Types and symptoms of optic nerve atrophy

Optic nerve is a channel consisting of million nerve fibers on which the image, falling on the optical analyzer, in form of electronic pulses is transmitted to the brain, where the image is formed. If in case of some diseases is disrupted supply of the optic nerve, its fibers are gradually broken down and replaced by connective tissue; as a result signals couldn’t be normally transmitted from retina to the brain. Depending on the severity of pathological process, this disease can be complete or incomplete. In case of incomplete atrophy may appear blind areas, which a person sees as dark spots. Sometimes there is a situation when a person is constantly turning his gaze to find the right angle of the image. Eye movement may be accompanied by pain, sometimes are noted headaches. If dark spots a person sees directly in front of him, nerve atrophy occurred in the central section of the retina or near it. If there is a narrowing of the field of view at the edges of the visible area, is diagnosed peripheral vision lowering – it means atrophy of peripheral nerve fibers. In severe cases is observed the development of "tunnel vision" when the visible area is significantly narrowed and a person sees as if through a thin tube. In addition to changing of the visual fields, this disease can lead to changes in color transfer.

Atrophy may affect one or both eyes. Depending on this, it is distinguished between unilateral and bilateral optic nerve atrophy.

Depending on the pathological effects, its direction and duration, optic nerve atrophy may develop within a few days or increase gradually over several months or years. Upon termination of the pathological effects may be observed stop of further visual impairment and stabilization of vision at a certain level. In this case is diagnosed stationary atrophy of the optic nerve.