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Neuro-Ophthalmology

What is Neuro-Ophthalmology?

Neuro-Ophthalmology is an area of medicine that deals with neurological diseases that affect individuals who experience visual problems related to the nervous system.   The main cause for most neuro-ophthalmologic conditions is an injury to the brain or the optic nerve.  In addition to injuries, inflammation, strokes, toxicities, and infections may lead to neuro eye disorders as well.  Difficulties with muscle control in the eye may also lead to neuro-ophthalmologic conditions.

Why Choose Us?

Dr. August Reader is the Bay Area’s leading neuro-ophthalmology doctor and surgeon.  With his 44 years of experience and knowledge, Dr. Reader is truly one of the best.  He is a board-certified ophthalmologist with specialized training in neurological eye diagnosis.  He first completed his medical degree at one of the top universities in the nation.  After just two weeks into his internship, Dr. Reader was asked to become a neurology resident.  Shortly, completing his residency and fellowship, he joined Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he served as the Chief of Neuro-ophthalmology at Children’s’ Hospital of Los Angeles before joining Pacific Eye Associates in 1995.

Services We Offer

Visual problems due to neuro-ophthalmology are serious.  Therefore, if caught early, there are many treatments and corrections that may help to prevent neurological eye diseases.  At Pacific Eye Associates, we offer in-office treatments.  We have the state of the art technology, such as a visual field machine to help Dr. Reader detect and also treat neuro-ophthalmology conditions.  Contact us immediately if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below.  With his expertise and cutting-edge technology, we may help you prevent vision loss.

Common Neurological Eye Symptoms

  • Rapid vision loss
  • An unexpected loss of visual field
  • Sudden loss of color vision
  • Double vision
  • High intracranial pressure
  • Problem moving both eyes
  • Unequal Pupil Size

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Neuro-Ophthalmology Conditions We Treat:

Trauma-Related Conditions

  • Orbital Fracture:  Is a break in the bone(s) surrounding the eyeball.  Generally, blunt force trauma to the eye socket is the usual cause for the fracture(s).  The bones surrounding the eye may break in three different ways.  Thus, there are three types of orbital fractures.
    • Orbital Rim Fracture: When outer edges of the eye socket experience a break or fracture.  In order to protect our eyes, the rim of the orbit is made up of a very thick bone.  An injury to the orbital rim usually occurs with a forceful blow to head or face.  Car accidents are one of the main causes of this kind of fracture.  Due to the force of this trauma, the optic nerve damage may occur.
    • Blowout Fracture: Occurs when there is a break in the floor or inner wall of the orbit.  The floor and the inner wall of the orbit are made up of a very thin bone.  If this thin bone suffers cracks, the cracks in the walls may pinch the muscles and other structures around the eye.  The cracks may even prevent the eyeball from moving properly.  A hit to the face with a baseball often times causes a blow out fracture.
    • Orbital Floor Fracture: When the orbital floor buckles downwards.  At times, a forceful blow or trauma to the orbital rim pushes the bones surrounding the eye back, which causes the eye socket floor to buckle downward.  This type of fracture may affect the muscles and nerves around the eye.
      • Symptoms: Blurry vision, decreased or double vision, black and blue bruising around the eyes, blood in the white part of the eye, difficulty moving the eye to look left, right, up or down, bulging or sunken eyeballs, intense cheek pain when opening the mouth, flattened cheek, swelling of the forehead or cheek, numbness in the injured side of the face, swollen skin under the eye,

Muscle-Related Conditions

  • Strabismus:  A disorder in which the eyes do not look exactly in the same direction at the same time.  Nerve injury or poor muscle control is the main cause of strabismus.  Due to poor eye muscle control, one eye may turn inward, outward, upward or downward.  This disorder is common and, mainly, affects children and teenagers.  However, with eyeglasses and vision therapy, strabismus is a correctable condition.  Extreme cases of strabismus may need surgery, but once again, many non-surgical treatments are available and more likely to improve vision.
      • Symptoms:  Blurred vision, or double vision, eye strain or headaches

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Muscle and Inflammatory Related Conditions

  • Bell’s Palsy: Is a disorder of temporary muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the face.  There are various causes of Bell’s Palsy.  In many cases, Bell’s Palsy often develops secondary to a viral inflammation.  Other causes of Bell’s Palsy is due to activation and inactivation of the body’s immune system.  The use of eye ointments may prevent complications.  In some cases, corticosteroid or antiviral drug to help in the treatment of this condition. 
    • SymptomsInability to smile on one side or close one eyelid completely, decreased tear production and sense of taste, blurry vision and distorted hearing

Inflammatory Related Vision Disorders

  • Optic Neuritis:  A condition of inflammation of the optic nerve.    This nerve carries impulses from the retina to the brain and then enables the brain to interpret these pulses as images.  Thus, the optic nerve is a very important function in our vision.  Optic neuritis may be linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that first causes inflammation and then causes damage to the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.  This disease may affect one or both eye, and symptoms may appear slowly or over a few days. 
    • Symptoms: Blurred or dim vision, abnormal color vision, or pain in the back of the eye socket with movement

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  • Graves’ Disease:  A disorder that causes your thyroid gland to make too much of a certain hormone.  This disease is commonly called hyperthyroidism.  About half of the people with Graves’ disease will experience some eye issues and some may have some serious vision problems.  Tissues in your eye have proteins similar to the ones in your thyroid.  Thus, when the proteins in the eye build up, this will cause the eye to bulge.
    • Symptoms:  Redness, minor pain, bulging eyes, and double vision

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Reader, contact us today by requesting an appointment or call us: 415-923-3007

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415-923-3007

2100 Webster St, San Francisco, CA 94115