Your optic nerve plays a significant role in your ability to see. It carries images to your brain, where the information is deciphered. If the optic nerve becomes inflamed and swollen, it is called optic neuritis, and it can cause pain and temporary vision loss. Optic neuritis is often the first symptom of multiple sclerosis, this is because the optic nerve is part of the central nervous system which is often the first area of the body to be affected by the disease.
Signs and symptoms
Optic neuritis usually occurs in one eye, though it is possible to have it in both eyes at the same time. The most common symptom of optic neuritis is pain. The inflammation typically causes sufferers to experience pain when moving their eyes. Another symptom of optic neuritis is temporary loss of vision which may last for a couple of hours to a few weeks. Because of the severity of these symptoms it is critical to seek medical attention immediately. Once an ophthalmologist diagnoses you with optic neuritis, it is necessary to see a neurologist to get a full MRI scan to determine if you have multiple sclerosis. It is important to understand that just because you develop optic neuritis does not mean that you automatically have MS but an MRI I can help your doctor assess your risk. It is also best at this point to discuss the possibility of using disease-modifying drugs to reduce your risk of developing MS or lessen its severity.
MS is not the only disease that causes optic neuritis.
Other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, Behcet’s disease, and sarcoidosis can also cause optic neuritis. In addition, respiratory, viral, fungal, and bacterial infections may lead to optic neuritis as well. B12 deficiency has also been linked to the disease.
Since optic neuritis has so many causes, it is important to seek medical attention so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Additional Information You Should Know
-About 50% of all people with multiple sclerosis experiences optic neuritis.
-Recurrences are not uncommon, though it is unknown why some people experience recurrences while others do not.
-Optic neuritis may go away on its own after a few weeks, but it clears up faster when treated with IV steroids.
-While IV steroids help to return your vision faster, they don’t eliminate the possibility of some slight changes in vision.
-However, many studies have shown that taking oral steroids does not help to rid patients of the disease and can actually increases their likelihood of developing at again.
-Most people regain 20/20 vision after having experienced optic neuritis. However, the disease may affect ability to distinguish between colors. And some people have reported being able to see better in dim rather than bright light.
Now that you have some more information about optic neuritis be sure to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghosheh if you suspect you have this disorder. If you have any further questions about optic neuritis and MS feel free to reach out to us. To schedule a free consultation, visit laserforeyes.com.