Glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmology

Street address
Rubik, Pasila
Maistraatinportti 2, 7th floor, Helsinki 
Mailing address
P.O. Box 250, 00240 Helsinki
Contact information
Glaucoma ward: 09 471 73113
Examination ward: 09 471 73161, calling time Mon–Fri at 9–11

Nurse manager: Irmeli Hirvelä
Ward physician: Päivi Puska
Opening hours
Mon–Fri at 7.30–15.30 
The main tasks of the glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmology unit are the early diagnostics of glaucoma and treatment of problematic glaucoma cases. Our unit treats patients who need specialized care. We mainly perform various laser procedures and demanding glaucoma surgery. The glaucoma unit treats patients referred to us by specialists. At the appointments, we discuss diagnostic issues, implementation of medication, and plan both laser and surgical procedures.

The neuro-ophthalmology unit treats patients who may have a brain tumor, double vision, eye movement disturbances, or vision loss. The examination unit performs visual field testing, photography, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiographies, tomographies, electrophysiological examinations, and eye pressure measurements. Annually, we receive over 7,000 referrals, have about 13,000 outpatient clinic appointments and 12,000 additional appointments, and we perform approximately 21,000 examinations, 1,200 laser procedures, and about 1,100 surgeries.

What is neuro-ophthalmology?
Neuro-ophthalmology is a speciality combining eye diseases and neurology. In Finland, neuro-ophthalmologists are eye specialists, but in some countries, they can also be neurologists. A neuro-ophthalmologist first specializes in eye diseases for five years to become an eye specialist (an ophthalmologist), and after this it requires additional two years to become a neuro-ophthalmologist. Neuro-ophthalmologists often have common patients with other ophthalmologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, and endocrinologists. We also co-operate with ear specialists, neuropsychologists, child neurologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Neuro-ophthalmologists usually work in university hospitals.

Typically, other ophthalmologists and specialists consult neuro-ophthalmologists when solving and evaluating visual system problems. Common reasons for neuro-ophthalmological examinations are unsolved vision loss, unsolved problems with vision or eyes, and examinations due to double vision. Sometimes eye specialists detect issues in the optic nerve heads (papilla), eyelids, or pupils, which are then examined more closely at the neuro-ophthalmologist’s appointment. It is also very common that a neurosurgeon or a neurologist needs to co-operate with a neuro-ophthalmologist when planning treatment or when monitoring an illness. In the treatment and follow-ups of these patients, a neuro-ophthalmologist is just one part of a great network of specialists.

Neuro-ophthalmological examinations often include vision field tests, eye movement tests, and various medical imaging examinations. The examinations are safe for the patient. Sometimes the pupils need to be dilated with short-acting eye drops, and your vision may be slightly blurred after fundus examinations. Neuro-ophthalmological examinations are often time consuming. If necessary, a neuro-ophthalmologist will recommend further examinations and follow-ups, or consult other specialists as needed.