Optical neuritis, otherwise called optic neuritis, is an acute disease that manifests itself in the inflamed process of the nerve of vision. Optic neuritis is most often observed in combination with neurological diseases, which are characterized by demyelination . Demyelination , in turn, is the loss of the outer layer of fat in the nerve fiber, which is responsible for the fastest transmission of nerve impulses to the brain. As a rule, optic neuritis occurs against the background of multiple sclerosis – a slowly developing nervous disease, which is precisely expressed in demyelination itself … In some cases, optic neuritis becomes the first symptom of multiple sclerosis or precedes the onset of multiple sclerosis for some time. In rare cases, it is impossible to establish the cause of optic neuritis.
The vast majority of patients with optic neuritis complain of a rapid deterioration in visual function, accompanied by painful sensations that begin to disturb the affected eye during movement. Optic neuritis usually occurs in one eye without affecting the other, and may recur from time to time, as, for example, quite often happens in the case of a combination of this disease with multiple sclerosis.
Signs of optic neuritis
The signs of optic neuritis listed below are not always noted, but of all the others, they appear most often.
– painful sensations during eye movement;
– a sharp deterioration in vision;
– vision problem at dusk;
– deterioration of color vision;
– deterioration of vision along the periphery;
– a white spot in the middle of the field of view;
– febrile condition;
– headaches and dizziness;
– a sharp deterioration in vision after physical exertion and with an increase in body temperature.
Diagnosing optic neuritis
The ophthalmologist considers several factors when diagnosing optic neuritis. Optic neuritis is not always confirmed when examined on a special apparatus for an ophthalmological examination. Usually, patients complain of pain when they move the affected eye. The ophthalmologist can examine how the pupils react to light exposure, send the patient for magnetic resonance imaging and other methods of visual examination.
Treatment of optic neuritis
Treatment of optic neuritis is almost always performed by prescribing steroid hormonal drugs and non-steroidal drugs with anti-inflammatory action. These funds are available in drops and capsules, ointments and injections. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed. Surgical intervention very rarely takes place with this disease, but it does happen. The operation carried out to treat optic neuritis is called decompression of the nerve layer and consists in opening this layer in order to lower the pressure.
In the course of research on the treatment of optic neuritis, which lasted for decades, ophthalmologists found that the use of intravenous steroid hormones significantly reduces the likelihood of multiple sclerosis. This discovery is of great importance, since most of the patients later suffer from multiple sclerosis. So far, this method of treatment is characterized by an extremely insignificant effect on visual function, but it is of great importance for the well-being and health of the patient.