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Best Exercises/Activities For Optic Neuritis

Optic neuritis is considered an inflammatory effect; as a result, a decrease in visual functions is experienced. The disease refers to the primary inflammation of the optic nerve (second cranial nerve). Neuritis is retrobulbar when inflammation occurs to a greater extent in the area between the eyeball and chiasm.(1)

Best Exercises/Activities For Optic Neuritis

Best Exercises/Activities For Optic Neuritis

Exercising with an eye ailment can be tricky. You should be very careful about the strenuous exercises such as weight training and the weight you are using. The treatment of optic neuritis involves drugs that may increase your risk of tearing ligaments and tendons. High impact activities including running must also be adjusted to avoid immediate injury.

Exercises for the eyes are useful in the case of optic neuritis. Therefore, regularly doing specific eye exercises can help improve the function of your eyes and vision. To perform the exercise, you need to squeeze your eyes, and then open/close in turn.

Close your eyes again, then without opening, drive them first to the right side, then to the left side. Do not overdo the exercises (10 times per exercise is enough).(5)(6) Always consult your doctor before starting any eye exercises for optic neuritis.

Prevention Of Optic Neuritis

There are consequences after optic neuritis, usually with an untimely start of its treatment. The most common consequence is irreversible nerve damage. Visual acuity can also significantly decrease even after eliminating all the symptoms of this pathology.

Another consequence of neuritis is considered a side effect of taking medication. As an example, it is worth noting steroids, which contribute to the suppression of immunity, which, in turn, creates a favorable environment for infections to enter the body. Also, the use of steroids for a long time can contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

Of course, all complications can be prevented, but only if you contact a specialist in time and start therapy.

Causes Of Optic Neuritis

Causes Of Optic Neuritis

The conditions that cause the onset of neuritis is possible to classify in a variety of inflammatory and infectious movements: inflammation of the cornea and retina; iris and ciliary body; a purulent inflammatory process that affects all the tissues of the eyeball; a form of posterior uveitis; complex diseases resulting from a decrease in the quality or quantity of tear fluid; appears due to inflammation of the soft membranes around the brain and also the spinal cord, with damage by bacteria and viruses; with inflammation of the brain.

Other causes include radiation therapy used to treat eyelid cancer; serious inflammation of the arachnoid membrane of the brain or spinal cord; tooth decay (caries) and inflammatory periodontal tissue disease; any type of sinusitis, which is characterized by the inflammatory process of the maxillary sinus; an inflammatory process of the mucous membrane and also lymphoid tissue of the pharynx; tuberculosis; alcoholism; as well as impaired glucose metabolism.(2)

Symptoms Of Optic Neuritis

When the disease is formed in the first stage, the patient has pathologies of visual function. The patient begins to see colors weakly.

For example, when a patient sees a red color, a sudden narrowing of the visual field occurs, also, an unpleasant feeling of “color blindness” may occur. This phenomenon can be caused by the complete or partial destruction of the optic nerve fibers. This will lead to poor visual acuity or even loss of vision.

When inflammation of the nerve located outside the eyeball is formed, an unpleasant feeling of pain may occur during the movement of the inflamed eye. This type of neuritis affects only one eye.(3)

Diagnosis Of Optic Neuritis

Optic neuritis is diagnosed using ophthalmoscopy. This study makes it possible to detect distinctive changes in the disc of the visual nerve in the fundus. Also, an analysis of the reaction of the pupils to light, an electrophysiological study, the study of the color perception of vision, computed or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain can help in the diagnosis.

The central scotoma is a symptom of multiple sclerosis. Treatment, in this case, should be carried out in a hospital.(4)

Common Treatment Procedures

There is a wide range of medications available for the treatment of optic neuritis depending on the cause and stage of the disease. A wide range of antibiotics is often used to eliminate the infection caused by pathogenic bacteria. Hormonal substances produced by the adrenal cortex (corticosteroids) can be induced. Diuretics are given to relieve swelling. Moreover, drugs that are used to improve blood circulation can be administered.(2)


  1. Akaishi T, Nakashima I, Takeshita T, et al. Different etiologies and prognoses of optic neuritis in demyelinating diseases. Journal of neuroimmunology. 2016;299:152-157.
  2. Burton EV. Optic Neuritis: Clinical Manifestations, Pathophysiology, and Management. Neuroinflammation: Elsevier; 2018:337-353.
  3. Jenkins TM, Toosy AT. Optic neuritis: the eye as a window to the brain. Current opinion in neurology. 2017;30(1):61-66.
  4. Wedig MP. Important: Asking Patients About Lead Symptoms. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2016;113(8):136.
  5. Reynolds ER, Ashbaugh AD, Hockenberry BJ, McGrew CA. Multiple sclerosis and exercise: a literature review. Current sports medicine reports. 2018;17(1):31-35.
  6. Perez CI, Singh K, Lin S. Relationship of lifestyle, exercise, and nutrition with glaucoma. Current opinion in ophthalmology. 2019;30(2):82-88.

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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 16, 2022

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