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What Does "Pale" Optic Nerve Mean???
     Hello again all,

     You may remember my posts a few weeks back about seeing rainbow-colored halos (among other odd things). Well, today I went to a neruo-opthamologist, finally. I won't say his name, or the place I went to...but I will say the place is supposed to be a branch of one of the most respected hospitals in New England. Let's just say I was...unpleasantly surprised with the results. Seeing it was my first time going to this type of doctor, I didn't know what to expect. But what I got was...pretty much the same thing as with my regular eye opthamologist. They did a vision field test on my eyes, checked my vision with the eye chart, etc. Towards the end of my visit, I got my eyes dilated, and the dr. checked my eyes thoroughly. I guess it was towards his lunch hour, or something, because he ended the visit pretty quick. In about a minute, he said this to me: "Well, as for the halos...I can see no reasons for them. Like floaters and starbursts, they're just a common refractive problem (however, floaters are not really a "refractive" problem...but who's to argue with a neru-opthamologist?)." He then went on to tell me something that sort of scared me a bit. He said to me "I see that your optic nerve is very pale and weak. I'm schedule you a MR (not MRI) for sometime in the near future...you may have something pressing against your optic nerve. Goodbye." And then he left! I was left there in the room thinking "...what??"
     So what could this mean? All day I've sat thinking it could be cancer or something, the way the dr. said it! However, about 15 minutes before he said this to me, another nurse had dilated my eyes, and used some sort of numbing drops for my eyes. Could this have been what made my optic nerves "pale?"
     I don't have much time to read responses, because I'm on a public computer...mine broke. So any quick help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     -Jim
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233488 tn?1310696703
You will need to follow the neuro-ophthalmologists recommendations closely as a pale optic nerve can signify some very serious problems. The drops that the nurse used to dilate and numb the eye would not cause it.

Think about this. Normally the fingers are nice and pink. Some children take a piece of string and wind it tightly around the base of the finger. After a few minutes it becomes deathly white and pale and isn't the normal color. That's what the neuro-oph is determining. Best case is that it is an unusual variant of normal. The tests are important.

JCH III MD
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Thanks for replying to my question. I got an MRI set up...but it's for next Friday. I guess the neuro-opthamologist can't be too concerned with my problem, or else he would have set it up a lot sooner. My father has been having back problems, and he went to his doctor, and got an MRI set up for the next day. But I'll report back when I get the results. Thanks...
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