• An inflammation of the optic nerve
  • Can flare up suddenly from an infection or nerve disease
  • May cause sudden, reduced vision in the affected eye


  • Vision loss in one eye, can vary from mild to severe
  • Pain around the eye that’s often worsened by eye movements
  • Inability to see colors correctly (dyschromatopsia)
  • Seeing flashing lights (photopsias)
  • Changes in the way the pupil reacts to bright light
  • Eye vision worsens with an increase in body temperature


  • Exact cause is unknown

Conditions that have been linked include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromyelitis optica
  • Schilder’s disease
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Viral encephalitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Meningitis

Risk Factors

  • Most often affects young adults ages 20 to 40 years
  • Women are much more likely to develop the condition than men
  • Occurs more frequently in whites than it does in blacks
  • Genetic mutations

Diagnostic Tests

  • A routine eye exam
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Pupillary light reaction test
  • Visual evoked response
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Blood tests
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Computerized tomography (CT) Scan


  • Most cases recover without treatments
  • Intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP)
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
  • Interferon injections

Lifestyle Management

  • Keep in touch with the doctor
  • Keep away from eye irritants
  • In case it does not treat on its own, immediately contact a doctor
  • Do not use eye drops without prescription
  • Use injections prescribed by a doctor only