Optic neuritis

Vaida Punytė¹, Rasa Liutkevičienė²,3, Arvydas Gelžinis², Reda Žemaitienė²

¹ Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania

² Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas Clinics, Department of Ophthalmology, Kaunas, Lithuania

3 Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Neuroscience Institute, Kaunas, Lithuania


Optic neuritis (ON) – is a multifactorial, infectious or demyelinating process that damages the optic nerve. ON can be typical or atypical. The disease is most common in people aged 18-45. Typical ON is associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), while atypical ON can be caused by many other diseases, therefore 10% of ON patients are misdiagnosed. ON manifests itself as unilateral vision loss, pain which intensifies during eye movements and impairment of color perception. Medical history and ophthalmological examination are important for diagnosis and brain magnetic resonance imaging is performed to determine the risk of developing MS in the future. Treatment of typical ON with high-dose corticosteroids shortens the period of acute visual dysfunction, while atypical on treatment depends on the cause. Successful treatment and prognosis of ON depend on correct and early diagnosis. Thus, in this article, we briefly review the causes, symptoms, diagnostics and treatment of ON as well as its relation to MS.

Keywords: optic neuritis, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, multiple sclerosis.