Optic nerve inflammation.

What is optic nerve inflammation?

This is a vision disorder also known as optic neuritis which is characterized by the inflammation of the optic nerve of the eye.

How would you describe optic nerve inflammation?

The optic nerve is the vehicle that sends visual information to the brain. Optic neuritis results when the optic nerve becomes inflamed and the myelin sheath which surrounds the optic nerve is destroyed.

What are the causes and symptoms?

The symptoms of this vision disorder include one of several of the following: dimmed or blurred vision, blind spots, particularly when it deals with central vision, pain when you move your eye, headache, sudden color blindness, night vision impairment, impaired contrast sensitivity.

Inflammation of the optic nerve is very commonly associated with MS or multiple sclerosis. Other causes include encephalomyelitis, pressure on the optic nerve as a result of tumors or vascular disease, fungal or viral infections and autoimmune diseases. Some toxins, such as lead and methanol can also cause damage to the optic nerve. Long term abuse of tobacco and alcohol can also lead to inflammation of the optic nerve.

What is the diagnosis for optic nerve inflammation/ An ophthalmologist, who is a doctor trained if eye diseases, will usually be the one to diagnose inflammation of the optic nerve. You will have to have a complete eye exam, a visual acuity test, a color vision test as well as an examination of the retina as well as the optic disc with an ophthalmoscope.

In some cases the eye may appear to be normal, but it other cases an impaired pupil may be evident during the eye exam. A medical history will also be taken to determine if exposure to possible toxins such as lead may have been the result of the optic neuritis. Sometime it may be necessary to have an MRI done to confirm the diagnosis.

What is the treatment for optic neuritis?

It all depends upon the underlying cause of the inflammation. If a viral condition has caused the vision loss, then once the virus has been successfully treated, the optic neuritis will resolve on its own, and any damage that may have been done will more than likely improve.

What is the prognosis for inflammation of the optic nerve?

Vision loss associated with this eye disease is usually temporary. A person can experience remission in from two to eight weeks. The long term prognosis will depend upon what caused the optic neuritis in the first place. If it is associated with MS, there may be further occurrences.

How can you prevent optic neuritis?

It is very important for a person to get a regular yearly eye exam. If you treat vision problems early, this can prevent any permanent optic nerve damage.

Also the food we eat are very important. Foods that are anti inflammatory are great for the eye's. As is foods with vitamin A and D.


Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your Doctor. The information is for educational purposes. All health conditions should be treated by a health practitioner. This site is not meant to dispense medical advice, and does not assume responsibility for those who choose to treat themselves.