Treatment and Outcomes in Nutritional Optic Neuropathy

  • Joanna M. JefferisEmail author
  • Simon J. Hickman
Neurologic Manifestations of Systemic Disease (A Wilkins, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neurologic Manifestations of Systemic Disease


Purpose of review

Nutritional optic neuropathy is a potential cause of severe visual loss; however, appropriate and timely management can result in excellent visual outcomes. The purpose of this review is to outline our current understanding of the treatment and outcomes for nutritional optic neuropathy.

Recent findings

Current understanding of nutritional optic neuropathy has been greatly aided by some well-reported and investigated epidemics of the condition, most notably the Cuban epidemic optic neuropathy of the early 1990s. More recently, there is an emerging literature surrounding nutritional deficiencies that can occur in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. There also continues to be a stream of case reports in the literature that add to our understanding. Nutritional optic neuropathy has a great deal of overlap with toxic optic neuropathies and hereditary optic neuropathies and should not be thought of in isolation from these conditions.


The mainstay of treatment for nutritional optic neuropathy involves identifying and replacing deficient nutrients as well as identifying and eliminating contributory toxins. It is also important to identify contributory genetic factors and to consider the broader social, economic and societal factors which may contribute.


Optic neuropathy Nutritional optic neuropathy Tobacco-alcohol amblyopia Vitamin B12 deficiency Cuban epidemic optic neuropathy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyRoyal Hallamshire HospitalSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyRoyal Hallamshire HospitalSheffieldUK

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