Optic Neuritis

The term optic neuritis typically refers to the optic nerve changes seen in Multiple Sclerosis patients, but it can be caused by other conditions as well. Optic neuritis refers to the inflammation of the insulation surrounding the optic nerve. Therefore, when messages are travelling from the eye to the brain, the signals are often delayed or never make it at all. Patients with optic neuritis may experience eye or head pain and temporary vision loss. They may feel that they have a blind spot in their vision or not be able to see at all. It can affect one or both eyes. Vibrant colors like red may appear more orange or gray.

Female and Caucasian young adults are most frequently affected. Yet Dr. Agarwal has treated both male and female patients with optic neuritis from all parts of the world and of all ages.

Lab testing and radiologic imaging with MRI may help focus the diagnosis and treatment of optic neuritis. Like most inflammation in the body, an episode of optic neuritis is usually temporary. However, vision may be restored faster with better long-term results when treated with steroids. A combination of oral and intravenous steroids is often used. Patients can be treated in the hospital or as an outpatient, depending on the severity.

Multiple Sclerosis patients may also have episodes of double vision in which one or both eyes temporarily fails to move easily or symmetrically. This important condition is similarly diagnosed with examination, symptom evaluation, and imaging. It may also be treated with steroids.

Dr. Agarwal can help diagnose and treat your vision issues. Please email or call for a consultation. Dr. Agarwal has been recognized as a Fellow of the North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society, an international organization. She is an invited speaker at national meetings for this group and has authored patient information for them as well.