Atrophy of the optic nerve (partial and complete) -causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention

Атрофия зрительного нерва (оптическая нейропатия) –
partial or complete destruction of nerve fibers transmitting
visual stimulation from the retina to the brain. ATо время
atrophy nerve tissue is experiencing an acute nutritional deficiency
substances, because of which it ceases to perform its functions. If the process
lasts long enough, the neurons begin gradually
die. Over time, it affects an increasing number of
cells, and in severe cases – the entire nerve trunk. ATосстановить
функции глаза у таких пациентов будет практически is impossible.

What is the optic nerve?

Optic nerve refers to the cranial peripheral
nerves, but essentially it is not a peripheral nerve
origin, neither in structure nor in function. it белое вещество
large brain, pathways that connect and transmit
visual sensations from the retina to the cortex.

Optic nerve delivers nerve messages to
brain area responsible for processing and perception
light information. Is the most important part of everything.
процесса преобразования light information. His first and foremost
significant function is the delivery of visual messages from the retina
to the areas of the brain responsible for vision. Even the most
minor injuries to this area can have severe complications and

 Atrophy of the optic nerve according to ICD has the ICD code

The reasons

Развитие атрофии зрительного нерва вызывают различные
pathological processes in the optic nerve and
сетчатке (воспаление, дистрофия, отёк, нарушение
blood circulation, toxin action, compression and damage
optic nerve), diseases of the central nervous system, common
diseases of the body, hereditary causes.

There are the following types of the disease:

  • ATрожденную атрофию – проявляется при рождении или через
    a small amount of time after the birth of a child.
  • Acquired atrophy – is the result of diseases
    an adult.

The factors leading to optic nerve atrophy may
выступать заболевания глаза, поражения ЦНС, механические
damage, intoxication, general, infectious, autoimmune
diseases and others. Atrophy of the optic nerve results from
непроходимости центральной  и периферических артерии сетчатки,
питающих  зрительный нерв, а также она является основным
признаком глаукомы.

The main causes of atrophy are:

  • Heredity
  • ATрожденная патология
  • Eye diseases (retinal vascular diseases, and
    also optic nerve, various neuritis, glaucoma, pigment
    retinal dystrophy)
  • Intoxication (quinine, nicotine and other narcotic
  • Alcohol poisoning (more precisely, alcohol substitutes)
  • ATирусные инфекции (ОРЗ, грипп)
  • Pathology of the central nervous system (brain abscess,
    syphilitic lesion, meningitis, cranial trauma, diffuse
    sclerosis, tumor, syphilitic lesion, cranial trauma,
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertonic disease
  • ATнутриглазное давление
  • Profuse bleeding

Cause of Primary Descending Atrophy – Vascular Disorders

  • hypertension;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • spinal pathology.

К  вторичной атрофии приводят:

  • acute poisoning (including – alcohol substitutes,
    nicotine and quinine);
  • retinal inflammation;
  • malignant neoplasms;
  • traumatic injury.

Atrophy of the optic nerve can provoke inflammation or
dystrophy of the optic nerve, its compression or trauma leading to
nerve tissue damage.

ATиды заболевания

Atrophy of the optic nerve of the eye is:

  • Primary atrophy (ascending and descending), as a rule,
    развивается в виде самостоятельного diseases. Descending atrophy
    The optic nerve is diagnosed most often. This view
    atrophies are due to the fact that the nerves themselves are affected
    the fibers. It is transmitted by inheritance by recessive type.
    it заболевание сцеплено исключительно с Х-хромосомой, именно
    therefore, only men suffer from this pathology. It manifests itself in
    15-25 years.
  • ATторичная атрофия обычно развивается после протекания
    any disease, with the development of stagnation of the optic nerve or
    violation of his blood supply. This disease develops in
    any person and at absolutely any age.

Byмимо этого, классификация форм атрофии зрительного нерва также
includes such variants of this pathology:

Частичная атрофия зрительного нерва

A characteristic feature of the partial form of atrophy of the visual
nerve (or initial atrophy, as it is also defined) is
incomplete preservation of the visual function (proper vision), which
important with reduced visual acuity (in view of which the use of
lenses or glasses does not improve the quality of vision). Residual
although vision is subject to preservation, it is noted
violations of color perception. Persistent areas in sight
remain available.

Byлная атрофия

Any self-test is excluded – put точный diagnosis
can only specialists with proper equipment. it
It is also connected with the fact that the symptoms of atrophy have much in common with
amblyopia and cataracts.

In addition, atrophy of the optic nerve can manifest itself in
stationary form (that is, in complete form or not
progressive), indicating a stable state of topical
visual functions, as well as in the opposite, progressive
a form in which the quality of sharpness is inevitably reduced

Symptoms of atrophy

The main symptom of optic atrophy is not
amenable to correction using glasses and lenses reducing sharpness

  • With progressive atrophy, decreased visual function
    develops in terms from several days to several months and
    may end in total blindness.
  • AT случае частичной атрофии зрительного нерва
    pathological changes reach a certain point and further not
    develop, in connection with which the vision is lost partially.

При частичной атрофии процесс ухудшения зрения
останавливается на каком-то этапе, и зрение стабилизируется.
Thus, it is possible to distinguish progressive and atrophy

симптомы атрофии зрительного нерва на фото

Anxiety symptoms that may indicate that
развивается атрофия зрительного нерва служат:

  • narrowing and disappearance of visual fields (lateral vision);
  • appearance of “tunnel” vision associated with the disorder
    color sensitivity;
  • occurrence of livestock;
  • manifestation of afferent pupillary effect.

Symptoms may be unilateral (on one eye) and
multilateral (in both eyes at the same time).


The diagnosis of optic atrophy is very serious. At the slightest
sight reduction, you should immediately consult a doctor,
so as not to miss your chance for recovery. Without
лечения и при прогрессировании заболевания  зрение может
исчезнуть совсем, и восстановить его  уже будет
is impossible.

To prevent the occurrence of pathologies of the optic nerve
you need to carefully monitor their health, pass
regular examination by specialists (rheumatologist, endocrinologist,
neurologist, oculist). At the first sign of visual impairment should
Seek advice from an optometrist.


Atrophy of the optic nerve is quite a serious disease. AT
case of even the slightest reduction in vision is necessary to visit
ophthalmologist not to miss the precious time for treatment
diseases. Any self-test is excluded – put
точный diagnosis смогут только специалисты при наличии должного
equipment. it связано еще и с тем, что симптоматика атрофии
имеет много общего с amblyopia and cataracts.

Examination by an ophthalmologist should include:

  • checking visual acuity;
  • examination through the pupil (expand special drops) of all
  • spherical perimetry (precise definition of the field of view);
  • laser doppler sonography;
  • color perception evaluation;
  • craniography with a picture of the Turkish saddle;
  • computer perimetry (allows you to identify which part of the nerve
  • video phthalmography (allows you to identify the nature of the damage
    optic nerve);
  • computed tomography and magnetic nuclear resonance
    (specify the cause of the disease of the optic nerve).

Also, some information is achieved to compile
general picture of the disease through laboratory
research methods, such as blood tests (general and
biochemical), testing for borreliosis or syphilis.

Treatment of atrophy of the optic nerve of the eye

Treatment of optic atrophy is a very difficult task.
for doctors. You need to know that the destroyed nerve fibers
восстановить is impossible. On some kind of treatment effect you can
hope only when restoring the functioning of nerve fibers,
in the process of destruction, who still retained their
livelihoods. If this moment is missed, then the sight on the patient
eye can be lost forever.

When treating optic nerve atrophy, the following

  1. Biogenic stimulants are prescribed (vitreous body, extract
    aloe, etc.), amino acids (glutamic acid), immunostimulants
    (элеутерококк), витамины (AT1, AT2, AT6, аскорутин) для стимулирования
    recovery of altered tissue, as well as to improve exchange
    processes are assigned
  2. ATыписываются сосудорасширяющие средства (но-шпа, диабазол,
    papaverine, sermion, trental, zufillin) – to improve
    blood circulation in the vessels that feed the nerve
  3. To maintain the central nervous system are assigned
    fezam, emoxipin, nootropil, cavinton
  4. To accelerate the resorption of pathological processes –
    pyrogenal, preductal
  5. Prescribed hormonal drugs for stopping.
    inflammatory process – dexamethasone, prednisone.

Drugs are taken only on prescription and after
установления точного diagnosisа. Only a specialist can pick up
optimal treatment with concomitant diseases.

Patients who have completely lost their sight or who have lost it in
Significantly, an appropriate rehabilitation course is assigned.
It is focused on compensating and opportunities
eliminate all the limitations that arise in life
after suffering atrophy of the optic nerve.

The main physiotherapeutic methods of therapy:

  • color stimulation;
  • light stimulation;
  • electrostimulation;
  • magnetostimulation.

To achieve the best result, magnetic
 laser stimulation of the optic nerve, ultrasound, electrophoresis,
oxygen therapy.

The earlier treatment is started, the more favorable the prognosis.
diseases. Nervous tissue is almost impossible to recover,
therefore, the disease cannot be started, it must be treated in a timely manner.

AT некоторых случаях при атрофии зрительного нерва операция и
surgery may also be relevant. By
the results of the research, the fibers of the visual are not always
dead, some may be in a parabiotic state and
can come back to life with the help of a professional with
great experience.

Прогноз атрофии зрительного нерва всегда серьезный. AT ряде
случаев можно рассчитывать на сохранение view. When developed
Atrophy prognosis is unfavorable. Treatment of patients with atrophy
optic nerves that have acuity for several years
The view was less than 0.01, ineffective.


Atrophy of the optic nerve is a serious disease. For his
Prevention needs to follow some rules:

  • Consultation with a specialist with the slightest doubts about the severity
    the patient’s vision;
  • Warning of various types of intoxication
  • timely treat infectious diseases;
  • do not abuse alcohol;
  • monitor blood pressure;
  • prevent eye and head injuries;
  • repeated blood transfusion with profuse bleeding.

Timely diagnosis and treatment can restore the condition
in some cases, as well as slow down or stop
progression of atrophy in others.

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