Neuro-ophthalmology is a subspecialty field combining elements of ophthalmology and neurology. This field includes optic nerve problems, eye movement problems and disorders of the visual system in the brain. Common problems seen by a neuro-ophthalmologist include double vision, blurred vision, eye pain, and loss of peripheral vision.
Neuro-ophthalmology appointments usually require additional tests, such as visual fields, specialized pictures of the optic nerve or measurement of eye movements (orthoptics). Dr. Bursztyn will try to arrange these tests on the same day as your appointment, but this is not always possible. These tests will add additional time to your appointment, so please check your appointment notice and make sure you have given yourself enough time for the whole visit.
A visual field test measures your peripheral (side) vision. Visual acuity, reading letters on the eye chart, only measures the very centre of your vision. The visual field can give us a more complete picture. The test usually takes less than 10 minutes per eye. You will have to sit with your head in the machine and stare straight ahead. Lights will flash off to the side, and you push a buzzer whenever you think you see a light in your peripheral vision. It is important to keep your eyes still, even though it is tempting to look towards the lights.
Optic Nerve Imaging
There are many ways to look at the optic nerve. Dr. Bursztyn will always look at your nerve directly during your visit, but sometimes it is helpful to document it with a photo or other imaging. An OCT test is kind of like an x-ray of the optic nerve, and can show details below the surface. An eye ultrasound is also used to look below the surface. Autofluorescence is another special type of photo that uses an extremely bright flash. You will need to have your pupils dilated for this photo.
An orthoptist is an eye care care professional who is trained in measuring eye movements. They are an important part of our team and help with diagnosing and treating double vision. Orthoptists will measure how your eyes move, how well they work together and how well they line up. A full orthoptics visit can take up to an hour.