Pronounced: op-TIK nu-RI-tisEn Español (Spanish Version)
The optic nerve allows you to see by carrying images from your eye to your brain. Optic neuritis involves swelling 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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The cause of optic neuritis is often unknown. Known causes of the diseases include:
An attack on the optic nerve by a viral infection or by the body's own immune system—This may be associated with autoimmune disorders, such as:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Neuromyelitis optica (NMO, Devic’s disease)
- Exposure to toxic substances. This can be associated with optic neuropathy (injury to the optic nerve).
- Some medicines
Last reviewedMarch 2013by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.