Astrocytoma of the Optic Chiasm

What is an astrocytoma?

An astrocytoma is a growth on part of the body that is not needed. It takes space that was meant for something else. It can also be called a glioma. This kind of growth will not break off and go to other parts of the body. It will just grow slowly where it is.

The optic chiasm is on the road of nerves that take visual messages from the eye to the brain. It is the place where the messages from the right eye cross the messages from the left eye. If there is a growth at that spot that is not supposed to be there, it is called an astrocytoma of the optic chiasm or an optic nerve glioma.

What causes astrocytoma of the optic chiasm?

No one knows why growths like this happen.

What kind of vision do people have who have an astrocytoma of the optic chiasm?

People who have an astrocytoma of the optic chiasm may not see things to the sides or above and below when they are looking ahead. When the loss of vision spreads to the center of their vision, they have blurred vision. They may also have nystagmus.

What will help you if you have an astrocytoma of the optic chiasm?

  1. Your doctor may be able to make the growth of the astrocytoma slow down.
    X-rays and medicine sometimes help make it grow more slowly.
  2. Glasses may be helpful.
  3. Make things look bigger. The easy way to make things look bigger is to move them close to you or move yourself close to them. Use a bookstand to hold your book so that you can sit up to look at it up close. Maybe a magnifier will help you see things close to you. You can make print and pictures bigger on the computer or with a copy machine.
  4. Use something to underline words. You may be able to read better if things are underlined. Hold something that has a straight edge below the line you want to read.
  5. Tell people where your vision is best. Ask them to put things for you in the place where you can see them best.
  6. Look up cortical visual impairment on this website. Some of the things that help people who have cortical visual impairment may help you.

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