Background Optic neuritis is an acute inflammation of the optic nerve that
results in painful loss of vision. Patients often present to a general
practitioner, and early recognition is important as treatment may
improve the speed of vision recovery.
Objective This article provides information on the signs and symptoms of optic
neuritis and discusses appropriate referral, investigations
Discussion Optic neuritis is the presenting symptom in up to one-fifth of people
with multiple sclerosis. Diagnosis of optic neuritis is based on
history and examination, therefore obtaining pertinent information
and performing proper ophthalmic examination is essential. Prompt
recognition and appropriate referral is important to facilitate
investigations such as magnetic resonance imaging of the brain that
can help predict risk in the development of multiple sclerosis.
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