Symptoms of optic nerve damage

Updated April 08, 2017

Damage to the optic nerve is irreversible, and there are several key symptoms that can alert a person that a problem with the optic nerve is present. If symptoms are exhibited, contact a local eye doctor as soon as possible.

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision, a symptom of optic nerve damage, is the result of inflammation of the optic nerve. The nerve is slightly pinched. The blurred vision is a combination of a failure to code impulses for transmission through the nerve, a failure of the brain to get the correct information.

Abnormal Side Vision

Abnormal peripheral or side vision is another symptom of optic nerve damage. The optic nerve is a small disk behind the pupil of the human eye. When it is damaged, the mobility of the pupil is severely limited. The eye can therefore not turn to see from the side.

Interpretation Problems

Interpretation errors are also a symptom of optic nerve damage. When the optic nerve is damaged, it is covered by a white, filmy layer that makes it difficult for the information about what is being seen to be collected and transmitted to the brain.


When the optic nerve is damaged, the pupil will not constrict to adjust to difference in lighting conditions. The optic nerve is behind the pupil, and damage can cause the pupil to calcify, which means the light will have a harder time entering the eye.

Decreased Brightness

When the optic nerve is damaged, the inflammation causes disconjuncture in the electric relay processes of the nerve. This means the pulses and information do not get to the brain correctly, and things can appear brighter in one eye than in the other.


Damage to the optic nerve can trigger dizziness due to the blurred vision. When vision is blurred, the person will become unbalanced due to failure to interpret the surroundings.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Laura N. Stuart is a writer. She has served as a newspaper reporter, photographer, copy editor, feature reporter, editor, entertainment reporter and freelance writer for multiple community and regional publications. She holds a Bachelor of Mass Communications degree in journalism from Louisiana State University.