Learn About Optic Neuritis

What is the definition of Optic Neuritis?

The optic nerve carries images of what the eye sees to the brain. When this nerve become swollen or inflamed, it is called optic neuritis. It may cause sudden, reduced vision in the affected eye.

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What are the alternative names for Optic Neuritis?

Retro-bulbar neuritis; Multiple sclerosis - optic neuritis; Optic nerve - optic neuritis

What are the causes of Optic Neuritis?

The exact cause of optic neuritis is unknown.

The optic nerve carries visual information from your eye to the brain. The nerve can swell when it becomes suddenly inflamed. The swelling can damage nerve fibers. This can cause short or long-term loss of vision.

Conditions that have been linked with optic neuritis include:

  • Autoimmune diseases, including lupus, sarcoidosis, and Behçet disease
  • Cryptococcosis, a fungal infection
  • Bacterial infections, including tuberculosis, syphilis, Lyme disease, and meningitis
  • Viral infections, including viral encephalitis, measles, rubella, chickenpox, herpes zoster, mumps, and mononucleosis
  • Respiratory infections, including mycoplasma pneumonia and other common upper respiratory tract infections
  • Multiple sclerosis
What are the symptoms of Optic Neuritis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Loss of vision in one eye over an hour or a few hours
  • Changes in the way the pupil reacts to bright light
  • Loss of color vision
  • Pain when you move the eye
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What are the current treatments for Optic Neuritis?

Vision often returns to normal within 2 to 3 weeks with no treatment.

Corticosteroids given through a vein (IV) or taken by mouth (oral) may speed up recovery. However, the final vision is no better with steroids than without. Oral steroids may actually increase the chance of recurrence.

Further tests may be needed to find the cause of the neuritis. The condition causing the problem may be able to be treated.

Who are the top Optic Neuritis Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
29
conditions
Neurology

Mayo Clinic

Rochester, Minnesota

200 1st St Sw 
Rochester, MN 55905

Sean Pittock is a Neurologist in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Pittock has been practicing medicine for over 29 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Optic Neuritis. He is also highly rated in 29 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Neuromyelitis Optica, Transverse Myelitis, Optic Neuritis, and Encephalitis. He is licensed to treat patients in Minnesota. Dr. Pittock is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
7
conditions
Neurology

Mayo Clinic

Phoenix, Arizona

13400 E Shea Blvd 
Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Dean Wingerchuk is a Neurologist in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Wingerchuk has been practicing medicine for over 29 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Optic Neuritis. He is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Neuromyelitis Optica, Optic Neuritis, Transverse Myelitis, and Multiple Sclerosis. He is licensed to treat patients in New Hampshire, Minnesota, Nevada, and Arizona. Dr. Wingerchuk is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
10
conditions

Tohoku University Graduate School Of Medicine

Southern Tohoku General Hospital 
Koriyama, JP 

Kazuo Fujihara is in Koriyama, Japan. Fujihara is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Optic Neuritis. He is also highly rated in 10 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Neuromyelitis Optica, Optic Neuritis, Transverse Myelitis, and Multiple Sclerosis.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Optic Neuritis?

People who have optic neuritis without a disease such as multiple sclerosis have a good chance of recovery.

Optic neuritis caused by multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune diseases has a poorer outlook. However, vision in the affected eye may still return to normal.

What are the possible complications of Optic Neuritis?

Complications may include:

  • Body-wide side effects from corticosteroids
  • Vision loss

Some people who have an episode of optic neuritis will develop nerve problems in other places in the body or develop multiple sclerosis.

When should I contact a medical professional for Optic Neuritis?

Call your health care provider right away if you have a sudden loss of vision in one eye, especially if you have eye pain.

If you have been diagnosed with optic neuritis, call your health care provider if:

  • Your vision decreases.
  • The pain in the eye gets worse.
  • Your symptoms do not improve within 2 to 3 weeks.
External and internal eye anatomy
What are the latest Optic Neuritis Clinical Trials?
IMCY-NMO-000 In Vitro Study of the Biological and Immunological Activity of Imotopes® Candidates on Blood Cells of Patients With Stabilized Neuromyelitis Optica (PHASE 0)
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Investigating the Longitudinal Relationships Between Visual Pathway Injury, Radiological and Blood Biomarkers in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
What are the Latest Advances for Optic Neuritis?
Experience with tocilizumab in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.
Emerging drugs for the acute treatment of relapses in adult neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder patients.
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Longitudinal extensive transverse myelitis after chemoradiation therapy with durvalumab, a rare complication: case report.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : February 25, 2020
Published By : Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Calabresi PA. Multiple sclerosis and demyelinating conditions of the central nervous system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 383.

Moss HE, Guercio JR, Balcer LJ. Inflammatory optic neuropathies and neuroretinitis. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology.  5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 9.7.

Prasad S, Balcer LJ. Abnormalities of the optic nerve and retina. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 17.