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Side effects of enlarged optic nerves?
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Side effects of enlarged optic nerves?

A little more than a year ago, my mother, siblings and I all went in to our optometrist, and it had been the first time I'd seen one in several years (I'd wanted to go in because I noticed a slight blurring in my left eye that sometimes gave me headaches or would make my eye feel like there was pressure behind it, and I suspected it was an astigmatism). Turned out that I did have an extremely mild astigmatism- So minor that the doctor was surprised I noticed and suggested that the only reason it caused me any problems was that I spend long periods of time focusing on very small things- And was given reading glasses, since it only ever bothered me if I was reading or working on art projects.

Anyway, I was also told that either my optic nerves are enlarged, or that specifically the area where my optic nerves connected to my eyes was larger than usual- I can't recall which. I was told that this could be a warning sign of glaucoma, but that I shouldn't worry because my eye pressure low (it's at 9), and also because my mother and sister both have it as well, so it was probably just a genetic trait. He said I just needed to make sure I get my yearly checkups to watch for any changes (I've already had my checkup this year, and am glad to say that everything is fine so far. My astigmatism's gotten a little worse, but the change is so minute that I can't even see a difference between my new lens prescription and my old one).

I was wondering, though, if there are any general side effects that would/could come from having enlarged optic nerves? I got curious the other day when my mother noticed that in photos, my sister and I will get 'red eye' when other people in the pictures don't, or that ours will be significantly more prominent, and I suggested that maybe the reason was because our eyes have the larger optic nerves.
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Hmmmmm. Just wondering why you were sold new glasses when there was not much change from the old one.

Glaucoma does not cause big or little optic nerve. I suspect the optom was talking about the size of your 'optic cup' which is the depression in the optic nerve that most people have. More technically the condition is called a large cup/disk ratio. Most people is .4 or less.

You would have to confirm this with the optom.

JCH MD
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