Conditions Treated by a Neuro-Ophthalmologist

The Inova neuro-ophthalmology specialist diagnoses and may treat the following conditions:

  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudo tumor cerebri) – A disorder related to high pressure in the brain that causes signs and symptoms of a brain tumor
  • Ischemic optic neuropathy – The damage of the optic nerve caused by .a blockage of its blood supply
  • Myasthenia gravis – A chronic disease due to a breakdown of communication between nerves and adjoining muscle fiber, causing weakness and rapid fatigue
  • Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) or Devic’s Disease – an immunological disorder often confused with MS with immune attacks on the optical nerves and spinal cord
  • Optic disc edema/papilledema – a condition in which increased pressure in or around the brain causes the part of the optic nerve inside the eye to swell
  • Optic Neuritis – A condition that affects the eye and vision when the optic nerve is inflamed
  • Pituitary tumor – A (usually) benign brain tumor that is presses against the optic nerves, causing vision problems
  • Thyroid eye disease – A condition in which the eye muscles, eyelids, tear glands and fatty tissues in the orbits become inflamed as triggered by thyroid disease

Although some problems seen by neuro-ophthalmologists are not worrisome, other conditions can worsen and cause permanent visual loss, or become life threatening.

Signs and Symptoms of a Neuro-Ophthalmological Condition


We evaluate patients presenting with the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal eye movements – A condition caused by weakness or paralysis of one or more muscles responsible for eye movements.
  • Double vision – The simultaneous perception of two images when one object is in sight.
  • Vision loss – Vision loss is also known as vision impairment. It is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses. Visual impairment is often defined as a best corrected visual acuity of worse than either 20/40 or 20/60.


After we conduct a patient evaluation, signs we may find in our patients include:

  • Homonymous hemianopia – A condition where only one side (right or left) of the visual field of each eye can be seen.
  • Nystagmus – A condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements.
  • Optic atrophy – A disorder characterized by loss of optic nerve fibers.
  • Pupil abnormalities – The pupil is abnormal if it fails to dilate to the dark or fails to constrict to light; there are many causes.
  • Strabismus – A crossed or wandering eye caused by abnormality of neuromuscular (including brain) control of eye movement.
  • Visual field defects – A blind area within the field of one or both eyes.