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Optic neuritis

  • Alternative Names

    Retro-orbital neuritis


    Vision often returns to normal within 2 - 3 weeks with no treatment.

    Corticosteroids given through a vein (IV) may speed up recovery. Higher doses should be used cautiously, as they can have serious side effects.

    Further tests may be needed to determine the cause of the neuritis. The condition causing the problem can then be treated.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    People who have optic neuritis without a disease such as multiple sclerosis have a good chance of recovery.

    Optic neuritis caused by multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus has a poorer outlook, although vision in the affected eye may still return to normal.

    • Body-wide side effects from corticosteroids
    • Vision loss

    About 20% of patients with a first episode of optic neuritis will develop myelin sheath inflammation at other sites or will develop multiple sclerosis.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider immediately if you have a sudden loss of vision in one eye.

    If you have optic neuritis, call your health care provider if:

    • Your vision decreases
    • You develop pain in the eye
    • Your symptoms do not improve with treatment