Optic atrophy; Optic neuropathy
Optic nerve atrophy is damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries images of what we see from the eye to the brain.
There are many unrelated causes of optic atrophy. The most common cause is poor blood flow, called ischemic optic neuropathy, which most often affects elderly people. The optic nerve can also be damaged by shock, various toxic substances, radiation, and trauma.
Various eye diseases, most commonly glaucoma, can also cause a form of optic nerve atrophy. In addition, the condition can be caused by diseases of the brain and central nervous system, such as:
There are also several rare forms of hereditary optic nerve atrophy that affect children and young adults.
Balcer LJ, Brasad S. Abnormalities of the optic nerve and retina. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann;2008:chap 15.
Arnold AC. Ischemic optic neuropathies. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 9.7.
Wax M, Clark A, Civan MM. Mechanisms of glaucoma. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 10.3.
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