All vision problems need not necessarily stem from the eye. Some vision problems involve the brain. Neuro ophthalmology is the sub specialty of both neurology and ophthalmology. A neuro ophthalmologist is a Physician who specializes in the diseases affecting vision that originates from the nervous system. Conditions such as optic nerve disorders, loss of vision from central nervous system disease, double vision diplopia and involuntary movement of the eyes nystagmus are some of the disorders under the purview of a neuro ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist attends to patients with disease or injury in the eye ball, cornea and the lens or into the eyeball at the retina inside the eye. If any problem occurs behind the eye in the optic nerve or in some distinct visual pathways connecting the brain, it requires the special skills of a neuro ophthalmologist.
A neuro ophthalmologist could be an ophthalmologist or a neurologist with additional special training. After completing a residency program in any one of the two specialty areas, they take a fellowship in neuro ophthalmology for a year or two before starting to practice as a neuro ophthalmologist. A neuro ophthalmologist attends to a full spectrum of neuro ophthalmic conditions including evaluation, diagnostic and referral services of rare and complex disorders. A neuro ophthalmologist caters to:
In addition to the above, a neuro ophthalmologist provides emergency evaluation of a wide variety of disease that can cause visual loss. Unexplained visual loss can arise out of uncommon disease conditions like myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, mitochondrial disease and other muscular diseases that affect the eye. The neuro ophthalmologist uses special testing techniques including visual fields, visual evoked response, imaging studies such as CT, MRI and Angiography and ultrasound to diagnose the disease patterns. It becomes necessary for the neuro ophthalmologist to work closely with other medical specialists to offer multidisciplinary care and solution for complex cases.
Pediatric ophthalmology is a sub specialty of ophthalmology concerned with vision care and eye diseases in children. A pediatric ophthalmologist provides comprehensive care in diagnostic, treatment and management of infant vision and common childhood vision disorders. Surgery to correct ocular misalignment and double vision in children are also performed by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Pediatric ophthalmologists are physicians who have completed a three year residency in ophthalmology after the medical school and one year internship and one or two year fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus. Pediatric ophthalmology fellowships are accredited by the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus in the US.
Role of a pediatric ophthalmologist in child vision care:
Tests conducted by pediatric ophthalmologist
An ophthalmologist combines the diagnostic skills of a clinician, the therapeutic skills of a physician, technical skills of a micro surgeon and psychiatric skills in understanding the patient's psychology in one. Since the eye is structured in such a way that its components are transparent, the ophthalmologist is able to observe directly and read the abnormalities in a manner which is not possible for any other parts of the human body.
Professional qualifications for an ophthalmologist
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have completed medical school and four years training schedule in ophthalmology after medical school. An ophthalmologist can be a medical doctor with an M.D. degree in ophthalmology or doctors of osteopathy D.O. In the US, four years of training after medical school is a must. The first year is an internship and then three years of training in ophthalmology in a residency program approved by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education. An ophthalmologist may develop expertise in a sub-specialty such as:
Services rendered by an ophthalmologist
By convention, an ophthalmologist specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes. The ophthalmologist aids in prevention of eye diseases and injury to the visual system. The full spectrum of care rendered by an ophthalmologist includes:
An ophthalmologist often performs surgery to prevent or improve vision related conditions. A variety of lasers are used nowadays to perform out-patient procedures which previously required admission to hospital. Also tremendous improvements in microsurgical instrumentation have led to development of operations not considered possible a decade ago. An increasing number of such surgeries are being performed by local anesthesia. The surgical work of a general ophthalmologist includes:
Some common emergency of the eye that require immediate intervention by an ophthalmologist are:
A medical ophthalmologist generally does not perform surgery. The sphere of interest embraces:
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 22, 2023