Optic neuritis symptoms?
Optic neuritis usually develops quickly, over hours to days. The following symptoms are linked with optic neuritis:
- Pain when you move your eyes
- Blurred vision
- Loss of colour vision
- Loss peripheral vision
- A hole in the centre of your vision
- Headaches behind the eyes
- Blindness, however this is rare
Some of these symptoms are associated with other, more common eye conditions. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or a sudden change to your vision you should get your eyes checked as soon as possible.
Optic neuritis can occur in both adults and children. It typically affects one eye in adults but both eyes in children under 10 years old.
The majority of people recover over a period of a few weeks. In chronic cases it can take far longer to recover but rarely more than one year. In general, you’ll regain full, or nearly full, vision although problems with night vision or seeing colours washedout can persist.
Causes of optic neuritis
Our eyelids have lots of little glands that help to keep the eye moist. Sometimes bacteria normally found on the skin (staphylococcus) can find its way into one of these glands, causing an infection. A stye could also be caused by an infected eyelash follicle.
Once the myelin is inflamed it causes pain and disrupts the optic nerve’s ability to send messages from your eyes to the brain, although it’s not known why this happens.
Although rare, optic neuritis can also be caused by infections, such as:
- Lyme disease
Treatment of optic neuritis
Optic neuritis can be detected in an eye test, if your optometrist suspects you have optic neuritis, they’ll refer you to a hospital eye department where your diagnosis will be confirmed, and a treatment plan developed.