Optic neuritis is an acute inflammatory process that affects the optical (optic) nerve. This pathology is more often observed in middle-aged people aged 20 to 50 years.
The optic nerve is covered with a myelin sheath, the main function of which is the transmission of a nerve impulse from the retina to the visual tubercles of the brain. With inflammation, this membrane is gradually destroyed and replaced by scar tissue. This phenomenon is called demyelination and it leads to a gradual visual impairment up to the development of persistent irreversible blindness.(1)
Can Optic Neuritis Go Away On Its Own?
Will it heal without treatment? In certain cases, optic neuritis may heal without any requirement of treatment. The vision may get normal after some weeks. But this usually happens when no other diseases are responsible for the condition. If you are experiencing optic neuritis due to any infection, injury or other diseases, then things will not get better on its own unless the disease is treated. So, it is important to understand the cause of optic neuritis at the earliest and start treatment accordingly. If you are experiencing symptoms similar to optic neuritis, consult your ophthalmologist immediately.(5)
Natural Remedies For Optic Neuritis
Natural therapies of optic neuritis must be consulted with the doctor. Some of the natural remedies for optic neuritis include:
Soy: It is best for treating optic neuritis. Mix a cup of soy milk with a spoonful of honey and drink this mixture regularly before bed at night.
Apples: It can stimulate nerve dilation and is effective in treating optic neuritis.
Barley: Another treatment for optic neuritis is barley. You may also add half a cup of lemon juice and milk to this mixture to boost its effectiveness.
Pineapple: It contains some essential acids and is great for treating optic neuritis.
Yogurt: B1 and B12 vitamins can treat inflammation of the nerves effectively and they are in ample amounts in yogurt.
Beetroot: It is rich in vitamins and essential acids, which makes it perfect to treat nerve inflammation. Boil beetroots in water for 10-15 minutes and drink the juice.
Carrot Juice And Spinach: Drinking a pint of this juice mixture is the simplest and effective way to treat optic neuritis.(5)
Causes Of Optic Neuritis
The causes of optic neuritis are very diverse. Neurological diseases are frequent companions of demyelination. Therefore, to make the correct diagnosis, a full examination of the patient is required.
With meningitis and encephalitis – serious inflammatory diseases of the brain and its membranes – the pathological process can spread and affect the fibers of the optic nerve, thereby causing neuritis.
Intoxications, such as methyl alcohol poisoning, tonsillitis, sinusitis, and head injuries can also lead to the development of this disease.
But its most common cause is eye diseases – inflammatory processes in the inner membranes of the orbits and eyes.(2)
Symptoms Of Optic Neuritis
The symptomatology of optic neuritis is largely determined by the degree of activity of the inflammatory process. But the most important symptom of the disease is a progressive decrease in visual function.
The more severe the inflammation, the faster the vision deteriorates and the worse the prognosis of the disease. Patients complain of decreased acuity and visual fields. Often, they note the appearance of paracentral or central cattle. Contact lenses and glasses do not allow normalization of visual acuity.
A characteristic symptom of optic neuritis is a loss of color perception, first with red, and then to other colors. Another symptom of the disease is the “hot bath” syndrome, in which the symptoms of the disease increase with increasing ambient or body temperature.(3)
Treatment Methods For Optic Neuritis
It must be remembered that, like any disease, optic neuritis is easier to cure with early diagnosis and, accordingly, early treatment.
Initially, measures are being taken to eliminate the infection and stop the inflammatory process. Drugs that normalize metabolic processes are necessarily used; the immune system is being adjusted.
With a bacterial etiology of the disease, antibiotics are prescribed.
Corticosteroids, which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, are widely used. These drugs can be used both topically (in the form of eye drops) and systemically (in the form of injections or tablets).
Unfortunately, the disease is not always treated successfully. Dead nerve fibers cannot be restored. Therefore, residual effects can reduce the quality of vision of the patient.
In severe cases, complete or partial atrophy of the nerve may occur.(4)
- Wedig MP. Important: Asking Patients About Lead Symptoms. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2016;113(8):136.
- Stunkel L, Kung NH, Wilson B, McClelland CM, Van Stavern GP. Incidence and causes of overdiagnosis of optic neuritis. JAMA ophthalmology. 2018;136(1):76-81.
- Kale N. Optic neuritis as an early sign of multiple sclerosis. Eye and brain. 2016;8:195.
- Dudley MZ, Salmon DA, Halsey NA, et al. Do Vaccines Cause Optic Neuritis or Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)? The Clinician’s Vaccine Safety Resource Guide: Springer; 2018:325-328.
- Burton EV. Optic Neuritis: Clinical Manifestations, Pathophysiology, and Management. Neuroinflammation: Elsevier; 2018:337-353.
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