FEB 21, 2019
Committee on Aging
Neuro-Ophthalmology/Orbit, Optic Neuropathy
In this discussion from the Academy's Committee on Aging, Drs. Andrew Lee and Prem Subramanian discuss nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) and the controversy surrounding the use of steroid management. Researchers first proposed the use of steroids to treat NAION nearly 40 years ago, believing it could reduce swelling around the optic nerve head, improve blood flow and save axons from ischemia. Its efficacy, however, remains controversial. A recent study in Ophthalmology, the first double-masked study of its kind thus far, suggested that the NAION patients who are treated with steroids have comparable visual outcomes to those who received a placebo. Although it is still unclear if steroids are effective for NAION, Dr. Subramanian explains they may still be useful in some patients, especially because no other NAION treatments are currently available.
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