View Full Version : Optic Neuritis

03-30-2008, 07:40 PM
Anyone here have problems with Optic Neuritis? It's inflammation of the optic nerve. I have terrible pain behind my eyes. It usually only affects one eye at a time. If I press lightly against my eye, with my eyelid closed, it hurts. It feels like my eye has pressure like an over-inflated baloon. I made an appointment with an Optometrist, probably have to see an Opthamologist though. Has anyone here had any experience with this? It's rather disconcerting, as the vision in the affected eye seems to dim somewhat.

03-30-2008, 08:54 PM
Hi Rob; I've never had this condition. However, here is some information about the condition.
Optic neuritis is an inflammatory condition that involves the optic nerve and may cause various abnormalities of vision. You may notice blurred or distorted vision, reduced color vision, or a blind spot. This is usually accompanied by a history of pain when you move your eyes. Sometimes the pain come first and then you may lose your vision. The condition usually occurs in adults under 45 years of age, and women are affected much more frequently than men.
The visual problems may worsen over a period of approximately 7 days, then typically remains stable (at that level) for 3 to 8 weeks, followed by gradual visual improvement. Most people with optic neuritis will recover much of their vision within 6 months of the onset of optic neuritis.
When you go to see your ophthalmologist, he will check your vision, eye pressure, and pupillary function. To do this, your eyes will be dialated so that the optic nerves and retina can be examined. There is always an abnormal pupil in optic neuritis, known as an afferent pupillary defect (An afferent pupillary defect (APD) occurs when the nerve pathways to the brain fail to properly transmit messages). The optic nerve, in this disorder, may appear normal or swollen. The opthomologist will also conduct a visual field (peripheral vision) test and he my want to schedule an MRI of your brain. The MRI (in this case) is a brain-imaging study, which will assist in the determination as to whether any central nervous system lesions are present.
Here is some information that I found about treatment:
The treatment of optic neuritis has changed in recent years due to a landmark series of studies known as the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trials. In these studies, patients with optic neuritis were randomized to treatment with intravenous (IV) steroids, oral steroids, or placebo, and were subsequently followed and intensively evaluated for several years. From these studies, ophthalmologists learned that treatment with steroids had little effect on final visual outcome in patients with optic neuritis. However, patients treated with IV steroids had fewer repeat attacks of optic neuritis than patients treated with oral steroids alone. In fact, patients treated with oral steroids alone had a higher risk of repeat attacks of optic neuritis than patients treated with placebo. Even more importantly, patients treated with IV steroids initially, had about half the risk of developing MS in two years as patients treated with oral steroids only, or placebo. Seven and one-half (7.5) percent of those patients treated with IV (followed by oral) steroids developed MS in the following 2 years versus about 16% in the other groups.
As a result of the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trials, ophthalmologists now treat patients with optic neuritis with either IV, followed by oral, steroids, or no treatment at all. Specifically, patients are not treated with oral steroids alone. For those patients who are treated, the regimen is typically 3 days of IV steroids followed by 10 to 14 days of oral steroids.
There is a risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) in patients with optic neuritis. Fifteen years after the onset of optic neuritis, approximately 75% of women will have developed MS, and about 34% of men will have developed MS. For those patients with an abnormal MRI of the brain (white matter lesions), the risk of developing another sign or symptom of MS is 36% in 2 years. However, only 3% of patients with a normal MRI of the brain had another sign or symptom of MS within 2 years. MS is characterized by exacerbations and remissions of motor and sensory function, and may produce mild or severe disabilities over a period of years.

Hopefully, someone who has experienced this condition will respond to you. In the meantime, I hope that this information has been helpful.

Peace and Blessings

03-31-2008, 05:25 AM
Thanks Saysusie,

As always. your info is in depth and very detailed. I have had the possibility of Multiple Sclerosis mentioned to me more than a few times. I admit I've tried to ignore and minimize this eye problem because the thought of MS, on top of SLE is not a scenario I even want to consider. My appt is Thursday of this week. We'll see, pardon the pun.

03-31-2008, 08:02 AM
Please let us know what your doctors decide, what treatment they prescribe and how the treatments are working for you!

Peace and Blessings

03-31-2008, 04:59 PM
Keeping my fingers crossed for ya rob. You've got enough to deal with....hugssss.

03-31-2008, 07:56 PM
Hey Rob,

I ditto Sits. I hope you don't have MS. Hopefully, your vision will get better. Though you are right, they are going to send you to an opthmologist (spelling?). That doesn't look right.

You have more than enough to deal with right now.

Take care and keep us updated.

Faith 8)

04-02-2008, 12:00 PM
Heya Rob
Hang in there buddy and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for your appointment tomorrow that you get the best case scenario!
I've managed to get my Rheumy visit brought forwards to this Friday instead of having to wait until May so its a big week for us both. Will be thinking of you tomorrow!

04-02-2008, 07:27 PM
Hello Rob, good luck on your appointment. I'll say a prayer before bed for it to go well.
I have a similar problem with my eyes, mainly the right. Never thought to mention it to doc, figured it was do to getting migrains. I have a lot of pressure behind my eyes sometimes and they feel like they're being pushed out forward. If I put my hands over my eyes hoping to relieve pressure, it ends up causing deep inward pain. Some times my vision, only one eye at a time (mainly right), will blur. Its so wierd, last for a few minutes then fades back to clear. This has been going off and on for a couple months now. Maybe I'll try to remember and ask doc. Let me know what they say and try to relax (I know, yeah right! :D )

sick n tired
04-02-2008, 07:49 PM
Hey Rob,

I am pulling for you. I also am very curious what your doc says. I have some major pain in my eyes . I just thought, like Cheryl, that it was miagraines. Now I'm not so sure.
Also I have some blurred vision with these episodes.

I am keeping you in my prayers,


04-03-2008, 01:39 AM
Thinking of you Rob! Please let us know how it goes.

All the best
ColleenT :)

sick n tired
04-03-2008, 10:01 AM
Hey Rob,

When is your appt with the optomotrist? Thinking of you and hoping that he can find the problem. Please let us know.