Optic neuritis is the inflammation of the nerves in the eye particularly affecting the bundle of nerve fibers. It is associated with multiple sclerosis as it causes inflammation and damage to nerves of the brain and spinal cord. These inflammations occur in a specific region of the eye, medically termed as the optic nerve.

 the Optic nerve is responsible for transmitting images from the eyes to the brain. Medically, optic neuritis is caused by either neuromyelitis optica or multiple sclerosis which is an autoimmune disease and sometimes bacterial infections. Co-morbid conditions of sarcoidosis and lupus may also lead to optic neuritis. Genetic mutations are another risk factor of optic neuritis.

Optic neuritis is prone to occur amongst people of all ages, however, mainly occurs between 20 and 50 years of age. It is more prevalent among women. It has also been scientifically found that various prescribed drugs and smoking may also lead to optic neuritis.

Symptoms

  • Vision loss in one eye
  • Becoming colour blind
  • Flashing lights during eye movement
  • Pain in the eye
  • Headaches

Diagnosis And Treatment

The diagnosis of optic neuritis is usually done with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computed tomography (CT) scan. In critical cases, the doctor may also advice optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan for detailed information.

Vision loss from optic neuritis may be temporary and ophthalmologist prescribe steroid medication that helps to lower inflammation and ease the condition. When steroids do not respond and if severe vision loss persists, plasma exchange therapy helps people to recover vision.

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