Title

Non-organic Vision Loss in the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-4-2017

Journal

Neuro-Ophthalmology

Volume

41

Issue

4

DOI

10.1080/01658107.2017.1295998

Keywords

Functional visual loss; malingering; non-organic visual loss

Abstract

© This article is not subject to U.S. copyright law. Non-organic visual loss (NOVL), defined as a decrease in visual acuity or field without an identifiable organic cause, can be challenging to diagnose, especially in patients whose NOVL is superimposed on some component of true organic pathology. Exposure to combat puts soldiers at risk of emotional distress and physical trauma, which can contribute to the development of NOVL with conversion disorder or malingering. This case series describes six patients with NOVL who sustained ocular or non-ocular injuries while serving in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and highlights diagnostic pearls and components of inter-disciplinary management in the unique military context.

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