Neuro-Visual Disorders: Types, Symptoms, And Treatments

Neuro-visual disorders are those that affect the nerves of the eyes and those surrounding the eyes. While your opthalmologist can perform a comprehensive examination to help rule out or confirm certain neuro-visual disorders, you may need to visit a neurology specialist, known as a neurologist, for further diagnostic testing and treatment. Here are some types of neuro-visual disorders, their signs and symptoms, and some effective treatment options. 

Optic Neuritis

Optic neuritis is a type of optic neuropathy. It can be the result of certain infections and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis. The main symptoms of optic neuritis are eye pain and problems with vision, including blurred and double vision. Optic neuritis refers to the inflammation of the optic nerve, one of the cranial nerves.

After a comprehensive eye examination by your eye doctor has been performed, your neurology specialist may need to order an MRI, also known as magnetic resonance imaging, to further assess your symptoms.

Once optic neuritis has been diagnosed, your neurologist may prescribe oral corticosteroids to help dampen optic nerve inflammation and restore your vision. Most people who have optic neuritis make a complete recovery after about a year, however, it may take longer for this disorder to completely resolve.

It is important to note that optic neuritis is strongly associated with the future development of multiple sclerosis. Because of this, you will need to see your primary care doctor and your neurology specialist regularly so that multiple sclerosis can be diagnosed early on its progression, should it develop.

Temporal Arteritis

Giant cell arteritis, also known as temporal arteritis, refers to the inflammation of certain large head and neck arteries. The main symptom of temporal arteritis is unilateral visual disturbances. Other symptoms may include coughing, headache, neck and jaw pain, fever, and numbness and tingling sensations in the arms resulting from poor circulation.

Diagnostic imaging tests such as MRI and ultrasound can help your neurologist rule out temporal arteritis. However, if these tests are inconclusive, an arterial biopsy may be recommended. Glucocorticoid steroids are often prescribed to people with temporal arteritis to help suppress arterial inflammation, enhance circulation to the optic nerve, and help restore vision.

If you develop any of the above symptoms of a neuro-vascular disorder, make an appointment with your physician. After taking a complete medical history from you and performing a comprehensive physical examination, they will determine if you should be referred to an opthalmologist, a neurologist, or both, for further testing and necessary treatment. Contact a facility like North Texas Neuroscience Center PA for more information.