If a problem should plague your vision, you would see an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. If your vision problems lie within the nerves in your eyes, a neuroophthalmologist can be a salvation.
Neuro-ophthalmologic services are now available in the region through the recent addition of Puneet S. Braich, MD, MPH, at Trinity Regional Eyecare- Western Dakota, in Williston. Braich is an ophthalmologist who also practices neuro-ophthalmology.
“Neuro-ophthalmology is the study of diseases involving the optic nerve, the visual pathway, double vision, as well as the integration of the central nervous system and the eyes,” Dr. Braich explains. “Some of the common problems neuro-ophthalmologists see include optic nerve diseases, visual field loss, unexplained visual loss, transient visual loss, visual disturbances, double vision, abnormal eye movements, thyroid eye disease, myasthenia gravis, unequal pupil size and eyelid abnormalities.”
Dr. Braich says the most common neuro-ophthalmologic issue that he sees is idiopathic intracranial hypertension, or pseudotumor cerebri (or “false brain tumor”), which is elevated pressure inside the brain from an overproduction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), common symptoms of this malady can include headaches, double vision, short episodes of blindness and ringing of the ears.
“Neuro-ophthalmology is also the ophthalmic specialty that solves diagnostic dilemmas. When other eye doctors do not know the diagnosis, they send their patients to me,” Dr. Braich explains, adding, “Although I love doing surgeries and procedures more than anything else in my profession, I get a unique thrill when solving a diagnostic mystery.”
Dr. Braich joined Trinity in July 2017 after completing fellowship training at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which has been the No. 1-ranked ophthalmology training program in the U.S. for more than 10 years in a row. Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he earned his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine, in Portsmouth, Dominica, and completed his ophthalmology residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
A referral is not needed, but an ophthalmologist or other provider may refer patients. Dr. Braich’s office is based at Trinity Regional Eyecare-Western Dakota, which is located at Community Clinic-Western Dakota, 1321 West Dakota Parkway, Williston. For an appointment, call 701-572-7641.