What are the symptoms of optic neuritis?

Optic neuritis may occur in one or both eyes. Symptoms may appear suddenly or slowly (over a few days) and may include:

  • blurred vision;
  • dim vision (as if someone turned down the lights);
  • abnormal color vision (colors appear dull and faded);
  • pain in the back of the eye socket;
  • pain when moving the eyes.

The symptoms may get worse with heat or exhaustion,  particularly when exercising or taking a bath. If optic neuritis goes undiagnosed and untreated, the symptoms may continue to get worse.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) for an eye examination. To investigate your symptoms, your ophthalmologist may:

  • check for swelling of your optic nerve by examining the eye with an instrument called an ophthalmoscope;
  • perform visual tests for color and side vision;
  • check the reaction of your pupil to light;
  • perform other tests such as computerized tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, or visual brain wave recordings.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.