Steroid treatments are used when neuritis reaches a critical state. In many cases, however, neuritis recedes on its own, according to Mayo Clinic. In the worst cases, plasma exchange therapy is necessary.
Optic neuritis is defined as the inflammation of nerves and adjacent tissue within the eye, MedicineNet reports. This inflammation occurs specifically in the optic nerve, which provides the brain with visual information.
People who suffer from multiple sclerosis are more likely to develop optic neuritis due to its degenerative nature, states Mayo Clinic. Additionally, autoimmune disorders such as lupus and sarcoidosis can cause this disorder, where the body attacks its own tissues, resulting in inflammation and even the destruction of the myelin. This type of inflammation is neuromyelitis optica. Other potential causes of neuritis include bacterial infections and drug-related reactions.
The symptoms of optic neuritis include pain, vision loss, color reduction and flashing lights, according to Mayo Clinic. The pain typically feels like a dull ache at the back of the eye, and it is often initially mistaken for a common headache. Eye movement worsens this pain. In rare cases, vision loss is permanent, but it more commonly takes place for less than one day. The level of vision reduction ranges greatly from blurriness to total blindness.