The optic nerve is like any other nerve in your body. It transmits information from your eye to your brain, it can suffer damage, and it can become inflamed. This condition is called optic neuritis.
While doctors don’t fully understand what causes these bouts of inflammation, they do have theories. They can also help to reduce both the symptoms and the swelling so the optic nerve can heal.
What is Optic Neuritis?
Optic neuritis is a name for the swelling of the optic nerve. This nerve is responsible for carrying the information about the light you see from the eye back into your brain. If this nerve is damaged, inflamed, or infected, you may not be able to see clearly.
Doctors don’t yet know what causes optic neuritis. It could be a result of your immune system mistakenly attacking the optic nerve. Medical science does show that the condition arises more frequently in people who have had viral issues such as measles, mumps, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and others.
How is Optic Neuritis Diagnosed?
This condition can occur suddenly in one or both eyes. It can also come on gradually over a few days. The symptoms may be exacerbated by heat or exhaustion, so you may feel them more acutely on hot summer days. These symptoms include:
- Dim vision, as if the lights have been lowered
- Blurry vision
- Faded or dull colors
- Discomfort when you move your eyes
- Discomfort at the back of your eye
Symptoms can worsen if the condition goes untreated. It’s important to talk to your vision professional if you experience them. Your eye doctor will diagnose your optic neuritis through several tests:
- Your doctor will use a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope to examine your optic nerve for inflammation.
- You will take a test to gauge your peripheral vision and how well you see color.
- Your doctor will test how your pupils respond to light.
While some people heal from optic neuritis on their own, others need corticosteroids to help prevent vision loss and mitigate symptoms. This is why prompt treatment is vital if you experience symptoms of this condition.
Trust Valley Eyecare Center for All Your Vision Needs
Whether you have specific concerns about your vision or just want to update your eyeglass prescription, Valley Eyecare Center is here for you! Contact us online, or call us at (602) 955-2700 to make an appointment