What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Optic Neuritis?

The structure of the eye is quite complex. Moreover, the optic nerve, which combines a million supersensitive processes, is of great importance. These axons of nerve cells are responsible for the transmission of all information to the brain.

They perceive the image and then transmit all the information received directly to the brain in the form of special impulses. Information is carefully processed in the occipital region of the brain. Ultimately, a person has the opportunity to see and perceive everything around him.(1)

What To Eat And Avoid If You Have Optic Neuritis?

The best things to eat in optic neuritis are those that help reduce and prevent inflammation. Have a lot of fresh protein, healthy fats, grains, seeds, nuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables. You can also take supplements of vitamin D, probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12. Other supplements to boost your immunity can be used as well. However, always consult your physician before taking too many supplements.

If you are diagnosed with optic neuritis, then avoid junk food, excess sugar and fat, processed foods. Take plenty of rest, keep relaxed, and minimize stress.

Preventative Measures For Optic Neuritis

Of course, it is much better to try to take all preventive measures in advance so that inflammation of the optic nerve does not develop.Some of the important preventive measures are:

  • All infectious diseases, not only acute but also chronic, arising in the ENT organs, must be treated on time, as carefully as possible. Any infectious focus can easily provoke the development of neuritis with all the relevant symptoms and consequences
  • If symptoms appear (blurred vision, impaired perception of colors), it is important to immediately consult a specialist
  • Any complaints of vision should also be discussed with an experienced neurologist
  • It is very important to prevent any eyeball injury
  • It is advisable to take special vitamins to nourish the eyes, do exercises for the eyes, do not strain your eyes.(4)

The Essence Of The Disease With neuritis, there is inflammation of the optic nerve, which usually accompanies deterioration in visual function.

Different Types Of Neuritis Retrobulbar Neuritis: This is an inflammatory process in the optic nerve, which is localized in the area behind the eyeballs. The damage to the axial bundle of nerves is determined.

Intrabulbar Neuritis: This is also called papillitis. There is a transformation of the papillomacular bundle due to the progression of inflammation. Clinical signs are a narrowing of the field of view and a decrease in visual acuity.

Neuroretinitis: This is also papillitis, combined with inflammation in the nerves of the retina. A characteristic change is distinguished: a schematic “star shape” appears. It can be seen with a detailed examination in the macular region. Such an ailment is rare. This may occur as a complication after the development of a viral infection.(1)

Risk Factors For Neuritis

  • The presence of mutations at the gene level that can cause the development of inflammation of the nerve.
  • Women suffer from neuritis twice as often than men.
  • Age-related changes: neuritis can develop at any age. However, here there is a pattern. People whose age has already fallen in the range from 20 to 40 years old suffer from optic neuritis more often.(2)

Causes Of Neuritis

Neuritis can happen due to various causes.

  • Local infectious ailments (sinusitis with otitis media)
  • Common ailments, non-infectious (diabetes with nephritis, gout)
  • Acute infections, as well as chronic ailments (typhus, influenza with tonsillitis, smallpox with tuberculosis, syphilis with malaria)
  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Inflammatory processes that occur directly in the meninges (encephalitis, meningitis)
  • Injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Multiple sclerosis(3)

Neuritis Treatment

Treatment must be carried out immediately and comprehensively.

  • Antibiotics: Broad-spectrum drugs are used to actively inhibit bacterial infection
  • Corticosteroids: This group of drugs is very important because they slow down demyelination. Drugs are a hormonal group to relieve the inflammatory process
  • Antiallergic drugs are also sometimes used to reduce the symptoms of neuritis
  • Diuretics can relieve swelling of the optic nerve, which also facilitates the patient’s condition.
  • Hormonal drugs are used in some cases
  • Pulse therapy: periodically large doses of glucocorticoids are administered. This is relevant at the initial stage of the development of the disease and stopped gradually.

It is very important to use drugs that stimulate microcirculation in the development of the inflammatory process. This provides all the conditions for the speedy recovery of the optic nerve.

Corticosteroids are the basic drugs in the treatment of neuritis which allow restoration of nerves. First, the drugs are administered intravenously, and then the doctors switch to tablets and injections.(2)

References:

  1. Bennett JL. Optic Neuritis. CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology. 2019;25(5):1236-1264.
  2. Burton EV. Optic Neuritis: Clinical Manifestations, Pathophysiology, and Management. Neuroinflammation: Elsevier; 2018:337-353.
  3. Huang S-C, Castoldi V, Marenna S, et al. Onset of Optic Neuritis Precedes Motor disability in a Preclinical model of Multiple Sclerosis. Paper presented at: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS JOURNAL2018.
  4. Chiarello F, Marini E, Ballerini A, Ricca V. Optic neuropathy due to nutritional deficiency in a male adolescent with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: a case report. Eating and Weight Disorders-Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity. 2018;23(4):533-535.

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