If complications with the nerves in and around the eye affect your vision, Houston Methodist neuro-ophthalmologists will diagnose the cause and develop a personalized treatment plan to support healing.

The optic nerve — a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers — carries sensory impulses from your eyes to your brain to create images. Neuro-ophthalmologic conditions occur when the nerve or its pathways are damaged. 

Neuro-ophthalmologic conditions include:



Houston Methodist’s neurologist-led ophthalmology team partners with you to preserve or restore your sight. By combining decades of expertise with leading-edge research, our interdisciplinary specialist team ensures the highest quality of patient care.

Optic Nerve Symptoms & Treatment

How are neuro-ophthalmologic conditions diagnosed?

Neuro-ophthalmologic conditions may be diagnosed using a comprehensive eye exam, a blood test and advanced imaging methods, such as MRI scans of the brain and eye sockets. 

Precise diagnosis is important because neuro-ophthalmological disorders often signal other serious underlying diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Lyme disease or stroke. Symptoms of such conditions might include: 


  • Pain in the eyes 
  • Vision loss or impairment 
  • Difficulty seeing colors 
  • The appearance of flashing lights 


In addition to trouble with the optic nerve, your sight may be impacted if the muscles that move the eye aren’t receiving or processing the right nerve signals. These are called ocular motility disturbances.  

Some conditions, such as congenital optic atrophy or optic nerve hypoplasia, are present at birth and manifest in early childhood. Others may occur later in life because of head trauma, tumors, blood clots, nutritional deficiencies or drug or chemical exposure. 

Based on the outcome of your diagnostic testing, we will develop a treatment plan to address optic nerve problems and any underlying conditions that affect your eyes. 

What treatments are available?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your symptoms and might range from prescription glasses to medications or surgery. Once we’ve ensured an accurate diagnosis, we’ll begin an appropriate treatment based on your condition and goals. 

What if I need advanced care or a second opinion?

Houston Methodist’s neuro-ophthalmologists combine world-class expertise and leading-edge approaches to help you understand and manage your condition. We will work with you to create the best treatment plan to restore function and improve your quality of life.

Learn More About Neuro-Ophthalmologic Conditions 

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Emmi, our collection of multimedia educational tools, can help you understand your condition and its treatments.

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