Focus on the brain instead of the eyes to treat vision problems.

Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
~ $172,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Neuro-ophthalmologists do?

A Neuro-ophthalmologist addresses people’s vision problems by treating not their eyes, but rather their brain. You see, people use almost half the brain for vision-related activities. When it comes to vision, eyes are like an annoying coworker who does only 50 percent of the work, but takes 100 percent of the credit. They get all the glory for helping a person see, but it’s the brain that does most of the labor.

That’s why the work of a Neuro-ophthalmologist makes a lot of sense. As a Neuro-ophthalmologist, you’re a Physician who’s part Neurologist, part Neurosurgeon, and part Ophthalmologist, and you specialize in illnesses and conditions that affect vision, but originate in the nervous system. Those conditions include, for instance, optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy, papilledema, cerebrovascual disorder, thyroid eye disease, ocular motor disorders, and hemifacial spasm, just to name a few.

If that sounds like a mouthful, consider some of the symptoms you look for: optic nerve problems, visual field loss, unexplained loss of vision, transient visual loss, double vision, abnormal eye movements, unequal pupil size, eye pain, and eyelid spasms.

No matter the illness or symptoms, you diagnose and treat neurological conditions that impact the eyes by first consulting with patients, giving eye exams, and conducting and interpreting neurological exams — using MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, ERGs, etc. You then prescribe medications, administer treatments, and perform neurosurgery.

Treating your patients is kind of like fixing a car: If it’s not driving right, you’ve got to look under the hood to figure out what’s wrong. When folks can’t see, you therefore look under their figurative hood to find and fix the problem.

Should I be a Neuro-ophthalmologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Neuro-ophthalmologist

    We recommend at least a Doctoral degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's. Check out these schools offering Neuro-ophthalmologist-related education!
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