by Dr. Yvonne Alomia
Optic nerve drusen are abnormal globular collections of protein and calcium salts which accumulate in the optic nerve and usually become visible after the first decade of life. They occur in both eyes more often than just one eye. Retinal photos and ocular coherence tomography, shown here, are very helpful in making the diagnosis. Optic disc drusen usually do not affect vision. However, peripheral vision loss can occur slowly, and rare complications from the condition can also affect central vision. It is important to rule out papilledema, which can have a similar appearance to optic disc drusen, but is life-threatening. Prompt intervention and treatment are necessary to preserve vision and life.