What is optic nerve damage?
Optic nerve damage is any kind of injury or damage to the optic nerve, including trauma, inflammation, disease or deterioration. Optic nerve damage is also called optic nerve atrophy or optic neuropathy. The optic nerve is the nerve that connects and transmits information between the eye and the brain. Optic nerve damage can lead to vision distortion, vision loss, and blindness.
Within the eye, there are many elements that work together to create the vision. Light flows through the cornea and the pupil into the lens before it is projected onto the retina in the back of the eye. The retina transforms light into electrical impulses that are transmitted by the optic nerve to the brain. The eyes are protected by the bones of the orbit and move through the actions of the eye muscles, which are controlled by nerves.
A variety of diseases, disorders and conditions originating most often in the eye and the nervous system can lead to optic nerve damage. Optic nerve damage can result from:
Compression of the optic nerve
Glaucoma, or high pressure within the eye
Interruption in blood circulation to the optic nerve
The only way to detect optic nerve damage is through a comprehensive eye examination. Seek prompt and regular eye care throughout your life, as recommended by your physician or healthcare provider, to best detect and treat underlying conditions in their earliest stage, reduce the risk of serious complications, and preserve your vision.