Optic neuritis can be linked to MS and is an inflammation that damages the optic nerve, a bundle of nerve fibres that transmits visual information from your eye to your brain. Pain and temporary vision loss in one eye are common symptoms of optic neuritis.
For 1 in 4 people with MS, optic neuritis was the first MS symptom that they noticed.
The exact cause of optic neuritis is unknown. It’s believed to develop when the immune system mistakenly targets the substance covering your optic nerve (myelin), resulting in inflammation and damage to the myelin.
Normally, the myelin helps electrical impulses travel quickly from the eye to the brain, where they’re converted into visual information. Optic neuritis disrupts this process, affecting vision.
Whilst optic neuritis can be the first indication of multiple sclerosis it can also occur with other infections or immune diseases, such as lupus.
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- Vision (MS Australia)