Send Comments to IFOND

International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease
P. O. Box 777, Cornwall NY 12518, USA

Phone [g voice]: 6572067250

Please DONATE to IFOND once or regularly to the address above, or click here to
Toxic Nerve Disease

Toxic optic nerve damage and blindness can be caused by a large number of poisionous substances, drugs, nutritional deficiencies, metabolic disorders and radiation.

Smoking, alcohol, barbiturates, DDT, lead, and aniline dyes; prescribed drugs such as digitalis, ergotamine, inderal, ethambutol and suramin sodium used to treat heart disease, migraine, hypertension, tuberculosis and HIV respectively are just a few examples known or suspected to cause optic nerve damage in some situations. Many of these agents lead to permanent blindness but visual loss can be stopped in some if diagnosed early.

Visual loss from nutritional deficiency occurs less frequently in developed countries and occasionally in strict vegan vegetarians with vitamin B12 and B1 deficiencies.

Metabolic problems such as sugar diabetes, kidney failure and thyroid disease can cause optic neuropathy likely through build up of toxic substances within the body.

Ultra violet radiation in sunlight can cause a chain reaction of damaging free radical release in the eye which is thought to contribute to premature aging processes in the eye and vision loss.

Toxic optic nerve disease requires much more study but it is known to be similar to LHON, which suggests common pathophysiological mechanisms. It is also known that people can inherit tendencies to be susceptible to toxic substances. Such is the case with LHON and smoking and interestingly, in a parallel mitochondrial disease, aminoglycoside (antibiotic)-induced nerve deafness.

If you find this site helpful or IFOND sponsored research worthwhile, please donate to IFOND at the address below, or

The International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease
P. O. Box 777, Cornwall NY 12518, USA.
Phone [g voice]: 6572067250
Web site:

IFOND is registered service mark of The International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease

Copyright 1999-2017, International Foundation for Optic Nerve Disease.

The information contained on this website should not be considered medical guidance or professional advice. IFOND is not responsible for errors or omissions in information provided on this site or actions resulting from its use. IFOND does not publish all information from all available sources on optic nerve disease. IFOND is not responsible for the validity of the studies or reviews nor is it an advocate of studies or reviews mentioned on or linked from the IFOND web site. IFOND does not endorse or recommend participation in any particular clinical trial or treatment protocol which may be mentioned on this site. Direct any questions concerning your personal health to your appropriate health care professional.