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Optic Neuritis (cont.)

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What types of doctors treat optic neuritis?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat optic neuritis, often in conjunction with a neurologist or family physician. Other specialists are involved based on any underlying diseases.

How do health-care professionals diagnose optic neuritis?

Optic neuritis is suspected based on the characteristic history of eye pain and vision loss. The standard exam includes visual acuity, pupillary reduction, visual field evaluation, color vision testing, and visualization of the optic disc by direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy.

A person experiencing a first episode of optic neuritis should undergo an MRI of the brain to detect central nervous system lesions associated with MS. The MRI may also show an enlarged optic nerve or inflamed optic nerve sheath.

Visual symptoms usually progress for the first few weeks and then start to improve within the first month. If the course of recovery is not typical, further testing can be performed to look for more unusual causes of optic neuritis/neuropathy.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/22/2016


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