Ischaematic optic neuropathy

Other Names:
Ischemic optic neuropathy
Eye attacks

Eye attacks result from a sudden lack of blood flow to the optic nerve of the eye. Eye attacks, which are usually painless, can develop quite rapidly - sometimes overnight, often with catastrophic consequences to the vision of the individual, such as a sudden and permanent loss of peripheral or central vision in one eye. Irreversible damage can occur as quickly as within the first 90 seconds of the attack. The resulting visual impairment and the degree of severity usually varies from patient to patient but can include loss of the bottom half of the vision and difficulty with light and darkness. Most sufferers do not come forward and report the condition - believing it, instead, to be a problem with their glasses or just a temporary, passing phase.


This condition, which is the most common cause of acute optical nerve disease in adults over 50 years of age and is thought to be part of the ageing process. The frequency of the condition is estimated to occur in only a couple of people per thousand, per year. ION is suspected to occur with increased frequency in patients with diabetes, hypertension and other vascular disorders, in addition to occurring frequently in people with small, crowded optic nerves.

Broader Problems:
Eye diseases and disorders
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST