Recognizing the Symptoms

Few people are familiar with the condition and symptoms associated with Optic Neuritis.  Initially, you may feel an aching pain behind your eye as it moves.   You may notice colors are not as vivid and/ or your overall sight has diminished.  During this time, you are sure that something is wrong with how well you are seeing.   It can worsen, if you don’t act fast.    It’s important that you do not ignore or self diagnose, but seek medical attention immediately.

Please see a Healthcare Practitioner urgently, if you are experiencing the following:

  • Eye Pain – Headache and pain in the movement of the eye.
  • Diminishing vision – Loss of vision in one eye over an hour or a few hours.  If you know you are not seeing lights as bright as you should.  Loss of color vision.
  • Flashing or flickering light
  • For children that have Optic Neuritis they might have a history of a fever, flu-like illness, or immunizations 1-2 weeks prior to the onset of the decreased vision.

Optic Neuritis (ON) is a demyelinating inflammation of the optic nerve.

Treatments usually include: Intravenous and/or Oral Steroids,  or it may improve on its own with time.  Your best treatment options should be provided to you by a Healthcare Practitioner.  It is of most importance to pursue the counsel of an HCP before deciding not to initiate therapy.

Intravenous and / or oral steroid medications may reduce inflammation in the optic nerve.  Possible side effects from steroid treatment include weight gain, mood changes, stomach upset and insomnia.  If you receive steroids, your treatment may result in:

  • Intravenous steroid therapy may improve vision recovery, but it may not reverse total impact of loss vision.
  • Oral steroids. After intravenous steroid therapy, your doctor may prescribe an oral steroid called prednisone for about two weeks.

It is necessary to maintain regular vision exams to monitor vision and the strength of the optic nerves.