What Is the Function of the Optic Nerve?

The optic nerve, also called cranial nerve II or the second cranial nerve, is responsible for carrying images from the eyes to the brain. The transfer of visual information begins in the retina and travels to the brain's visual centers with the help of electrical impulses.

Damage to the optic nerve sometimes occurs and is known as optic nerve atrophy. Common symptoms include dimming vision and the fading of colors. Many unrelated issues such as poor blood flow, shock, radiation and trauma are potential causes of optic nerve atrophy. In addition, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, stroke and cranial arthritis are also other causes of the damage.