What is the outlook for someone with anterior ischemic optic neuropathy?
A-AION usually causes a greater degree of vision loss than NA-AION. The amount of loss will depend on the location and amount of optic nerve that is damaged. Some patients may have severe loss of vision in one eye only and retain use of the other eye, although there may be some loss of peripheral (side) vision. There may also be difficulty detecting contrasts between light and shade, as well as decreased color vision. A-AION often has minimal to no improvement.
In NA-AION, about 40% of patients show some amount of improvement in central vision in the months after loss of vision or visual field, although 20-25% of patients with AION in 1 eye will develop AION in the other eye within 3 years. Only about 5% of patients will have multiple occurrences of AION in the same eye, and a small number of patients may find their vision worsening over time. This usually occurs after the first 2 to 3 weeks.