Optic Neuritis

Also known as: ON.

What is optic neuritis?

The optic nerve is the nerve pathway that connects the eye to the brain, sending visual messages to the brain for interpretation. Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve, which becomes swollen, doesn’t function normally and results in loss of vision. It can occur in one or both eyes.

What causes optic neuritis? 

Optic neuritis is probably an autoimmune disorder which frequently follows an infection, though the cause is often unclear. It is common with other conditions like multiple sclerosis.

What are the symptoms of optic neuritis? 

The earliest symptoms are usually sudden and significant loss of vision; loss of color perception, loss of side vision, or perceiving flashing or flickering light, and eye pain with eye movement.

What are optic neuritis care options? 

Optic neuritis often improves on its own over a few weeks. A short course of corticosteroid medication may decrease the inflammation.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:13:28 PM

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