Our surgeons are among the most experienced in the world in treating an array of neurosurgical conditions.
Read about the members of our surgical team >
Optic nerve compression occurs when a formation around the brain — such as a tumor or bony structure — presses on the optic nerve and affects its performance.
Over time, optic nerve compression may lead to optic nerve death, also known as optic neuropathy.
The most common symptom of optic nerve compression is gradual vision loss or a gradual worsening in your vision.
At UPMC, the preferred surgical treatment for optic nerve compression is the Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This innovative, minimally invasive technique uses the nose and nasal cavities as natural corridors to access hard-to-reach or previously inoperable tumors. Benefits of EEA include:
To diagnose optic nerve compression, our doctor will:
When you have optic nerve compression, the most common symptom is gradual worsening or loss of your vision.
Other symptoms may include:
It is rare to have sudden vision loss with optic nerve compression, although it can occur when the source of compression is a bone fragment after trauma.
For most people, the best treatment is to remove or move whatever is pressing on the optic nerve before the compression causes permanent damage.
Optic nerve compression may be corrected using Endoscopic Endonasal Approach (EEA). This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive approach allows surgeons to access the optic nerve through the natural corridor of the nose, without making an open incision.
This technique allows doctors to see the nerve well without making an open incision. Surgeons then can remove a tumor or open the bony canal that is compressing the optic nerve.
EEA offers the benefits of no incisions to heal, no disfigurement, and a faster recovery time.
UPMC's neurosurgical team will look at your condition from every direction, to find the path that is least disruptive to your brain, critical nerves, and ability to return to normal functioning.
We may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches to maximize the benefits of surgery while minimizing risks.
How can we help you?
Schedule anappointment >
Ask a question >
Request our expertopinion >
1-877-986-9862(within the U.S.)
When a Jain Guru with 1 million followers was losing his sight—and traditional surgery failed—his followers sought sight-saving endonasal brain surgery at UPMC in Pittsburgh.
Read more >
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by
A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.
For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.
UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.
For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com