A complex network of blood vessels supplies the brain and eye. Occasionally, a blood vessel wall can become weak. If an abnormal outpouching in the wall of a blood vessel develops, it is called an aneurysm. An aneurysm in the brain can expand and press on important structures such as nerves, leading to loss of vision or double vision.
A sudden rupture of an aneurysm can be fatal. Treatment of aneurysms by an interventional neuroradiologist or neurosurgeon must be performed urgently if there is a risk for rupture. Dr. Banik coordinates and expedites care for her patients. She makes sure to get them the timely care they require.
Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
Another blood vessel abnormality that can cause vision loss is an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). An AVM is an abnormal direct communication between an artery (high flow vessel) and a vein (low flow vessel). The AVM causes expansion and dilation of the veins. This can compress the adjacent area or cause a lack of blood flow leading to a stroke.
When located in the area of the brain responsible for vision, AVMs can cause peripheral vision loss in one half of vision. After evaluation by Dr. Banik, an AVM may require treatment by an interventional neuroradiologist or neurosurgeon.
Occasionally, blood vessels undergoing constant stress from high blood pressure or other vascular risk factors such as diabetes can become thickened and dilated and compress surrounding nerves. Usually the compression comes on very slowly and rarely requires treatment. However, some patients with more severe symptoms may elect to undergo treatment to decompress the affected nerve.
The most common blood vessel abnormality is narrowing, or stenosis, causing an increased risk for stroke. This occurs in patients over the age of 50 with vascular risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, sleep apnea, or a strong family history.
Usually, there are no symptoms of arterial stenosis until it becomes more severe. One may experience transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or “mini-strokes”, which are episodes of lack of blood flow to an area. Symptoms can include sudden painless loss of vision in one eye, drooping of the face, numbness or weakness on one side of the body.
Whether Rudrani Banik, MD is the first Neuro-Ophthalmologist you are visiting for treatment of a vascular issue within the brain or the last one, she will make sure she does everything in her power to find an effective treatment to help you see and function better.