Classification / type of disease:
- Young adults ranging from 18–45 years of age, with a mean age of 30–35 years.
- Strong female predominance.
- The annual incidence is approximately 5/100,000, with a prevalence estimated to be 115/100,000
Presenting symptoms / signs:
- Sudden loss of vision (partial or complete), or sudden blurred or “foggy” vision
- Pain on movement of the affected eye.
- Loss of some color vision in the affected eye (especially red)
Diagnostic investigations:presence of demyelination on MRI
- Multiple sclerosis (inflammation, swelling and demyelination of optic nerve may be linked to loss of vision).
- Some other causes of optic neuritis include infection (e.g. Syphilis, Lyme disease, herpes zoster), autoimmune disorders (e.g. lupus), Inflammatory Bowel Disease, drug induced (e.g. chloramphenicol, Ethambutol) vasculitis and diabetes
Treatment / management:
- In most cases, visual functions return to near normal within eight to ten weeks, but they may also advance to a complete and permanent state of visual loss.
- Use systemic intravenous treatment with corticosteroids, which may quicken the healing of the optic nerve
- Paradoxically, oral corticosteroids may worsen and increase frequency of attacks.