Optic atrophy is a clear-cut white disc with reduced number of vessels that implies irreversible damage to optic nerve fibers. It may be congenital or acquired. If congenital, it is usually hereditary. The milder form is autosomal dominant and has a gradual onset of deterioration in childhood but little progression thereafter; the more severe form is autosomal recessive and is present at birth or within 2 years; this form is accompanied by nystagmus.
Signs and Symptoms: A decrease in visual acuity in one or both eyes’ defects in color vision; pendular nystagmus, Marcus Gunn pupillary response.
Characteristics: Visual acuity may range from the mild loss (20/80) associated wiht the dominant form of congenital optic atrophy, through the severe loss (2/200 or less) associated wiht the recessive form. Acute loss wiht juvenile (Leber’s) atrophy, is very common, with gradual recovery, over a period of years.