• Ischemic Optic Neuropathy


    Question:

    I have been diagnosed with ischemic optic neuropathy. What can I do to prevent it from happening to my other eye? I am 63 and in good health but also was wondering if falling from a ladder and having such a trauma could have contributed to this, or also if taking a sleep medication might have been a factor. I was told it was caused by a drop in blood pressure when I was asleep at night so am trying to find a way to prevent it from happening again.


    Answer:

    Ischemic optic neuropathy (ION) is associated with cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking. Also, some people's eyes seem to be at greater risk than others due to the structure of the optic nerve. The cause is difficult to state with certainty, but nocturnal hypotension has been implicated. Trauma is not a factor. Sleep medications are also not thought to be a factor but ION has been associated with drugs for erectile dysfunction.


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