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Optic Neuritis?

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    Optic Neuritis?

    Hi all,

    It's my first post. Basically, starting last Friday, I've twice had the following: Brief (30-45 seconds) greying/fading out of colors in my direct line of sight. I noticed it as I was reading a monitor. I could tell that the words above and below my direct line of sight were normal, and would fade as I focused on them. It appeared to be both eyes, but I can't guarantee that. I did close each today, when it happened, and believe it was that way for both. The words were not blurry at all. I have no other visual issues (no pain, no blurry spots, no vision loss, etc). It happened on black font today and a blue font and black font on Friday. Can optic neuritis be this brief? Unfortunately, the descriptions online aren't very helpful in that regard. They seem to say that just a greying a vision is not optic neuritis, and that it has to last for at least a couple of hours, usually lasting much longer.

    I took the hue test both today and Friday, and my scores were 20 and 35 respectively, so certainly good (the light was better in my apartment today than in my office on Friday).

    I've been tested in the past for MS (have twitches (benign apparently), shakiness, tingling/numbness in feet, and some other symptoms), with my last MRI (on a 7tev machine I believe??) 3 years ago completely clean. I currently have new symptoms, which while scare me very much (tingling in hands, some perceived weakness in hand/forearm/twitching in index finger), I realize are most likely something like an ulnar nerve issue rather than MS/ALS. But add them to the vision issues and I'm more worried.

    Further, it's possible I've had these vision issues before. I clearly remember staring at my monitor in the past and wondering why some text was greyer than others. For some, it actually was, and I had to the change font, but I seem to recall that that approach didn't work all the time. But because of my other fears, I'm more sensitive to this now, so I noticed it right away this time.



    Just wondering if you have ever had ocular migraines or have read about them?

    I have auras quite often, and what you are describing would fit.


      I've read about them, and to my knowledge, I haven't, but it's possible that this is what it is.

      How long do your auras last? and do you have general migraine symptoms with them or just auras? as I didn't have a headache or anything else going on when it happened (other than some stress, which I realize can cause lots of things . . .)


        Optic neuritis doesn't come and go in the span of seconds. It's more like sudden onset, or gradual onset over the course of days, that then lasts in some form for a few weeks or more. True damage to the nerves doesn't resolve in a matter of minutes. Also, bilateral optic neuritis is rather rare. It can and does happen, but when both eyes are involved it is more likely to be something else entirely. (That is meant in the broad sense; of course your body and symptoms are individual.)

        When I do a visual field test at the ophthalmologist's office, as I stare my vision grays out, and this is actually very normal--most of us just never notice it. I'm guessing that you noticed something that you couldn't replicate later, though, and that is why you are asking. I thought I'd mention it all the same.

        Google Uthoff's phenomenon, though--basically, if you overheat, it can make old damage to the nerves act up. So, if you had prior damage, you might notice it depending on body temp. I'm not saying that is what you experienced, but it may be worth looking into as you investigate what is going on.

        No matter what, what you are reporting is weird and should be investigated by an ophthalmologist. I hope you can figure out what is going on. I'd schedule sooner rather than later given your history. Hopefully it is nothing all that exciting.



          My auras can last from seconds to 1/2 hour or so. I get sparklies that start small and then 'grow' to my entire field of vision and then disappear.

          I also get grayed out areas that come and go.

          Usually I don't have any other symptoms of a migraine when this happens. No pain or anything (which I am grateful for). If I am sitting reading too long, or staring at a bright light it happens more often.

          I do agree with Alicious that this could be from previous damage, but it does not sound like the optic neuritis that I had or have read about.

          Maybe a trip to the eye doctor could give you more definite info and ease your mind.


            It doesn't sound like optic neuritis to me, but I would urge you to stop worrying and see your doctor and ask for a referral to an eye specialist, or maybe see an optician first.
            It is better to get it checked than keep worrying
            Best wishes Dawn