|Inflammation of the optic nerve, which
may cause sudden, partial loss of vision of the affected eye.
|Causes, incidences, and risk factors
|The cause of optic neuritis is unknown.
Sudden inflammation of the optic nerve leads to swelling
and destruction of its myelin
sheath. The inflammation may be the result of a viral infection or autoimmune
diseases, such as multiple
sclerosis. Risk factors are related to the possible causes. The
is not reported.
|Most cases are not preventable.
vision in one eye
- Loss of color vision
- Pain on movement of the eye
- Decreased constriction of the pupil of the affected eye in bright
|Signs and tests
A complete medical examination is indicated to rule out associated
Tests may include:
- Color vision testing
- Visualization of the optic disc by indirect ophthalmoscopy
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain to test for multiple
acuity may return to normal within 2 to 3 weeks with no treatment. Intravenous
corticosteroid therapy may accelerate visual recovery, but may be
associated with systemic
side effects. Oral corticosteroid therapy may increase the risk of
recurrence and is no longer used for initial therapy. It may be used
after initial intravenous corticosteroid therapy. Further diagnostic
evaluation may be necessary.
|Optic neuritis with no underlying
systemic disease has a good prognosis for recovery. Optic neuritis
resulting from multiple sclerosis, or other autoimmune disease such as systemic
lupus erythematosis is associated with a poorer prognosis.
side effects of therapy
- About 20% of patients with a first episode of optic neuritis will
develop multiple sclerosis
|Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider immediately if sudden loss
of vision in one eye occurs.
If you have optic neuritis, call your health care provider if vision
in the eye develops, or if symptoms do not improve with treatment.