If you currently experience vision loss and pain in one of your eyes, you may wonder if you'll ever overcome your symptoms. Your symptoms may be due to optic neuritis, an inflammation or infection of the optic nerve. Although optic neuritis can be frightening, you can overcome it. Learn more about optic neuritis and its treatments below:
What's Optic Neuritis?
Optic neuritis can develop when something inflames the optic nerve in your eye, such as a virus or an infection. The condition can also occur if you have a disease that damages the nerves in your body. Sometimes, optic neuritis occurs for no apparent reason at all. All of these possible causes can wreak havoc on your peace of mind.
The optic nerve is a vital tissue of the eye. The nerve receives visual information from your lens, then converts the data into special codes or signals. The nerve then transmits these signals to your brain for processing. If something harms or hinders the optic nerve, it can't transmit the correct information to your brain. When you have optic neuritis, your optic nerve can't process any information it receives. The lack of information causes temporary blindness in the affected eye.
Along with temporary blindness, you may experience several other symptoms. These symptoms include eye pain, color blindness, and flashing lights. Although your vision may return within a week or so after you lose it, it's still important that you see an eye doctor for care.
How Do You Diagnose and Treat Optic Neuritis?
An eye specialist or doctor will generally examine your eyes manually and by optic nerve testing. Optic nerve tests look for inflammation and infection in your eye. If your other eye is at risk for optic neuritis, a doctor may examine it as well.
Some eye doctors use brain scans to diagnose optic neuritis. A number of medical and eye conditions affect the brain and optic nerve, including severe sinus infections and lupus. If your scans reveal that you have an underlying condition, an eye doctor can refer you to the appropriate specialist for care. Both doctors will generally work together to help you overcome your conditions.
Treatment for optic neuritis can vary, depending on the cause of your condition. However, you may require injections and other medications to ease your symptoms. An eye specialist can go over your treatment options during your exam.
You can take additional steps to overcome your symptoms at home. Try to rest your eyes as much as possible before, during, and after your vision treatment. The optic nerve can become stressed if you're tired. Also, report any changes in your vision to an eye doctor as soon as they occur. You want to prevent further damage to your optic nerve.
To learn more about optic neuritis, contact an eye doctor for an appointment.