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Old 06-29-2006, 05:58 PM   #1
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recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Another question.

This is my third bout with optic neuritis (6 years). The 1st was both eyes, horrible, couldn't read, drive... was so distressed. That's when I got the Dx. Sight returned after steroids.

Second bout was fairly mild. Maybe because I was on top of it immediately out of fear? I went on steroids within the first couple of days, and all was well.

This is my third time, and frankly, it side-swiped me. Though I feel lucky because it is only one eye, my left, and so by default less debilitating, I think I just readily assumed it would take the same course as the first two. (How arrogant.) But after five days of the IV plus one week, my sight has not completely returned. Mind you, it's not terrible and I'm counting my blessings. I'm driving, working, etc. And trying to adjust to my new form of vision. Trying to stop periodically closing my right eye to see if...maybe...maybe better? Much better if I just stick to seeing out of both. And feel great in the morning when the light is dim, contacts aren't in, and I can't tell the difference between each eye.

So...my question. I know sometimes it can be permanent. Nerve damage is nerve damage. But I also read and hear that it may return as time passes. But this is the third time. Are there cases of recurring optic neuritis that clears up each time? I just want a little glimmer of hope.

Thanks for your responses.

 
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:54 PM   #2
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Hi,

Great name!!! You'll get your eye back. No worries. I've had the 'ol neuritis so many times I can't even count. Sometimes in one eye only, sometimes in both. The first time was when I was 11. Just keep faith and hope and a great positive attitude. You're doing everything else that you can. I know it's so frustrating, but it will be ok. How long has it been? Sorry...can't remember if you said. One of the other bonuses of ms...crs (can't remember stuff) You'll be in my prayers. Keep me posted

 
Old 06-30-2006, 06:10 AM   #3
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goodsea HB User
Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Oh, thank you for that ray of hope. Since you were 11, huh? Wow. How long do the episodes usually last? Do you always treat them with steroids?

I used to get something that my eye doctor called "ocular migraines" but I don't think it's related. A part of my vision would be blurred, like little moving fuzzies. It would be the same shape and pattern in both eyes. It would go away in about 15 minutes, followed by a headache. I was told to take Tylenol at the onset and lay down to rest to stave off the headache. Totally worked. But that's few and far between, and the optic neuritis is much worse.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 06:12 AM   #4
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Oh, by the way, to answer your question, this time it has been close to 2 weeks.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 06:18 AM   #5
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

What, exactly happens to your vision with optic neuritis. Does your vision go completely black, like if you were blind, or is it blurred, decreased, like you suddenly need stronger glasses?

I'm asking because I had an episode about a six weeks ago (before my diagnosis) where I had a terrible left sided headache. Since then, the vision in my left eye has been decreased. I can see out of it, but it's like I need a new pair of glasses.

I've read everybody talking about optic neuritis, and keep thinking, well, I've never had that .. but maybe i have.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 06:33 AM   #6
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Well, the length of time varies for me. Like right now, I lost my left eye completely (we're talking 100% vision loss) about 3 months ago. I thought it was going to stay gone. That's the awesome thing about hope and prayer. It's coming back!!! Never give up. It's almost totally back now. Every other time that my eyes have gone, when they decide to come back and join the party, I've always been lucky enough to end up with 20/20 vision and wear the same glasses that I did. I had one attack that left me completely blind in BOTH eyes. That was very scary because I happened to also be quad at the time! WOW! The eye "specialist" told my husband and myself that I would never get my sight back because it had been 4 months....low and behold...they came back 20/20 I guess my point is to NEVER GIVE UP hope and as hard as it may seem don't lose patience with your body. Keep praying. It will get better.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 06:45 AM   #7
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Sorry..I forgot to tell you that this time I chose NOT to do steroids. That may be why it has taken so long to come back. I am no longer tolerating them well. I was dx in 1995 with secondary progressive so you can imagine the massive amounts of IV steroids that I've had. My Neuro-Optho said that in his opinion over the long term steroids won't matter. My eye will come back when it's darn good and ready with a new baseline. My docs bombarded me with that stuff so early on that my body just started saying "NO MORE!" You're still seeing (no pun intended) benefits from them right? Well I'm not...just the negative.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 07:54 AM   #8
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Quote:
Originally Posted by farleyts
What, exactly happens to your vision with optic neuritis. Does your vision go completely black, like if you were blind, or is it blurred, decreased, like you suddenly need stronger glasses?

I'm asking because I had an episode about a six weeks ago (before my diagnosis) where I had a terrible left sided headache. Since then, the vision in my left eye has been decreased. I can see out of it, but it's like I need a new pair of glasses.

I've read everybody talking about optic neuritis, and keep thinking, well, I've never had that .. but maybe i have.

My optic neurologist said I had a "classic" case of optic neuritics.

It started with dark spots across the middle of my vision and spread out to an overall blurriness. It was like looking through a window with thumbprints on it. I couldn't pass a color blindness test with the affected eye. I didn't take steroids, Dr said with or without steroids you get back to the same place and my case was livable.

It took about 6 - 8 months to get my vision back to where it started (passed the color blindness test as well). I had gotten so used to it that I didn't realize when the ON was gone.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 06:50 PM   #9
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Arrow Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

I guess I am lucky. My ON started over a month ago. I have learned to tell when it is going to happen. I feel pain in the left side of my head then the vision goes. (after being out in the heat) Luckly mine only lasts for 24 hours sometimes longer. Then it comes back slowly and my vision is blurred. My optho didn't want to put me on steroids because he says that he didn't think it would help due to the reasearch he read about. I will talk with my neuro when ever I get to see him. Still waiting on this new guy. Good luck. Keep us up to date.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 08:32 PM   #10
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Gottabeme...thanks so much for your words of encouragement. You are inspirational. I won't give up hope... I'll keep hoping and praying! To answer your question, I do still see benefits from steroids, but also question their use and/or overuse.

cliftonlady...you know, it's so funny that you say that after 6-8 months, it returned and you had gotten so used to it that you barely realized it. Only because I'm slowly starting to get used to it now. It was hard not to think about it at first because it's always literally in front of my face, but I'm finding my thoughts do not linger on it as much. I'm starting to instinctively cover that eye if I need to focus. And this might sound funny, but as I recount the day's or week's events, I'm remembering LIFE as it's happens and barely think about the fact that I couldn't see well as it unfolded. Make sense? The memory is clear, even if the vision is not, I guess I'm saying.

TwoFeathers, sounds like yours is an on-again/off-again-type? What a strange thing ON is. Thanks for your thoughts.

 
Old 07-06-2006, 03:43 AM   #11
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Wink Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Optic neuritis usually involves a huge dead spot in the middle of your vision. it looks like a big grey dot right in the middle of everything you look at. That's why if you go to an opthamologist for ON the first thing they will do is give you a field of vision test... then they'll send you back to your neuro for steroids, so going to them is rather a waste of time... any how it's very painful when moving your eye. That isn't the only eye problem you can get with MS though, so watch for other problems too. One time I had one eye that would look one direction when the other one went the total opposite, can't remember what it was called, but it really freaked my husband out, lol. He kept saying "don't look at me like that!... you're creeping me out" so of course I did it just to bug him, lol.

 
Old 07-06-2006, 12:19 PM   #12
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

I had optic neuritis three times as well. The first time it came back in a week like nothing had happened. The second time was pretty painful so I went to the doctor and got put on prednisone, I had very long term damage from that one, but it all came back except for mild color-blindness and a sporadic lazy eye. Just in time for my third bout ten years later! Now I have a really chronic lazy eye, light sensitivity (sometimes), and I get eyestrain headaches a lot, but I have hope that "this, too, shall pass!"

My ON was always characterized by fogginess in the center of vision or on the periphery... like a fuzzy camera lens?

 
Old 07-07-2006, 05:52 AM   #13
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Hi all ,

I hope everyone is seeing well these days. Lisa, I can totally relate to the headaches. I feel like the queen of headaches. I've been told both sides when I have ON. "Don't strain the bad eye, let it heal". On the other hand I have been told "Use that bad eye just like normal". I just have been going with my own common sense, the eye is a muscle too. I exercise my eye daily, just like the rest of me. If you don't use it you're goin' to lose it. Right? So I ALWAYS have headaches also. It stinks, but at least the eye itself is ready for when the vision chooses to come back. If you come up with any tips on how to avoid those dang headaches let me know, k?

Goodsea, how are your eyes doing? I hope better. Let us know.

 
Old 07-07-2006, 02:39 PM   #14
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Re: recurring optic neuritis-- will sight return?

Yesterday the headaches were horrible, but they improved a little bit when I put on old glasses with a weaker prescription, but then I put my regular ones on to watch TV... No headaches today, though!

 
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