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Optic Neuritis

Optic Neuritis Causes

The condition is due to an inflammation of the optic nerve. The loss of vision is often caused by the swelling and destruction of the myelin sheath that covers the optic nerve. Direct axonal damage may destroy the nerve. Other causes may include viral-bacterial infections, autoimmune disorders, chloramphenicol and the inflammation of vessels that nourish the optic nerve. Some drugs such as ethambutol, an antitubercular drug, can also cause optic neuritis.

Optic Neuritis Definition

Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve, which may cause a complete or partial loss of vision. It is sometimes referred to as retrobulbar neuritis.

Optic Neuritis Diagnosis

Patients are examined through an ophthalmoscope to visualize the head of their optic nerve. But an abnormality does not usually appear though some patients may have a swollen optic nerve. In most cases, patients are unaware of their loss of color vision until the doctor asks them to close or cover their unaffected eye.

Optic Neuritis Symptoms and Signs

Patients may suddenly loss their vision, which is sometimes accompanied with pain. Others patient's affected eye loss of color vision.

Optic Neuritis Treatment

Systemic intravenous treatment with corticosteroids is used to quickly heal the optic nerve. Patients treated through oral administration of corticosteroids may experience more recurrent attacks compared with non-treated patients.

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