Recent Blog Articles

Optic Nerve Swelling (Papilledema)

October 26, 2018

What Is It?

Papilledema is the swelling of the optic nerve as it enters the back of the eye due to raised intracranial pressure. Fluid surrounding the brain is constantly produced and reabsorbed, maintaining just enough intracranial pressure to help protect the brain if there is blunt head trauma. 

When you have a headache or unexplained nausea and vomiting, your doctor will look into your eye with an ophthalmoscope. This handheld instrument shines a bright light into your eye. Changes in the appearance of the optic nerve and the blood vessels that pass through it can be seen through the ophthalmoscope and might be related to the source of your symptoms. 

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.