How Long Will It Take To Recover From Optic Neuritis & How Long Does The Symptoms Last?

Optic neuritis is a serious inflammatory disease, which is characterized by a decrease in the visual capacity of a person. In medical practice, this disease is divided into 2 main types:

How Long Will It Take To Recover From Optic Neuritis?

Immediate hospitalization is needed to treat the disease. Until an accurate diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor’s direct treatment to destroy the lesion and infection and various inflammatory reactions. Also used are drugs that increase metabolism in the tissues of the central nervous system.

Antibiotics are prescribed for a week and corticosteroids are used. Gradually, the dosage is decreased. Optic neuritis is treatable, but treatment depends entirely on the progression of the disease. With a successful outcome, vision is fully restored. But partial nerve atrophy is possible.

Prevention is of particular importance in the appearance of the disease. It is necessary to monitor not only the condition of the eyes but also the whole body because many other diseases quite often cause eye problems.(5)

How Long Does The Symptoms Last?

This disease usually causes vision loss lasting for 7 to 10 days and then begins to gradually improve within the next 1 to 3 months. Most patients usually recover completely and the symptoms may disappear within a few weeks or even earlier.

With optic neuritis, the disc is inflamed. With retrobulbar inflammation, it is located only behind the eyeball. Therefore, the inflammation passes to the axial nerve fibers.(1)

These causes can quickly lead to the disease. If inflammation is located in the core of the nerve, then optic neuritis may have an interstitial course of formation. The swelling of the tissue part is formed, where leukocytes and lymphocytes take an active part. Nerve bundles are continually damaged, which can after some time develop into an atrophic state. With the degeneration of nerve bundles, visual impairment is observed. If the activity of the disease decreases, then a small number of nerve fibers can regenerate, this causes the improvement of visual ability. The main causes are:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • An inflammatory disease of the brain and its surrounding membranes can contribute to the formation
  • Focal infectious manifestations
  • Injury
  • Often there is a non-communicable disease in the form of diabetes, gout or nephritis, which leads to eye disease
  • Pathological pregnancy
  • acute and chronic infections.(2)

Symptoms Of Optic Neuritis

The manifestation of signs of the disease depends on the severity of inflammation of the nerve. With a weak inflammatory process, sharp hyperemia of the disk occurs, its borders are connected to the retina. White spots and hemorrhages begin to form in the peripapillary region. In most cases, the disk does not promote this disease, but the disease with the presence of edema is an exception. The main symptom is a decrease in visual acuity and the field of view also decreases.(3)

Diagnosis Of Optic Neuritis

It is not difficult for doctors to identify a disease with pronounced signs. It is rather difficult to make a diagnosis when the decrease in the field of view begins and the vision decreases.

In this situation, doctors have to distinguish a congestive disk from pseudo-neuritis. Pseudoneuritis is characterized by the preservation of vision capabilities and the absolute absence of deformations and changes during future visits to the doctor. Therefore, the diagnosis will take some time.

On the initial development of the disease of the congestive disc, the visual abilities of a person are preserved and there is marginal edema. To diagnose the disease, fluorescence angiography is necessary. It is this study that can show the features of neuritis from a stagnant disc. Of particular importance is the constant monitoring of the progression of the disease.

If intracranial pressure appears, confirmed by spinal puncture, then a disease of the congestive disk is diagnosed. It is very difficult to distinguish neuritis from edema and complicated congestive disk. In all these cases, there is a loss of vision.

Retrobulbar neuritis, which develops with inflammation of the optic nerve, differs from simple neuritis in the rate of disc changes and a decrease in visual ability. If there is a rapid decrease in visual ability and scotoma, then this is retrobulbar neuritis.(4)

References:

  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. Cadavid D, Balcer L, Galetta S, et al. Safety and efficacy of opicinumab in acute optic neuritis (RENEW): a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial. The Lancet Neurology. 2017;16(3):189-199.
  3. Ramdas S, Morrison D, Absoud M, Lim M. Acute onset blindness: a case of optic neuritis and review of childhood optic neuritis. Case Reports. 2016;2016.
  4. Yeshokumar AK, Banwell BL. Diagnostic Challenges in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Pediatric Neurology. 2018;16(03):185-191.
  5. Burton EV. Optic Neuritis: Clinical Manifestations, Pathophysiology, and Management. Neuroinflammation: Elsevier; 2018:337-353.

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