NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY deals with problems that involve the eye and brain (e.g. the phakomatoses). Neuro-ophthalmologists are either eye doctors (ophthalmologists, like Dr. Ing) or brain doctors (neurologists), that have taken extra training in the subspeciality of neuro-ophthalmology. Neuro-ophthalmic problems are usually quite complex, and it is difficult to discuss them in adequate detail using this limited amount of space, and without the reader having a medical background.
The most common neuro-ophthalmic problems include cranial nerve palsies, visual field defects, pupil problems, optic nerve disorders, Bells palsy, blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm.
Neuro-ophthalmic problems are complex, and it is often difficult to restore vision after stroke or trauma. In such instances use resources such as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) while awaiting recovery.
In patients with peripheral vision loss after brain injury (hemianopsia or hemianopia), it may be very difficult to restore the side vision. There are some “vision restitution” programs available (e.g. NovaVision, VisioCoach), but substantial recovery of peripheral vision is usually limited, and the programs can be expensive. “Adaptive” eye movements in to the blind field of vision, or improved motion perception are more likely to occur, than actual return of the lost visual field.
To increase peripheral awareness after hemianopsia, Dr. Ing has a free, but unvalidated EBI (Emend Brain Injury) slide program for patients to use at home.
Some patients with hemianopsia benefit from prisms. (e.g. Gottlieb or Peli.) A free website to help hemianopics to read is at http://www.readright.ucl.ac.uk/
For hemianopsia references click to the left of the Neuro-ophthalmology button, on the Visual Field section
The topics below are accessed by clicking the text, or in the drop-down menu of the “Neuro-ophthalmology” button.
Visual field problems
OPTIC NERVE PROBLEMS