Dr. Kelly Malloy, Director of the Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease Service, evaluating a patient.The Eye Institute of Salus University’s Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease Specialty Service treats vision related problems and issues associated with the brain, nerves, and muscles.

Patients of this service often experience symptoms of sudden or temporary vision loss, visual disturbances, visual field loss, double vision, drooping eyelids, or other changes in the appearance of their eyes. While some individuals experience specific symptoms, many are asymptomatic, and are often referred by a primary care doctor.  “About half of the brain is used for vision- related activities, including sight and eye movement. Some symptoms are more concerning than others,” said Dr. Kelly Malloy, Director of The Eye Institute’s Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease Service. “For example, a complaint of double vision could be something as simple as needing a new eyeglass prescription, or something as serious as a brain aneurysm.”

Patients are generally referred to this specialty service by their primary eye care doctors, or after being seen in TEI’s Emergency Service. Patients with symptoms that cannot be explained from a refractive or ocular standpoint are often referred for a neuro- ophthalmic evaluation.

Dr. Kelly Malloy and Dr. Erin Draper evaluating a patient's progress.Conditions seen by this specialty include vision and visual field loss, abnormal eye movements, unequal pupil sizes, and eyelid abnormalities. “We try to determine the underlying cause of these problems, which may include conditions such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain tumor, aneurysm, thyroid eye disease, and other systemic conditions such as Lyme disease, and auto-immune conditions,” said Dr. Malloy.

Based on the findings of an extensive examination, The Eye Institute’s doctors determine if an additional work-up is warranted, which may include MRI or CT scans of the brain, laboratory and ultrasound testing, or if the patient needs to be referred to additional specialists to treat or manage a systemic disease. “I was drawn to the challenge and the “detective work” of localizing the problem and uncovering the cause of the patient’s signs and symptoms,” said Dr. Malloy. “The Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease Service bridges the gap between primary eye care providers and neurologists.  This service helps to diagnose and localize the problem and determine the best place to send the patient for the most appropriate treatment.”

For more information on The Eye Institute’s Neuro- Ophthalmic Disease Service, please call 215.276.6000.