Optical Neuritis

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Optical Neuritis Information

What is Optical Neuritis?

Optic neuritis, swelling or inflammation of the optic nerve, is the most common visual disorder. Optic Nerve is the nerve that carries visual data from the retina of the eye to a relay station in the centre of the brain for transmission to a cortical area at the back of the brain. With optic neuritis, the optic nerve becomes swollen and the nerve fibers do not work properly.

Symptom of Optical Neuritis

Symptoms of optic neuritis include

  • blurred vision,
  • dimming of colors,
  • pain when the eye is moved, blind spots, and
  • loss of contrast sensitivity.

These symptoms of Optical Neuritis may worsen over the first few days to two weeks. Then the condition usually starts improving. Some people recover within a month; others need up to a year. Most people regain normal or close-to-normal sight. However, the quality of their vision, including color or depth perception and contrast sensitivity, may be reduced after an episode of optic neuritis.

Causes of Optical Neuritis

The exact cause of Optical Neuritis is not known. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the disease most often associated with optic neuritis.

Treatment and Cure of Neuritis

As a treatment of Optical Neuritis it is currently recommended to have an MRI of the head done with an episode of optic neuritis. This may demonstrate findings which could show risk for development of multiple sclerosis, in the non-pediatric age range. If these findings are found, high dose IV steroids given at the time of an episode of optic neuritis may not only speed the visual recovery, but also delay onset of MS. There are studies being done with other medications which may help as well.

Other types of neuritis

  1. Brachial Neuritis
  2. Optical Neuritis
  3. Intercostal Neuritis
  4. Ulnar neuritis
  5. Lumbosacral neuritis
  6. Vestibular neuritis
  7. Occipital neuritis
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