carrying information from the contralateral superior visual field traverse Meyer’s loop to terminate in the lingual gyrus below the calcarine fissure in the occipital lobe, and fibers carrying information from the contralateral inferior visual field terminate more superiorly.