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What is a Neuro-ophthalmologist?

Nervous system diseases can cause a wide range of vision complications, and our neuro-ophthalmologists are the specialists who evaluate and treat patients with vision problems that originate in the brain or optic nerve, rather than the eye itself.  Symptoms, including pain, vision loss, and blurred vision, can be difficult to distinguish from other conditions and can be indicative of underlying problems, making it imperative to receive an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible.

In addition to medical school, our neuro-ophthalmologists have at least five years of clinical training and are board certified in neurology, ophthalmology, or both, making them highly qualified to diagnose and treat your specific issues.

Some of the conditions we diagnose and treat include ptosis, blepharospasm, optic neuritis, orbital tumors, adult strabismus, thyroid eye disease, optic nerve edema, optic nerve sheath meningioma, and double vision and eye movement abnormalities. Our neuro-ophthalmologists use state-of-the-art equipment and extensive expertise in problems of the eyes, brain, nerves, and muscles to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat your condition

Reasons to see our Neuro-ophthalmologists

More than half of the brain is involved in vision-related functions, so injuries, strokes, tumors, and infections can trigger nervous-system issues that impact vision. Patients may notice headaches, facial pain, blurred vision, or difficulty controlling eye movement. In some cases, the symptoms could be caused by an underlying systemic disease, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, or thyroid disease.

In other cases, trauma, a tumor, or orbital inflammation can cause injury to the optic nerve, interrupting the transfer of visual information from the retina to the brain. Swelling and a restricted blood supply can also cause a variety of visual symptoms for the same reason. Certain antibiotics can even trigger vision problems.

What you can expect at the Cizik Eye Clinic

UTHealth Neurosciences brings together a multidisciplinary team of a board-certified, fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmologist with neurosurgeons, neurologists, researchers, and pain management specialists who work to help provide relief for even the most complex problems. Your team will share insights, leading to better treatment decisions and outcomes.

We first investigate nonsurgical treatment options, including medical management, pain management, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and watchful waiting. When surgery is needed, our neuro-ophthalmic surgeon routinely employ minimally invasive techniques. Throughout the treatment process, we will work closely with the doctor who referred you to ensure a smooth transition back to your regular care. While you are with us, you will receive expert care, excellent communication, and genuine compassion.

How to prepare for your appointment

Please allow several hours for your first appointment, as a complete neuro-ophthalmic evaluation often requires in-clinic testing, a review of medical records, a patient interview, and a comprehensive eye exam. Your visual fields, visual function, and eye structure will be thoroughly examined, among other items.

Please have your medical records and imaging results sent to the neuro-ophthalmologist prior to your appointment and bring copies yourself if you have them. Do not wear eye makeup and please plan to have someone drive you home from the appointment, as your eyes will be dilated during the exam.

Your treatment plan will depend on your specific condition. Options may include a medical therapy, or a procedure such as botulinum toxin injections to stop muscle spasms or a surgical procedure such as optic nerve sheath fenestration for severe vision loss from Pseudotumor Cerebri. Most treatments can be done in an outpatient setting.

Contact Us

At UTHealth Neurosciences, we offer patients access to specialized neurological care at clinics across the greater Houston area. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call click below. In the event of a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.