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Friday, March 2, 2018

What is optic neuritis in MS?

When you have optic neuritis, the nerve that sends messages from your eye to your brain, called the optic nerve, is inflamed.
It can happen all of a sudden. Your vision gets dim or blurry. You can’t see colors. Your eyeshurt when you move them. It’s a common problem for people living with multiple sclerosis(MS). The symptoms can seem scary, but most people recover fully, often without treatment.

What Is Optic Neuritis?

We don’t know why, but sometimes your immune systemattacks the fatty coating called myelin that covers and protects your optic nerve. When the myelin is damaged or missing, your optic nerve can't send the right signals to your brain. This can lead to changes in your vision.
Optic neuritis is one of the most common symptoms of the relapsing-remitting form of MS. But it can also happen when you take certain medications or if you have diabetes. It’s also linked to neuromyelitis optica(NMO), or Devic's disease. This autoimmune disorder causes immune system cells and antibodies to attack your optic nerves, spinal cord, and, sometimes, your brain.

Symptoms of Optic Neuritis

This condition usually comes on quickly, over a few hours or days. You may notice some of these symptoms:
  • Pain when you move your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of color vision
  • Trouble seeing to the side
  • A hole in the center of your vision
  • Blindness in rare cases
  • Headache -- a dull ache behind your eyes
Adults usually get optic neuritis in only one eye, but children may have it in both.
Some people get better in a few weeks, even without treatment. For others, it can take up to a year. And a few people never fully regain their sight. Even when other symptoms clear up, they may still have trouble with night vision or seeing colors.


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