A question on Optic Neuritis.....

Morning all.

Firstly, history - un dx and awaiting neuro appt

I had a routine eye exam this morning as I needed new glasses. I explained to the chappie who examined me that nearly 2 years ago, I had suspected ON but by the time I finally got my MRI (6 months after problems started) it had mostly all cleared up and the MRI showed “No inflamation and no demylination of the optical nerve” The hospital eye people said there was no problem and have discharged me.

The chap today said he wasn’t surprised that it had all cleared up by the time I had my MRI as inflamation comes and goes and he said he wouldn’t have taken ON off the table.

So I guess my question is : have I had it or not???

The exam today showed no colour difference in my optical nerve, there is no difference between the muscles of each eye and my pupils react the same. Field test also OK. He said that this would indicate that there is not a chronic complaint.

What happened 2 years ago was that my right eye went fuzzy (not too much - just enough to distract) and I had issues with the colours in that eye. Everything looked washed out and a bit grey. Again, not too bad but quite apparent when closing one eye. I do remember pain in my eye, kind of like when you try to read too much in dim light and you get eye strain.

I guess the other thing to take into consideration would be whenever I have a hot bath - and I mean HOT (I like my baths lava like!) I have problems with my eye. My eyesight goes fuzzy and I get the colour change that I mentioned earlier. A doc mentioned Urthoffs which apparently is the worsening of ON due to heat (???). I told the hospital eye docs about this heat thingy. He was a little rude and told me there was nothing wrong with my eye and the optical nerve as the MRI came back clear.

So please forgive the ramblings. I hope it makes some kind of sense. It was just something that is mulling around in my head since the eye exam…

It is what has gone on since then that the doc has referred my to nerology. lol.

Angela x

Hi Angela and welcome…

Well your doc has done exactly the right thing by referring you to a neuro.

I’m a bit confused… but assume that you are worried that if it is (or was) ON then you are worried that you might have MS?

It’s of course impossible for anyone to say if it’s MS or not at this point. There are many other things that could have caused the ON but a neuro will probably refer you for an MRI of the brain to see if there are any lesions (scars) that could indicate MS.

ON can usually be detected by shining a light in the eye and seeing if the discs are pale (sorry I’m not an expert so I really don’t know more about it than that)… but usually an optician or a GP can detect ON with that simple test.

I think for the time being just get on with your life and wait and see what the neuro says. Apart from eyesight worsening after a hot bath you have no other symptoms? If so, I would say at this point it is unlikely to be MS but only a neuro can tell you this after tests.

Hope that’s helpful,

Pat x

Hi Pat.

Thanks for the reply. I knew I would confuse with my post!! lol.

I was just simply wondering if it was ON or not. One says it isn’t and another says it is… It was just a ramble in my head that made it onto the forum!!

I am not worried as such if it is MS (what will be will be) nor does it occupy my waking thoughts. Am just plodding along waiting for the neuro appt as and when it happens.

My GP referred me to the neuro because of my other symptoms as well as the ON, such as Trigeminal Neuralgia (apparently at 37, I am too young to get it), suspected TIAs and a few other things so hopefully the neuro will arrange another MRI and see if there are any changes in the 18 months since my last one.

Angela xx

Hi Angela, great attitude!

The TN & suspected TIA’s could be connected in neurological way (meaning that if they were NOT TIA’s they may have been caused by neurological problem connected to TN and ON). Confusing isn’t it?

Keep you chin up hon. Your GP has done exactly the right thing with referral and hopefully you can get some definite answers from the neuro.

Keep plodding… it’s the best way to deal with it.

Pat x

Hi, I don’t know if this helps but it’s important to try to maintain your body temperature, although I too love a hot bath I’m a lot more careful as symptoms become worse as my core temperature rises, this effects my tingling hands legs and feet as well as fuzziness in my eyes, but it calms as I cool down. Hope this helps Take care Susan x

It’s perfectly possible for you to have had mild ON and for it to have left no obvious trace. Make sure to tell the neuro about it - he/she may refer you for VEPs (visual evoked potentials) which should confirm whether not (and how) your visual system has been affected. Karen x

I had ON and my optician says that he wouldn’t have known had I not told him as it has returned to normal really well. It was confirmed as ON at the time though (they could see from looking through my pupil at the back of my eye). MRI did show some lesions though (although I have never been told location, so no idea if my optic nerve has lesion, I have generally assumed it would but I don’t know if lesions correlate as well as all that with symptoms.

Thanks so much for the input guys. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. The eye docs and the original optician both said it could be retro bulbar ON as there was no visible sign from the front. I guess that’s why i was sent for the MRI. Its probably going to be one of those questions that will never get answered but that’s ok. There are bigger things in life to be worrying about. Lol Thanks again. Angela. X