What is Optic Neuritis?
Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve. It occurs when an individual’s immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath covering the optic nerve, causing inflammation and damage. While optic neuritis can occur in isolation, it can be seen in the setting of multiple sclerosis, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, or Neuromyelitis Optica.
People suffering Optic Neuritis can experience pain, especially with movement of the eye, brief or permanent loss of vision, and, at times, flashing or flickering lights. Typically, Optic Neuritis only affects one eye, but there are reports of bilateral optic neuritis.
In some circumstances, optic neuritis can resolve without treatment. However, steroid treatment is often prescribed to reduce the inflammation in the optic nerve.