Optic Neuritis

I had an appointment with specsavers yesterday and they phoned the hospital to get me an emergency appointment for today as it looks like i have optic neuritis.

has anyone had this symptom before MS has been diagnosed.

I’m worried

I also had optical neuritis in July whilst on holiday in Spain. Very scary when nobody spoke English in the hospital and I cannot speak Spanish. 2 days later back in the U.K. Optical neuritis was confirmed and I was put on iv steroids. I had a lumber puncture and MRI and was told by the neurologist I probably had MS but they don’t like to diagnose on a first episode. I am having another MRI next month so he can compare brain scans and make and official diagnosis. My eyesight returned to normal after about 2 weeks. Try not to worry and don’t google too much. It’s so easy to think all the worst but until you know for sure just try and relax. Hope you get some answers soon

thank you, I am being referred for an MRI and Nerve tests. hoping I get some answers soon.

An optometrist CANNOT detect damage to the optic nerves, since they are behind the eyeball.
So, either there is something in the nerves connecting the layers of the retina, or you said something that raised a big red flag! The MRI will pick up optic nerve lesions, and VEP (visually evoked potentials) will determine how bad (if any) the damage is. In the US, the VEP is becoming a standard diagnostic test for MS.
If you are the sort of person who just has to know the result, you can ask the tester if there was a significant difference between the two eyes.
And, don’t forget, you are entitled to a copy of the actual MRI scan, but it will pobably cost a few quid, and it will help to have a blank CD in your pocket. Ask before the scan starts, and make sure that you get a copy of the software to view the scans.


Hi Geoff glad you said that about optician as i think i said it before. To get a diagnosis of ON you have to have an MRI or a VEP. I had two VEPS the first one showed ON bilaterally but worse on left. Then i had all the routine MRI for lesions which showed lesions over time in 3 different places, and finally after like 10 years i had another VEP test which showed i had slowing again in both eyes, and this was what got me my diagnosis in 2016 of PPMS, i call it the VEP sandwich lol. I think the VEP is such an easy test to have done, and i was told more accurate then a LP so i am surprised in uk they dont use it more for diagnosis.

I am suffering again at the moment with lots of pain and my eye is again playing me up. I might have to see my neuro again just hoping it is just an eye irritation.

Hi Geoff, why do they send you off for tests when they spot something then ?

Because there are some things that the optometrists have to report, so that they can be checked “urgently” In my case it was a suspicion of glaucoma that was referred to my GP. The wait for an NHS Opthalmologist was way way too long, and glaucoma is best dealt with early, so I went private. Got the all clear in two weeks. Since I had a 42 mile each way commute at the time, that was a relief. In the present case, it is possible that the optometrist noted a difference in the appearance of the ends of the optic nerves in each eye (that is all that can be seen of the nerve with an opthalmoscope). What you cannot quantify is the experience of the individual optometrist. Geoff

Hi Geoff,

My optician noticed some difference in the nerve from photographs she took of my two eyes. I went to her when I noticed a change in my vision, I was referred to a specialist who showed me that I had lost colour perception in one of the eyes and all the tests started then.