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Does optic neuritis get better over time?

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    Does optic neuritis get better over time?

    Hello everyone. Hope you're having a great day. I'm a 20 year old male. I was diagnosed with MS 3 years ago. I avoided taking medications because I was afraid off side effect and my problems were minor. Each problem I had I relied on steroids.

    Right now I have optic neuritis. Blind spots in both of my eye. It's worst when I'm active like working out. I had it before were both of my lower eyes were blind but steroids helped. My Neru Ophthalmologist told me steroids will not help this time. I forgot why exactly. I took an MRI and exams but they couldn't find the cause. They just know it was caused by MS and it's optic neuritis.

    About 2 weeks ago I started on an MS medication called Gilenya. My vision still goes bad on and off. I've been worrying since it happened. Is there a chance the on and off will stop and my vision remains perfect?

    Hi dayrone and welcome to MSWorld. I'm sorry that you are experiencing a flare right now. I had optic neuritis 18 years ago and lost all peripheral vision in both eyes -one eye was worse than the other. It was bad enough that I had to use up all my sick leave from work and then some. I couldn't read, write or drive the car.

    It is my understanding that steroids don't necessarily make a symptom go away or shorten the length of the flare, but will reduce inflammation. You were very fortunate the first time this happened to you it worked well. I was given steroids too, but my vision didn't return to normal, or as you say perfect". I still experience some vision problems to this day, but I've learned to rely on using my better eye. This is just my story and everyone's outcome is different!

    It's worst when I'm active like working out.
    You might want to go easy on your workouts for a time if this makes it worse.

    I hope, with time, your vision returns to "perfect". Hang in there~
    1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
    Administrator Message Boards/Moderator


      Optic Neuritis

      I have had optic neuritis twice. The 1st time I received no treatment. My vision returned to normal. The 2nd time occurred about 18 months later. I was treated in the hospital with IV solumedrol steroids. My vision eventually returned to normal. I realize that I have been very fortunate. Not everyone is so lucky and many end up with permanent vision loss. Hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones, too.

      By the way, I think it was a good decision to start a disease modifying drug (DMD). It seems to be common knowledge that the earlier one starts treatment the better off you will be. Of course, this is not true for everyone and MS is a disease with tremendous variation.

      Good luck, and go live a great life.



        Hi dayrone, I had optical neuritis many years ago, I had blind spots in my left eye. I didn't take any steroids and it took two wks to start clearing up and my vision returned to normal.

        I hope your eyes get better soon.
        God Bless Us All


          I have optic neuritis and the lesion is very far back on the optic nerve the eye Dr. can't see it but the MRI found it. I have no peripheral vision at all and I had cataract surgery. I am very sensitive to the light & get optical migraines but they don't last very long but they are painful. I don't know if there is anything an eye doctor can do but maybe my neurologist can help. I hope u have luck with ur search. I realized it maybe something I have to live with, and deal with like everything else this disease has to offer.


            Depending on the dose of steroids, mine have always been 1,000 mg intravenously for 4 days and then a much lower dose orally to "taper off" the IV. I've had ON many times, the site never returned to the left eye but that was back in 2005, I chose oral steroids, didn't work. Every other time it's returned.

            I was told the steroids do 2 things... 1) reduce inflammation and 2) shuts off your immune system so it stops attacking our bodies. There were very strict instructions for the IV steroids, one is to stay away from sick people, hospitals, etc. because our immune system is too busy attacking our brains to ward off infections, flu, colds, etc.

            RRMS 2005, Copaxone since 2007
            "I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am."


              Legally blind

              I've had ON more times than I can shake a stick at, in both eyes, each time my vision recovered but not completely. About 10 yrs after Dx I became legally blind in my right eye within a few years of that I lost my left eye. It's like living in fog constantly and the pain never goes away. I do not tolerate steroids well and use them only whenever necessary.

              I have run out of DMT options. Overheating is obviously a trigger for you so either curtail your workouts or find another outlet eg. swimming vs weight lifting. Know your triggers and listen to your body,