One thing that many patients ask their Miami optometrist about during a routine visit is what the purpose and function of the optic disc is. Most people know about the existence of the optic disc in their eyes, but that doesn’t mean they know exactly what it does. The optic disc, otherwise known as the optic nerve head, is the point on the retina where the optic nerve fibers leave it. Because there are no color and light sensing rods/cones in the optic disc, it’s also where a person’s natural blind spot is located in each eye. The main purpose of the optic disc is to transmit electrical impulses from the eyes to the part of the brain that accepts and comprehends the information. Miami eye doctors will also inform curious patients that the optic disc consists of over one million nerve fibers and is comprised entirely of nerve cells.
Health Problems Related to the Optic Disc
As with any other part of the human body, the optic disc can have problems that result in vision loss or blindness. If you ask your eye doctor in Miami Beach to explain health problems that are related to the optic disc, you may hear about these things:
- Glaucoma. Glaucoma is health issue in which the internal pressure of the eye is too high. When it remains too high for extended periods of time, the optic nerve fibers can become damaged and vision impairment or blindness can occur.
- Optic neuritis. This is a condition in which the optic nerve fibers connected to the optic disc become inflamed. This is usually caused by another health problem and can be corrected by focusing on the underlying issue.
- Blind spot problems. If someone is experiencing issues in which their blind spot is becoming visible or is affecting their vision in some way, it’s usually because they are having some type of issue with their optic disc.
What Can be Done About Optic Disc Problems?
Depending on the issue that someone is having related to their optic disc, several treatment options are available. For example, if someone is having intraocular pressure issues related to glaucoma, steroidal eye drops or other prescription drops can be used to help regulate the pressure. In some cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary to relieve the pressure in someone’s eye(s). If a patient is experiencing optic disc/nerve issues because of a refractive problem with their cornea, then they can likely be prescribed a pair of eyeglasses in Miami Beach to correct their issue. The sooner a problem with the optic disc is discovered and treated, the better.