Rapid decline in vision may indicate a variety of eye diseases. But rarely anyone thinks that it can be caused by such a dangerous disease as atrophy of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is an important component in the perception of light information. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider this disease in more detail, so that it is possible to identify the symptoms in the early stages.
- 1What it is?
What it is?
The optic nerve is the nerve fibers responsible for the processing and transmission of light information.The main function of the optic nerve is the delivery of nerve impulses to the brain region.
The optic nerve is attached to the ganglionic retina neurocytes, which constitute the optic disc. Light rays, transformed into a nerve impulse, are transmitted along the optic nerve from retinal cells to chiasm (a segment where the optic nerves of both eyes intersect).
Its integrity ensures high visual acuity.
Atrophy of the optic nerveIs a disease of the eye, in which the optic nerve degeneration occurs with a subsequent decrease in vision. In this disease, the optic nerve fibers completely or partially die and are replaced by a connective tissue. As a result, the light rays incident on the retina of the eye are converted into an electrical signal with distortions, because of which the field of vision narrows and its quality decreases.
Depending on the degree of damage, the atrophy of the optic nerve is partial or complete. Partial atrophy of the optic nerve differs from a complete less pronounced manifestation of the disease and preservation of vision at a certain level.
Correction of vision with traditional methods (glasses, contact lenses) for this disease is absolutely are ineffective, since they are aimed at correcting the refraction of the eye and the optic nerve have no relations.
Atrophy of the optic nerve is not an independent disease, but is a consequence of some pathological process in the patient's body.
The main causes of the disease include:
- Eye diseases(diseases of the retina, eyeball, eye structures).
- Pathologies of the central nervous system(brain damage with syphilis, brain abscess, skull trauma, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, encephalitis, meningitis, arachnoiditis).
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system(atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels, arterial hypertension, vasospasm).
- Prolonged toxic effects of alcohol, nicotine and narcotic drugs.Alcohol poisoning with methyl alcohol.
- Hereditary factor.
Atrophy of the optic nerve is congenital or acquired.
Congenital atrophy of the optic nerve arises from genetic diseases (in most cases, Leber's disease). In this case, the patient has a poor quality of vision since birth.
Acquired atrophy of the optic nerve appears due to certain diseases at an older age.
The main symptoms of partial vision atrophy may be:
- The deterioration in the quality of sight and the inability to correct it with traditional methods of correction.
- Soreness when moving with the eyeballs.
- Change the perception of colors.
- Narrowing of the fields of vision(up to the manifestation of the tunnel syndrome, in which the ability to peripheral vision is completely lost).
- The appearance of blind areas in the field of view (scotoma).
Usually the diagnosis of this disease does not cause special difficulties. As a rule, the patient notices a significant decrease in vision and turns to an ophthalmologist who establishes the correct diagnosis.It is very important to identify the cause of the disease.
To identify atrophy of the optic nerve, the patient undergoes a complex of diagnostic methods:
- Visometry(study of visual acuity).
- Spheroperimetry(definition of fields of vision).
- Ophthalmoscopy(detection of blanching of the optic nerve disk and narrowing of the vessels of the fundus).
- Tonometry(measurement of intraocular pressure).
- Video-ophthalmography(study of the relief of the optic nerve).
- Computer Perimetry(investigation of affected nerve zones).
- Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging(study of the brain to identify possible causes that caused optic atrophy).
In addition to ophthalmic examination, a patient may be assigned to a neurologist or neurosurgeon. This is necessary for the reason that the symptoms of atrophy of the optic nerve may be the symptoms of a beginning intracranial pathological process.
Treatment of atrophy of the optic nerve is quite complicated.The destroyed nerve fibers can not be restored, therefore, first of all, it is necessary to stop the process of changes in the tissues of the optic nerve. Since the nerve tissue of the optic nerve can not be restored, it is impossible to raise the visual acuity to the previous level. However, the disease must necessarily be treated, in order to avoid its progression and the appearance of blindness.The prognosis of the disease depends on the term of the beginning of treatment, so it is advisable to immediately contact the oculist when the first symptoms of the disease are found.
The difference between the partial atrophy of the optic nerve and the whole is that this form of the disease can be treated and there is still the possibility to restore vision.The main goal in the treatment of partial atrophy of the optic nerve is to stop the destruction of the optic nerve tissues.
The main efforts should be aimed at eliminating the cause of the disease. Treatment of the underlying disease will stop the destruction of the optic nerve tissue and restore visual functions.
Against the background of the treatment of the underlying disease that caused optic atrophy, complex therapy is carried out.In addition, during treatment, medicinal agents can be used to improve blood supply and nutrition of the optic nerve, improve metabolism, eliminate edema and inflammation.It is not superfluous to use multivitamins and biostimulants.
The following are used as essential medicines:
- Vasodilator drugs.These drugs improve blood circulation and trophism in the tissues of the optic nerve. Among the drugs in this group, you can identify compliance, papaverine, dibazol, no-shpu, halidor, euphyllin, trental, sermion.
- Drugs that stimulate the restoration of the altered tissues of the optic nerve and improve metabolic processes in it.These include biogenic stimulants (peat, aloe extract), amino acids (glutamic acid), vitamins and immunostimulants (eleuturokok, ginseng).
- Preparations, absorbing pathological processes and metabolism stimulators(phosphaden, pyrogenal, preductal).
It is necessary to understand that drug therapy does not treat atrophy of the optic nerve, but only contributes to the improvement of the state of nerve fibers.To cure the atrophy of the optic nerve, you must first cure the underlying disease.
Important are physiotherapeutic procedures that are used in conjunction with other methods of treatment. Also, methods of magnetic, laser and electrical stimulation of the optic nerve are effective. They contribute to the improvement of the functional state of the optic nerve and visual functions.
As additional treatment, the following procedures are used:
- Magnetic stimulation.In this procedure, a special device that creates an alternating magnetic field acts on the optic nerve. Magnitostimulation improves blood supply, saturates the optic nerve with oxygen, activates metabolic processes.
- Electrostimulation.This procedure is carried out with the help of a special electrode, which is injected behind the eyeball to the optic nerve and is supplied with electrical impulses.
- Laser stimulation.The essence of this method is the non-invasive stimulation of the optic nerve through the cornea or pupil with the help of a special radiator.
- Ultrasonic therapy.This method effectively stimulates blood circulation and metabolic processes in the optic nerve tissues, improves the permeability of the hemato-ophthalmic barrier and the sorption properties of the eye tissues. If the cause of atrophy of the optic nerve is encephalitis or tuberculous meningitis, the disease will be difficult to treat with ultrasound.
- Electrophoresis.This procedure is characterized by the effect on the eye tissue of a dc current of low strength and drugs. Electrophoresis promotes the dilatation of blood vessels, the improvement of cell metabolism and the normalization of metabolism.
- Oxygen therapy.This method consists in oxygen saturation of optic nerve tissues, which contributes to the improvement of metabolic processes in them.
During the treatment of optic nerve atrophy, it is necessary to observe a complete nutrition quality, saturated with various vitamins and minerals.It is necessary to use more often fresh vegetables and fruits, cereals, meat, dairy products.
It is not recommended to treat the disease with folk remedies, since in this case they are ineffective. If one hopes only for folk remedies, one can lose valuable time, when one could still maintain the quality of sight.
It must be remembered that atrophy of the optic nerve is a serious disease and it should not be treated independently. Wrong independent treatment can lead to sad consequences - complications of the disease.
The most serious complication can be a complete loss of vision.Ignoring treatment leads to further development of the disease and a steady decrease in visual acuity, as a result of which the patient can no longer lead the old way of life. Very often, when the optic nerve is atrophic, the patient gets a disability.
To avoid the appearance of atrophy of the optic nerve, it is necessary to treat the diseases in time, on time to address to the ophthalmologist at decrease in visual acuity, not to subject an organism to alcoholic and narcotic intoxication. Only if you pay due attention to your health, you can reduce the risk of disease..
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Partial atrophy of the optic nerve is quite possible to stop at the initial stages of the disease. This disease requires long-term treatment, endurance and patience. And only with the correct identification of the cause of the disease is it possible full recovery and preservation of visual acuity at a high level.
To such an eye disease, glaucoma and partial heterochromy can occur.