Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve, the nerve that transmits light and visual images from the retina to the brain. It is also known as retrobulbar neuritis, as the nerve is behind ('retro') the globe of the eye.
"...While estimates of the subsequent development of MS in a person who presents with optic neuritis vary, studies with up to 10 years of follow-up have demonstrated that approximately 50-60% of patients with isolated optic neuritis go on to develop MS. A more recent study reported that those persons with optic neuritis who had abnormalities in their spinal fluid were more likely to develop MS...
"...Optic neuritis is generally experienced as an acute blurring, graying or loss of vision, almost always in one eye, although rarely both eyes may be affected at the same time. There may or may not be pain in the affected eye. The visual deficit usually reaches its maximum within a few days, and generally improves within 8 to 12 weeks..."
For the complete text visit Optic Neuritis (ON) at the NMSS Website.
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Updated December 8, 2002.