Ischemic optic neuropathy digital illustration

Ischemic optic neuropathy Save

ICD-10 code: H47.01

Chapter: Diseases of the eye and adnexia

Understanding Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Ischemic optic neuropathy (ION) is a condition where there is damage to the optic nerve due to decreased blood flow. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting visual information from the eyes to the brain. ION can occur in two forms: anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION) and posterior ischemic optic neuropathy (PION).

Symptoms of ION

The symptoms of ION can vary depending on the type of ION. AION typically presents with sudden vision loss in one eye, accompanied by pain or discomfort around the eye. PION, on the other hand, presents with painless vision loss in one or both eyes. Other common symptoms of ION include:

  1. Blurred vision
  2. Loss of visual field
  3. Difficulty seeing colors
  4. Difficulty seeing in dim light
Causes of ION

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing ION. These include:

  • Age
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Other causes of ION include autoimmune diseases, infections, and certain medications.

Treatment for ION

There is no specific treatment for ION, and the focus is on managing the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if ION is caused by high blood pressure, then treatment will involve controlling blood pressure through medication and lifestyle changes. If ION is caused by diabetes, then treatment will involve managing blood sugar levels through diet and medication.

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience sudden vision loss or any other symptoms of ION. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage to the optic nerve and improve your chances of preserving your vision.


Ischemic optic neuropathy is a serious condition that can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated. Understanding the symptoms and risk factors of ION can help you take steps to prevent the condition and seek medical attention if necessary. If you are experiencing any vision problems, it is important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.