Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Causes:
The cause of internuclear ophthalmoplegia is not known. However, it is believed that there are several possible reasons why one or both eyes become affected with this condition.
Some of these reasons include:
1) A lesion may develop in the brain stem which results in damage to the area responsible for controlling eye movements.
2) An infection may enter the brain causing inflammation and swelling.
3) Another type of cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), may occur in the brain.
This tumor is usually fatal if left untreated.
How Does Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Affect Vision?
When one or both eyes becomes affected with this condition, vision loss occurs within minutes to hours after injury. The vision loss is due to the interruption of blood flow from the optic nerve into the retina. Without adequate blood supply, cells die and their contents leak out of the damaged areas. When this happens, light rays are blocked from reaching your retinas. You will see black spots when looking at objects close up. Your vision may even become blurred and you might have difficulty seeing small details such as fine lines and edges around objects or faces in photographs.
How Is Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Diagnosed?
Your doctor will run a complete medical history and eye examination to check for other potential causes that may contribute to the condition. This will help your doctor in ruling out other conditions that may mimic this disease. In order to determine if the condition is caused by the interruption of blood flow to the eyeballs, your doctor may use several diagnostic tests. These tests may include:
1) Your doctor will screen for tumors or masses in your brain by using a CT scan or MRI.
2) An ophthalmologist will measure the pressure of your eyes and may use an instrument called a ophthalmoscope to examine your eyes.
3) During the eye examination, your doctor may use a visual field test which measures the peripheral vision in each eye.
4) Other tests such as a brain stem auditory evoked response test may be used to measure eye movements.
How Is Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Treated?
There is no known treatment to reverse or prevent the effects caused by the interruption of blood flow into the eyes. Instead, treatment is aimed at correcting the vision loss that results from the condition. This will involve using eyeglasses or contact lenses in order to improve the visual acuity. In more serious cases where visual loss is great, a type of eye surgery called vitrectomy may be needed. This procedure involves removing the vitreous humor, which is the clear gel that fills the inside of your eyeball. The fluid is replaced with a saline solution in order to give your optic nerves more room for the blood vessels to grow.
Can Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Be Prevented?
Currently, there is no known way to prevent this condition from occurring. While it may be possible to develop a treatment or cure in the future, there are currently no current plans or research studies being done.
What Is The Prognosis Of Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia?
The actual prognosis of this condition is quite poor and is most commonly found in middle-aged men and women who already have medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In some cases, the vision loss may be temporary in nature while in other cases it may be permanent. If you have a family history of this condition, you should be especially concerned and speak with your doctor about having regular check-ups to screen for signs of blindness or vision loss in the future.
Does Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia Affect The Long-Term Care Insurance?
This condition does not affect the long-term care insurance and typically, if you have a long-term care insurance and your policy has a medical exam clause then you will not have to worry about this disease. The medical exam is usually simple and quick and your long-term care insurance is unlikely to be declined based on this condition.
Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia is a condition that affects the muscles that control your eye movements and can result in blindness if left untreated. It usually occurs in middle-aged people and the cause of the condition is unknown.
Currently, there are no known ways to prevent this disease from occurring. It can however be treated through surgery or the use of contact lenses and eye glasses. Speak with your doctor about this condition and its specific effects on you. While you may not be able to treat the disease itself right now, there are other things that can be done to prevent loss of vision or other complications.
Did you know?
Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia is also known as crossed-symmetric-palsy of the medial longitudinal fasciculus.
Sources & references used in this article:
Internuclear ophthalmoplegia, typical and atypical by DG Cogan – Archives of Ophthalmology, 1970 – jamanetwork.com
Internuclear ophthalmoplegia: a review of fifty-eight cases by JL SMITH, DG COGAN – AMA Archives of Ophthalmology, 1959 – jamanetwork.com
Abduction nystagmus in internuclear ophthalmoplegia by DS Zee, TC Hain, JR Carl – … of Neurology: Official Journal of the …, 1987 – Wiley Online Library
Myasthenic psuedo-internuclear ophthalmoplegia by JS GLASER – Archives of Ophthalmology, 1966 – jamanetwork.com
Internuclear ophthalmoplegia: unusual causes in 114 of 410 patients by JR Keane – Archives of neurology, 2005 – jamanetwork.com
Bilateral internuclear ophthalmoplegia: association with occlusive cerebrovascular disease. by EF Gonyea – Archives of neurology, 1974 – jamanetwork.com