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Optic Neuritis

Overview :

Optic neuritis occurs when the optic nerve, the pathway that transmits visual information to the brain, becomes inflamed and the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve is destroyed (a process known as demyelination). It typically occurs in one eye at a time (70%), and the resulting vision loss is rapid and progressive, but only temporary. Thirty percent of patients experience occurrence in both eyes. Optic neuritis tends to afflict young adults with an average age in their 30s. Seventy-five percent of patients with optic neuritis are women.

Nerve damage that occurs in the section of the optic nerve located behind the eyeball, is called retrobulbar neuritis, and is most often associated with multiple sclerosis. Optic nerve inflammation and edema (swelling) caused by intracranial pressure at the place where the nerve enters the eyeball is termed papillitis.

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