About Neuro-Ophthalmology

Neurological disorders that affect the eye can be very serious, especially for children as their brain and eyesight are still developing. They also require a skilled and experienced pediatric neuro-ophthalmologist as these conditions can be life-threatening.

Our pediatric neuro-ophthalmic experts specialize in visual problems related to the optic nerves, which are a part of the central nervous system. Optic nerves deliver visual signals from the retina to the brain for us to see. If there is an injury to the brain or the optic nerves, your child may experience a loss of sight. Columbia pediatric ophthalmologists can help your child can recover as quickly as possible.  

Conditions We Treat

Neurological problems that can affect vision can be complicated and delicate. Some of the neurological conditions we treat include:

  • Strabismus
  • Nystagmus
  • Blepharospasm – uncontrolled eyelid twitching or incessant blinking
  • Optic neuritis - inflammation of the optic nerve
  • Optic disc edema - swollen optic disc
  • Ocular myasthenia gravis - eye muscle weakness 
  • Brain tumors or stroke affecting vision
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension or pseudotumor cerebri – too much pressure in the brain


Neurological symptoms can be hard to recognize, but if your child has any of the symptoms below make sure to bring them to an ophthalmologist immediately. The main signs include:

  • Unexplained visual loss or visual field loss
  • Change in appearance of the eyelids and pupils
  • Double vision (link to Diplopia)
  • Headaches
  • Eyelid or facial spasms
  • Impaired eye moment or motility


Columbia’s team of pediatric ophthalmologists and neuro-ophthalmologists use advanced imaging and screening technology to diagnose patients. We will check your child’s pupils to see if they response to light or are unequal in size and will determine if there is a loss of visual field or eye moment using a battery of tests. Your child’s eyes will be examined under a slit lamp microscope to see the optic nerves and the retina. Eye pressure will also be examined as well as visual acuity.

Treatments We Offer

Treatment for neuro-ophthalmic conditions will depend on the cause of the problem. In some cases, Botox can be injected to lessen uncontrolled eyelid movements or spasms. Other treatments include prescription eyeglasses or eye movement therapies. In more serious cases, surgery may need to be performed.

Why Choose Columbia?

Columbia's pediatric neuro-ophthalmologists are experts in both the medical fields of neurology and ophthalmology. They are specially trained to diagnose and treat brain and central nervous system conditions that can cause a variety of vision problems. Our doctors provide the most advanced, state-of-the-art treatments and can call upon specialists from other areas of medicine if needed. Our multidisciplinary team of experts often works in conjunction with subspecialists in neurosurgery to ensure that we provide your child with the most accurate and comprehensive treatment that we can deliver.