Optic neuritis is the inflammation of the optic nerve, the nerve that transmits light and visual images to the brain, and is responsible for vision.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 55% of people with MS will have an episode of optic neuritis. Frequently, it’s the first symptom of the disease. Although having optic neuritis is very suggestive of multiple sclerosis, it does not mean that a person has or will get multiple sclerosis.
Patients with optic neuritis should be cautioned to avoid work and other activities that may require greater visual skills than they possess. Use of machinery, heavy equipment, or sharp instruments, as well as other visually demanding activities, may have to be avoided until the patient recovers sufficient vision.
Patients should know that vigorous physical activity, hot baths, and other activities that raise their core body temperature might result in temporary decreases in vision because of the Uhthoff phenomenon.
Often optic neuritis goes away on it’s own with time. Steroid treatment is usually given by vein. Intravenous steroid therapy may speed vision recovery, but it doesn’t appear to affect the extent to which you’ll recover vision you’ve lost. When steroid therapy fails and severe vision loss persists, a treatment called plasma exchange therapy may help some people recover their vision. However, studies haven’t confirmed that plasma exchange therapy is effective for optic neuritis.
Have you experience optic neuritis? How long did it last? Did it go away on your own or do you use medication?
You might want to read about my experience with optic neuritis.