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What is optic atrophy?

Optic Atrophy is the result of degeneration or damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve transports visual information from the eye, to an area of the brain where it is processed.

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Accessible Word version (Word, 118KB) -  Optic Atrophy

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What causes optic atrophy?

Optic atrophy may be inherited or may result from brain injury or conditions such as brain trauma, inflammation, degenerative disorders, haemorrhage or tumour. It can be progressive or static depending on the cause of the damage.

How is optic atrophy detected?

When making a diagnosis, an eye health professional will look for a pale optic disc which is a clinical sign of optic atrophy. The optic disc is the portion of the optic nerve visible when looking into the eye.

What effect does optic atrophy have on vision?

Vision loss will vary depending on the severity of the atrophy. Due to the nerve damage, optic atrophy is not reversible and therefore cannot be treated. However, in some circumstances the cause of the damage may be treatable.

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