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Massachusetts Eye and Ear



Phone number for neuro-ophthalmology appointmentEye Care Appointments

Our specialists treat patients with complex central nervous system disorders that affect vision.

Unmatched Expertise

Our neuro-ophthalmology specialists have been doubly-trained in both ophthalmology and neurology. They are well-equipped to treat patients with the full range of neuro-ophthalmic conditions, such as:

  • Optic neuritis
  • Ischemic optic neuropathy
  • Brain tumors involving the optic nerves or chiasm
  • Strokes that cause visual loss or double vision
  • Transient monocular blindness
  • Migraine with visual symptoms
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Mitochondrial disease
  • Diplopia and strabismus
  • Nystagmus
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (also known as pseudotumor cerebri)
  • Cranial nerve and myopathic problems that affect eye movements

They also specialize in evaluating patients who have unexplained visual loss. They work closely with neurologists and neurosurgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and throughout the Partners System and provide consultation service to MGH inpatients on a daily basis.

A Unique Service With Big Impact

With only a handful of neuro-ophthalmology services in New England and fewer than 200 full-time neuro-ophthalmologists nationwide, Mass. Eye and Ear's Neuro-Ophthalmology Service is home to the region's largest and most comprehensive service. 

The service began in the 1940s under the guidance of Dr. David G. Cogan, one of the most seminal contributors to the fields of neuro-ophthalmology and ophthalmic pathology. In this same spirit of excellence, our patients today receive the highest level of expertise and care available anywhere in the world.

Joseph F. Rizzo III, MD, has directed the service since 2006. Under Dr. Rizzo's leadership, the service has doubled its clinical volume to just under 6,000 patients each year. An accompanying and steep rise in annual surgical case volume—from 4 cases to 84 cases—is a measure of the experience and expertise of Harvard Medical School Associate Professor, Dean Cestari, MD, who specializes in medical and surgical treatment of patients with adult strabismus.

Clinical Research

Our neuro-ophthalmologists also conduct clinical research to understand more about the causes of blindness and to explore new treatments. Our primary research focus has been on blinding diseases that affect the retina or optic nerve. We have participated in clinical studies to assess the potential benefit of new drugs, gene therapies, and a retinal prosthesis as means of reducing the impact of blindness or restoring vision.


Before making an appointment to see one of our specialists, you will need a referral from your primary doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, or neurologist.

Meet Our Team

Our specialists have expertise in both ophthalmology and neurology.

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