Optic Nerve Disorder (Disease)

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Houston Methodist specializes in diagnosing and treating complex neurological diseases affecting the optic nerve. Our board-certified doctors offer decades of experience and the latest therapies to ensure you get exceptional, personalized care.  

We understand the worry and fear that comes with vision loss—and our goal is to deliver expert, compassionate care to optimize healing. Whether you need to find the source of your vision issues, or get a second opinion, our neuro-ophthalmology experts can help. 

The optic nerve is part of the nervous system that carries impulses from the eye to the brain. These impulses are processed in the brain as sight. If the optic nerve or its path to the brain are blocked or damaged, vision may become impaired.  

Symptoms of optic nerve conditions may include: 


  • Blurry vision  
  • Eye pain or redness 
  • Flashing lights 
  • Halos around lights  
  • Headache 
  • Loss of color vision 
  • Vision loss in one or both eyes 
  • Vision loss long sides or center of vision field


If you are experiencing sudden vision loss, weakness on one side of your face or body, or severe pain or headache, dial 911.

Diagnosing and Treating Optic Nerve Conditions

How is optic nerve disease diagnosed?

Some people are born with optic nerve conditions that impair their sight. For others, vision problems occur as we age. Head trauma, tumors and blood clots can also cause damage to the optic nerve, as can drugs, nutritional deficiencies and some chemicals. 

Neuro-ophthalmologists diagnose and treat brain- or nervous-system conditions that affect your eye health and vision. We’ll use a range of tests to help discover the cause of your symptoms. Our specialists have the experience to diagnose and treat patients with a variety of conditions, including:  


What treatments are available?

Treatment for optic nerve conditions vary depending on your diagnosis. Prescription glasses and enhanced lighting sometimes can help with vision. In some cases, steroid medications can ease symptoms. Some patients may benefit from surgery to repair eye damage.

I need advanced care or a second opinion.

An accurate diagnosis is key to treating these complicated conditions. Houston Methodist’s team of specialists will uncover the source of your optic nerve disease and design a personalized treatment plan to relieve your symptoms. Whether you are looking for a diagnosis or a second opinion, we’re here to help.

Learn More About Neuro-Ophthalmologic Conditions 

Doctor sitting with a patient and referencing to screen on digital pad
Emmi, our collection of multimedia educational tools, can help you understand your condition and its treatments.

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