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Eye and Vision Care

Inflamed Optic Nerve

01/04/2011

Question:

My wife started with blurred vision 3 days before christmas by christmas day no vision in left eye. Went to DR refered to specialist.There is no stroke or toren retnia. Going for MRI tomorrow. Dr said possible MS, Tumor, Spinal fluid ???? Complete physical 12-3-10. Healthy as a horse 140 choles,triglc great etc.....Wife age 49 5ft 7in 135 lbs. Any ideas or thoughts on causes with a 4 day vision loss first 2 days could see some light around outer rim day 4 nothing.

Answer:

The doctor whom your wife recently was seen by is following the appropriate protocol. Since your wife has good vascular health it seems to be likely that this is an inflammatory condition affecting the optic nerve.

Your wife's relatively fast loss of vision indicates that the optic nerve is not functioning to its full potential. MS is listed as a possible cause as this condition can cause inflammation to the optic nerve and if that occurs, one's vision suffers. The good news with MS is that the inflammation typically subsides and the visual function can return to near normal levels.

If a tumor is in the proximity of the optic nerve it can compress the nerve and therefore the visual function is reduced. Elevated spinal fluid could also cause a reduction in visual function.

Without imaging (MRI or CT) of the brain and its associated structures, none of these conditions can be accurately determined.

The protocols being followed by your wife's current doctor are correct and I hope they can accurately isolate the cause.

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Response by:

Aaron  Zimmerman, OD, MS Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University