Eye Atlas—Traumatic Optic Neuropathy
This condition can best be seen by comparing the optic nerve in the right eye with the left eye. Above is a photograph of the patient’s left optic nerve. The optic nerve is the yellowish circular structure located in the center of the photograph.
You will notice that the left optic nerve has a pinkish rim surrounding a white center. The right optic nerve looks much paler in comparison. The reason why the right optic nerve is pale is because the patient suffered severe head trauma during a motor vehicle accident, which damaged the optic nerve. As a result, the optic nerve is dead.
This patient cannot even perceive light out of his right eye. Unfortunately, medical science has not yet developed techniques to heal damaged nerves, and so there is no treatment available that would benefit this patient. He does have excellent vision out of his left eye.