Optic neuritis is a potentially serious condition, which typically begins with pain when moving one eye. In this article, we’ll talk about the causes of optic neuritis, the symptoms, and why it’s critical to visit your local Phoenix eye doctor if you show signs of it.

What Is Optic Neuritis?

Optic neuritis is caused by an inflammation in the optic nerve, the conduit that sends visual information to your brain. For this reason, optic neuritis typically only occurs in one eye at a time.

The inflammation in the optic nerve leads to damage, which can cause several symptoms:

  • Pain when moving that eye back and forth
  • Blurry vision
  • A blind spot in the middle of the eye’s vision
  • Changes to color perception, especially red hues
  • Illusionary flashes of light in the eye’s vision
  • Partial or total blindness

If you experience these symptoms, you want to schedule an appointment with a qualified optometrist to have it checked out.

Treatments For Optic Neuritis

The severity of optic neuritis can vary. In some cases, the inflammation will fix itself in a few weeks. If your eye doctor does not believe the situation to be serious, they may simply recommend over-the-counter painkillers and let your body heal itself naturally.

In more severe cases, where your vision is substantially degraded to the point it affects your life, your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory steroids instead. These are usually delivered orally, as pills. In rare cases, the steroids may be injected directly into the optic nerve for rapid response.

So, if optic neuritis is the only issue, you have little to worry about. You may have a few days or weeks of discomfort, but eventually your vision will recover.

Unfortunately, optic neuritis can also be a symptom of a much bigger problem.

Optic Neuritis and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious degenerative neural disease, where the body’s immune system attacks its own nerve network. Over time, a person’s control of their body breaks down, leading to serious medical issues or crippling disability. There is currently no cure for MS.

Optic neuritis is a common early symptom of MS. For this reason, your optometrist may refer you to a specialist to receive further testing, such as MRI brain scans.

This is why it’s vitally important to visit an Arizona eye doctor should you show signs of optic neuritis. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, please contact Valley Eyecare Center for an appointment.