Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Optic atrophy is a general term for a dysfunction of the optic nerve. The only symptoms are loss of vision (although there may be a particular difficulty with colour vision, or detecting fast movement) and sometimes increased light sensitivity. It may be congenital or acquired.
If congenital, it is usually hereditary with an onset of deterioration in childhood and may be accompanied by nystagmus. Leber's Disease is hereditary, but typically has its onset in 20-30 year old males; some vision is retained but there are varying degrees of impairment. Alternatively, it can be caused by a lack of oxygen during pregnancy, labour or in the early days of a child's life. Some drugs taken during pregnancy are also associated with optic atrophy.
The acquired type of optic atrophy may be due to blood supply changes in the eye (or the optic nerve itself), may be secondary to inflammation or swelling within the optic nerve, may be a result of pressure against the optic nerve (such as from a tumour), or may be related to metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes), trauma, glaucoma, or toxicity (caused by alcohol, tobacco, or other poisons).
- International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease
- Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy Trust
- Vision Support Guide
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details