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Etymology: Gk, optikos, sight, neuron, nerve, pathos, disease
a disease, generally noninflammatory, of the eye, characterized by dysfunction or destruction of the optic nerve tissues. Causes include an interruption in the blood supply, compression by a tumor or aneurysm, a nutritional deficiency, and toxic effects of a chemical. The disorder, which can lead to blindness, usually affects only one eye.
Pathological injury to the optic nerves or the blood supply to them. Usually, only one eye is affected. Several forms have been described, including ischemic optic neuropathy, which, if prolonged, leads to blindness in the affected eye; optic neuritis due to acute demyelination of optic nerve fibers; infiltrative optic neuropathy, in which the optic nerve is compressed by a tumor or aneurysm; and optic neuropathy due to toxic nutritional factors, e.g., methanol or a combined nutritional and vitamin deficiency.
See also: neuropathy
A non-inflammatory or degenerative disease of the optic nerve. See ophthalmopathy.