Ischemic (pronounced iss-KEE-mik) optic neuropathy (ION) is a relatively sudden loss of central vision, side vision, or both due to decreased or interrupted blood flow to the eye’s optic nerve.

In order for you to see, the optic nerve carries impulses from the eye to the brain, where they are interpreted as images. Without a healthy, functioning optic nerve, vision would not be possible.

What causes ION?

There are different risk factors for developing ION, including:

  • older age (over age 50);
  • high blood pressure;
  • diabetes;
  • smoking;
  • arterial disease (clogged arteries);
  • glaucoma (high intraocular pressure);
  • migraine headaches;
  • temporal arteritis (inflammation of certain arteries,
  • including those to the eye).


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