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Definition of Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia is a congenital condition in which the optic nerve fails to develop completely in the unborn child. Optic nerve hypoplasia is the third leading cause of congenital vision loss in the United States. The defect is random and may affect one eye or, more commonly, both eyes.
Children who have optic nerve hypoplasia may have barely noticeable to complete vision impairment depending on the extent to which the optic nerve develops. Diminished peripheral vision and depth perception are common. Typically the pediatrician detects an abnormality of the optic nerve shortly after birth, though mild optic nerve hypoplasia may escape notice until the child begins having vision difficulties.
Optic nerve hypoplasia does not progress, so visual acuity typically remains stable. Corrective lenses may accommodate for vision impairments. Other treatment focuses on teaching the child adaptive methods. There are no known preventive measures.
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