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