Common Conditions

Optic Disc Drusen

Optic Disc Drusen are abnormal deposits of protein-like material in the optic disc- the front part of the optic nerve. The exact cause of Optic Disc Drusen is not known; however, they are thought to come from abnormal flow of material in optic nerve cells.

Optic Disc Drusen may be inherited or can occur without any family history. Inherited drusen are inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, which means your mother, father or child is likely to have the condition. Optic Disc Drusen are normally not visible at birth, and are rarely found in infants and children.

As time passes, Optic Disc Drusen can calcify and become more prominent. Optic Disc Drusen are rarely associated with any systemic disease or eye disease.


Classic migraine attacks start with visual symptoms (such as: zig-zag colored lights or flashes of light) followed by a singled sided pounding severe headache associated with nausea, vomitting and light sensitivity.

Common triggers for migraines in susceptible individuals include caffeine, nutrasweet and alcohol. Horomonal changes are also frequently associated with a change in migraine episodes.

Myasthenia Gravis

 Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune condition where the body's immune system has damaged receptors on the muscles. This results in muscle weakness, as receptors are necessary for the muscles to know when to contract. It can include the muscles of the eyelid which can result in lid droop (Ptosis), and muscles of eye movement which can result in double vision. These two symptoms can vary, being worse when tired or later in the day. The reason for the body's immune system's attack on the muscles is unclear.

Pseudotumor Cerebri

Pseudotumor Cerebri is a condition in which high pressure inside the head can cause problems with vision and headache.

Patients with optic disc swelling but no evidence of a tumor were said to have "Pseudotumor". The most import clue to the presence of a Pseudotumor is the finding of disc swelling upon looking in the back of the eye; this is done after the pupil has been dilated.

Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid Eye Disease is an autoimmune condition where your body's immune system is producing factors that stimulate enlargement of the muscles that move the eye.

Some symptoms that can result from this disease include bulging of the eyes, retraction of the lids, double vision, decreased vision and ocular irritation.

Thyroid Eye Disease is often associated with abnormalities in the thyroid gland function. Patients with Thyroid Orbitopathy often notice blurred or double vision.

Pain is not usually a major finding in thyroid patients; however, patients may experience a mild irritation, light sensitivity or ache.

For additional information not included on this page, please refer to the following sources:

American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society

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