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Diagnosis

The primary role of the Mass. Eye and Ear Neuro-Ophthalmology Service is to render diagnoses of problems that have altered a patient’s vision and have not been diagnosed by other physicians.

A large percentage of patients who are referred to our Service have medical problems, which have a high likelihood of causing significant disability, and often cause permanent blindness or other type of disabling visual problem.

Most problems we encounter in consultations are a result of underlying disorders that have caused some form of blindness (“afferent” visual dysfunction). However, approximately 30% of the problems are related to abnormalities of the movement of the eyes (i.e. “efferent" visual dysfunction), which can cause double vision, a sense of movement of the world (“oscillopsia”) and abnormalities of balance.

Our clinical service has had special interest in the diagnosis and management of several types of problems. The first is disorders of the retina or optic nerve that cause blindness, especially optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy and tumors of the anterior visual pathway. Our service also has special interest and expertise in the management of patients who have giant cell arteritis, idiopathic intracranial hypertension and adult strabismus (i.e. “crossed eyes”). We offer the option for surgical correction of eye movement problems in many adult strabismus cases.