Science: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of medical attention will my child need if they have optic nerve hypoplasia or septo optic dysplasia?

A: You will need to make sure your child is under the care of an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in gland problems. In addition, it is good to have an ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist will monitor your child’s vision. It is also important to keep your pediatrician involved as well as inform your child’s school and daycare providers.

Q: How is optic nerve hypoplasia diagnosed?

A: ONH is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist will use an ophthalmoscope to look inside the eye to determine if the front surface of the optic nerve appears smaller than normal. In addition, in some cases of ONH children will have a nystagmus, which is unusual eye movement. This may be an indicator to take your child to see an ophthalmologist.*

Q: Do all children with optic nerve hypoplasia have abnormal brain development and poorly functioning pituitary glands?

A: No, your child may have none, any or all of these problems in a mild or more serious form.*

*From Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, A Guide for Parents, by Dr. Francine Kaufman, Dr. Neal Kaufman, Dr. Mark Borchert and Talia Inlender.

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The above information is not intended to take the place of genuine medical advice or diagnosis. In all cases, see a physician about any of the medical conditions described.