Anterior Ischaemic optic neuropathy

16/07/2014 by admin | Ophthalmology

Definition: is a medical condition involving loss of vision due to damage to the optic nerve from insufficient blood supply

Classification / type of disease: AION is generally divided into two types: arteritic AION (or AAION) and non-arteritic AION (NAION or simply AION). This article will focus primarily on non-arteritic AION.


Presenting symptoms / signs:

  • NAION typically presents suddenly and upon awakening. The patient notes seeing poorly in one eye. Vision in that eye is obscured by a dark shadow, often involving just the upper or lower half of vision, usually the area towards the nose.
  • There may be improvement or worsening of sight over next 6 months.
  • Second eye involvement occurs in approximately 15% to 20% of patients with NAION within 5 years
  • AAION symptoms: painful jaw muscle spasms, scalp tenderness, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, myalgias and loss of appetite)


Diagnostic investigations: 


  • Optic disc shape
  • Cardiovascular risk factors: HTN, DM, high cholesterol. Plus big risk factor linked to nocturnal arterial hypotension



Treatment / management:  high dose corticosteroid therapy

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