Diagnosing Septooptic Dysplasia
In order to diagnose optic nerve hypoplasia, doctors examine the back part of the eye known as the fundus using a process called opthalmoscopy. The exam includes analysis of the various parts of this section of the optic cavity including the optic disc, which can give doctors the best sign of optic nerve hypoplasia. When a person is suffering from this disease, they generally develop a condition commonly called “double-ring." This has the visual appearing of a yellowish-white ring surrounding the optic disc.
The retina can also be examined. The blood vessels of this part of the eye normally descend from the nasal cavity. However, when a patient is suffering from septooptic dysplasia, they tend to come from a more centralized location. Additionally, the nerve fibers leading to this portion of the eye are thinner than normal.
Another sign can be identified in the fovea centralis, the center of the macula which helps sharpen vision. Normally, this section flexes as a person attempts to focus on an object. When this does not occur, it is generally a good sign that the person suffers from optic nerve hypoplasia.
Unfortunately, there is very little treatment for optic nerve hypoplasia. Most people who suffer from the disorder can lead normal lives depending on the level of visual, brain, and hormone problems. Scientists are currently researching treatment methods from stem cell technology, which may eventually be able to assist in the regrowth of the optic nerves and missing brain tissue.