The optic nerve allows you to see by carrying images from your eye to your brain. Optic neuritis involves inflammation of the optic nerve. This may cause reduced vision or loss of vision. It is a serious condition that requires immediate care from your doctor.

The Optic Nerve
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Optic neuritis has several causes. These include:

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)—most common cause
  • Neuromyelitis optica (NMO, Devic’s disease)
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Infection
  • Exposure to toxic substances—this may be associated with optic neuropathy (injury to the optic nerve)
  • Some medications

In some cases, the cause of optic neuritis may be unknown.