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Possible optic neuritis

Hi everyone, I am hoping I’m jumping the gun by posting this but I’m feeling scared right now. I’ve had slightly blurry vision since Monday, and today my left eye has been hurting since I woke up. It’s not terrible pain but obviously it’s enough to bother me. I phoned NHS 111 this morning, who sent me to my GP. The GP couldn’t get a good view inside my eye, but noted a slight loss of visual acuity in the left eye and the pain. She tried to refer me to the on call ophthalmologist, but they declined to give me an appointment and told me to make an urgent appointment with my optician. I did so, and the optician couldn’t see any cause for the pain, so said he’d speak to the hospital ophthalmologist again to get them to see me. I don’t know when that might be. My Mum and one of her cousins both have MS, and her brother and Mum (my grandma) both have peripheral neuropathy, so there’s a strong chance of demyelinating disease in my family. The optician did a fields test, a colour test and tested pupil reactions, all of which were normal (also checked for a change of glasses prescription, but it hasn’t changed). I spoke to my mum on the phone about it this evening and now she’s resigned herself to my developing MS as well. I’m sincerely hoping that I wake up tomorrow and everything is fine, but I am really scared. It’s been 26 years since my mum was diagnosed, and she’s been so strong through it all, but I know I couldn’t cope with what she has. I have disabilities and health issues already, I don’t think I could cope with any more. I hope this doesn’t come off as disrespectful to anyone who is dealing with it, that’s not my intention at all. I’m not looking for someone to tell me what’s going to happen because I’m pretty well read on MS already. I guess I just wanted to share my anxieties amongst people who know what it’s like. Thank you for reading.

Optic neuritis was my first symptom. I’m no expert, but the fact your colour vision and reactions seem normal and I assume by fields test you mean field of vision was normal does seem to my mind to make optic neuritis less likely, but like I said I’m no expert and I had all the classic symptoms. Even if it is ON, it may not be ms. I can understand that because of your family history you are going down that line of thought, but I understand that ms is a disease that is not directly inherited, although family members do have slightly higher risks of developing ms when compared to the background population. Hopefully your optician will get you a referral to the hospital ophthalmologist where you will be seen by a specialist and if necessary refer you for further testing. I think it is only normal to feel scared, but, the thing is it doesn’t help, easier said than done, I know from experience. You have done the right thing by seeking professional help rather than ignoring it and I hope things work out well for you.

As Chatterbox said, usually colour and visual field are affected with optic neuritis (I’ve recently been told this by an ophthalmologist), so it’s possible that you don’t have ON at all, and maybe making the assumption that you inevitably will be diagnosed with MS is a bit premature.

Have a look at https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/optic-neuritis The MS Trust have a wide range of great information pages.

Best of luck with getting to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Sue

Hi ya.

I had flu symptoms which lasted a few days and both my eyes hurt then the flu disappeared and one of my eyes kept hurting I can’t remember which side. It was ten years ago and I did not know it was the first symptom of MS boy was I in for a shock. Anyway I went to the doctor who said it was eye strain and gave me painkillers. The pain persisted and then my vision went funny it was like there was something in my eye blocking my sight. So I put my hand over my good eye and I could still see but the light was dimmer like I was wearing sunglasses on the one eye. I thought mmmm strange. I went to the doctors again with new symptom and she thought it was something to do with temporal lobe. I was sent up the eye hospital. The doc shone lights in my eyes the good eye fine the bad eye the light was dimmer and it hurt he couldn’t find anything either. I was asked to go back but was moving to Ireland. Within a few days of moving to Ireland I booked myself in with the doctors and was sent straight up to Belfast hospital and had loads of tests. By this time my eyesight had deteriorated and the doctors then told me it was ON but didn’t tell me it was related to MS I got home and googled ON and that’s how I found out why I might have. Anyways they wouldn’t give me a scan because it was the first time I had it. After about Two months my eyesight got better and returned to normal. So it took about three weeks for doctors to realise what it was. It doesn’t always result in MS so I’m told sometimes it’s and one isolated episode I know it’s not easy but try not to worry.

Hi everyone, thank you for your replies. I know MS isn’t entirely genetic but there does seem to be a strong genetic component in my family. I have other possible symptoms that I’ve been making excuses for (paresthesia in one foot that’s most likely due to when I fractured my spine. Paresthesia in one hand that I put down to a dodgy shoulder. Clumsiness, tremor and poor memory that I blame on the antidepressants that I took for nearly a decade, then stopped). There are other explanations for all these and whatever is wrong with my eye as well, but, well, I’m good at worrying and sometimes it seems like MS would be a more parsimonious explanation for it all. All that said, the eye is no worse today, and as far as I can tell I still have normal colour perception and field of vision, so these are good signs. All I can do is keep busy and wait to hear from ophthalmology. Thanks again for taking the time to reply :slight_smile: