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Does Parkinson’s Affect Your Vision

Westminster Eyecare Associates Eye Clinic And Parkinsons And Vision Problems In Providence Rhode Island

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Providence eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Eyekrafters Medical Optics Eye Clinic And Parkinsons And Vision Problems In South Plainfield New Jersey

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our South Plainfield eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

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The study enrolled 20 patients who had been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and 20 age-matched healthy subjects, to assess changes in the visual system associated with the disease. The participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans, which researchers used to look at changes in the white and gray matters, as well as ophthalmologic examinations.

They found that patients presented significant changes in the brain structures associated with the visual system, such as changes in the optic radiations, decreased white matter volume and reduced volume of the optic chiasm .

As a consequence, patients experienced visual alterations, such as an inability to perceive colors, decreased visual acuity, and a reduction in blinking, which often led to dry eyes.

According to Arrigo, these changes may appear more than a decade before the motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, which makes them potential biomarkers to diagnose and follow this disease.

“The study in depth of visual symptoms may provide sensitive markers of Parkinson’s disease,” Arrigo said. “Visual processing metrics may prove helpful in differentiating Parkinsonism disorders, following disease progression, and monitoring patient response to drug treatment.”

Ocular And Visual Disorders In Parkinsons Disease: Common But Frequently Overlooked

This literature search covering 50 years reviews the range of ocular and visual disorders in patients with PD and classifies these according to anatomical structures of the visual pathway.  It discusses six common disorders in more detail, reviews the effects of PD-related pharmacological and surgical treatments on visual function, and offers practical recommendations for clinical management.

Patients With Parkinson Disease At Increased Risk Of Vision Eye Issues Study Shows

Parkinson

Matthew Gavidia

Patients with Parkinson disease were found to be more likely to experience vision and eye issues, such as blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble with depth perception, and problems adjusting to rapid changes in light, compared with people without the disorder, according to study findings.

Patients with Parkinson disease were found to be more likely to experience vision and eye issues, such as blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble with depth perception, and problems adjusting to rapid changes in light, compared with people without the disorder, according to study findings published in Neurology.

In patients with PD , irregular eyesight can prove a chief issue, as ophthalmologic disorders combined with postural and gait instability from the disorder may increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries, noted the study authors.

Risk of vision impairment is potentially common for PwP because PD is linked with retinal dopamine depletion and decreased dopaminergic innervation of the visual cortex, which can lead to visual problems such as diminished oculomotor control, contrast sensitivity, color vision, and visuospatial construction. PwP are also at increased risk for seborrheic blepharitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca .

In PwP with ophthalmologic symptoms, 68% reported that it interfered with daily activities, compared with 35% of controls .

Reference

Difficulty Moving The Eyes Or Difficulty In Focusing On Moving Objects

Difficulties moving the eyes up and down are more common in a condition called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy , a form of parkinsonism. If you experience this problem, your specialist or Parkinson’s nurse if you have one, will be able to give advice.

Caution! If detecting or seeing movement is difficult, particularly estimating the speed of a moving object such as a car, great care should be taken when out and about, both when driving and walking.

Colour Vision Contrast Sensitivity And Low Light Conditions

A lack of dopamine-producing cells in the retina can cause problems with colour vision and contrast sensitivity. This means that it may be hard to distinguish between shades of the same colour, particularly blues and blue/greens. Some people also have difficulty defining images on a background of similar shades or colours and reading fine print, particularly in low light levels.

Levodopa and other Parkinson’s medications may help with these problems. Your doctor will be able to advise you on this.

Parkinsons Disease: Motor Control And Nerve Damage Combine

When we think of Parkinson’s disease, we think of muscles. People with the condition tend to slur their words, stumble as they walk, and jerk their arms and legs periodically.

Damage to myelin, or the nerve’s protective covering, is to blame. That allows nerves to drop or cross signals. But the condition can also interfere with vision, even if the eye itself has no muscles within it.

People with Parkinson’s disease can experience problems with:

  • Focus. When you can’t control the muscles around your eye, it’s hard to look closely at an object. Your eyes may not look in the same direction, or they may not stay in one place for long enough.
  • Color perception. The disease can kill off retina cells at the back of the eye, researchers say, and when that happens, it’s harder for you to perceive colors. Everything may appear gray, or the world may seem washed out.
  • Dry eye. When muscles don’t fire properly, blinking is tough. Some people with Parkinson’s disease don’t blink frequently enough, and their eyes feel dry and gritty.

Parkinson’s disease can develop due to family history, but Parkinson’s News Today suggests that risk can rise due to:

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, says the American Parkinson Disease Association. But some treatments can ease your symptoms. Your doctor might use:

Your doctor may choose eye drops to keep the eyes moist. And special glasses may help you focus your attention, so you can read and handle other tasks without disruption.

Harry Styles’ Mum On Her Father Having Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: The warning sign in your ...

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition whereby the signals communicated between the brain and nervous system are disrupted. This causes a number of impairments, many of which relate to movement. The symptoms are often subtle at first but become quite pronounced as the condition advances. When this occurs, the eyes may be affected in a number of ways.

Eye Exam Could Lead To Early Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis

Date:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
A simple eye exam combined with powerful artificial intelligence machine learning technology could provide early detection of Parkinson’s disease, according to new research.

A simple eye exam combined with powerful artificial intelligence machine learning technology could provide early detection of Parkinson’s disease, according to research being presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America .

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects millions of people worldwide. Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms like tremors, muscle stiffness and impaired balance — an approach that has significant limitations.

“The issue with that method is that patients usually develop symptoms only after prolonged progression with significant injury to dopamine brain neurons,” said study lead author Maximillian Diaz, a biomedical engineering Ph.D. student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. “This means that we are diagnosing patients late in the disease process.”

Disease progression is characterized by nerve cell decay that thins the walls of the retina, the layer of tissue that lines the back of the eyeball. The disease also affects the microscopic blood vessels, or microvasculature, of the retina. These characteristics present an opportunity to leverage the power of AI to examine images of the eyes for signs of Parkinson’s disease.

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Vision: More Than Meets The Eye Tricks To Aid Pd Patients

Retired neurologist and young onset Parkinson’s patient, Dr. Maria De León reminds us that vision is integral to our quality of life and safety, especially with respect to driving.  She lists 11 common eye problems with PD, and a few uncommon ones.  They may be helped by adjusting medications, with special lenses, or artificial tears.  See your doctor to find out.

What Are The Primary Motor Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

There are four primary motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability . Observing two or more of these symptoms is the main way that physicians diagnose Parkinson’s.

It is important to know that not all of these symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease to be considered. In fact, younger people may only notice one or two of these motor symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease. Not everyone with Parkinson’s disease has a tremor, nor is a tremor proof of Parkinson’s. If you suspect Parkinson’s, see a neurologist or movement disorders specialist.

Tremors

Read more about Parkinson’s tremors

Rigidity

Bradykinesia

mask-like expression of the face

Postural Instability

Walking or Gait Difficulties

episodes of freezing

Dystonia

Dystonia

Vocal Symptoms

The Preponderance Of Injury In The Past Of People With Pd

Parkinson

Neck issues or damage can be caused by injuries, but the injury site doesn’t have to be local to the neck itself, since it is an integral part of the kinetic chain of the human body – problems anywhere else which affect posture can, in turn, profoundly affect how we tense our necks and cause strains on it by the way we are holding up the head. I’ve frequently asked people with Parkinson’s Disease to think carefully about any pains and injuries which they might have incurred either before or concurrent with their PD diagnosis. I’ve found that the overwhelming majority of us have suffered a prior accident or physical trauma. Injuries to jaw, neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees or feet predominate. All these severely affect posture and hence the kinetic chain and are liable to make our necks prone to permanent strains and stiffness. So in my view, even if chemical “cures” were invented tomorrow, people with PD would still present with the postural problems, still suffer from the old injuries which have been masked by the narratives of neurology, and would probably quickly decline into pain and problems again, unless these past injuries are properly attended to.

Ocular Motor And Sensory Function In Parkinson Disease

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of dopaminergic medication and deep brain stimulation on ocular function in Parkinson Disease and to measure vision-elated quality of life in subjects with PD.  The conclusion is that convergence ability is significantly poorer in PD subjects in both “on” and “off” states compared with controls, but significantly improves with systemic dopaminergic treatment.  Ocular motor function in PD subjects fluctuates in response to treatment, which complicates ophthalmic management.  PD subjects have a significant reduction in vision-related quality of life, especially near activities, that it not associated with visual acuity.

Potential Effects Of Parkinsons Disease On Eyesight

Growing older often means a greater risk of experiencing certain vision problems, such as cataracts and age-related retina damage . Typically, these changes have nothing to do with Parkinson’s disease and can affect any older adult. However, there are some vision issues specifically related to this condition. Five of the more common ones are discussed below.

Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: When Nerves Need Blood

Your nerves are conduits for messengers, and they require a lot of blood to do their work. If you’ve ever sat with your crossed legs for too long and felt pins and needles take hold, you know this firsthand.

When nerves don’t get the blood they need, bad things happen. When the optic nerve is starved of blood flow, it’s called ischemic optic neuropathy, and it can permanently damage vision.

Several types of blood vessels support and nourish the optic nerve. Each can fail in a different way. In general, researchers recognize two main forms of ischemic optic neuropathy .

  • Anterior ION: A lack of blood flow causes the optic nerve head to swell.
  • Posterior ION: Blood flow remains a problem, but there is no swelling.

Both conditions are eye emergencies, and if you have them, you need immediate treatment.

You’ll develop sudden vision loss in one or both eyes, and you won’t feel pain. During an exam, your doctor might notice that your pupils aren’t responding to light, and your optic nerve might look unusual.

Since ION is a disease of the blood vessels, and damage to the eyes is a side effect of that damage, you’re at higher risk of the condition if you have risk factors for heart disease. Those risk factors include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Swollen arteries in your head

Alzheimer’s Disease: Multifaceted Vision Changes

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: An early warning sign which ...

When it comes to chronic conditions, we know the least about Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers discovered the condition in the 1980s. Since then, they’ve been working hard to understand how the problem begins and what can be done to treat it. They do know that people with the condition have changes in visual ability, but no one is quite sure why.

The Alzheimer’s Association says 5.7 million people lived with the condition in 2018, and that number should rise as the population ages. Most people with Alzheimer’s are identified due to severe memory loss and functional brain changes. They may forget words, get lost, or experience unusual emotional shifts.

People with Alzheimer’s disease also have vision changes, researchers say, and they can involve:

  • Peripheral vision. When the field of vision shrinks, you’re only able to see the things right in front of you, unless you move your head. You may find that you run into things often, or you may fall.
  • Motion detection. You may see the world as a series of still photographs, and that can cause you to get lost in familiar spaces.
  • Color. You may struggle to identify colors, or the whole world may seem dim and gray.
  • Depth. Everything may seem flat to you, and that can make it hard for you to spot items you need, like a plate on the table.

More research can confirm this hypothesis, and right now, it’s a guess.

Structural Eye Changes & Color Perception Issues

Parkinson’s disease sometimes contributes to structural changes within the eye. It appears these changes are mostly limited to the retina, a thin layer of tissue in the back of the eye that converts light coming into the eye into nerve signals the brain uses to process visual information.If dopamine receptors in the retina are affected, one of the changes that could occur is a decrease in the ability to distinguish between different shades of color. Eye changes involving color perception sometimes contribute to vision-related disturbances that might include visual hallucinations.

Is Vision Specifically Affected In Pd Dementia

Many of the oculo-visual features present in early and middle stage PD will become more severe if the patient develops PD dementia. However, some features appear to be particularly exacerbated in PD dementia including deficits in colour vision and changes in pupillary function . In addition, there are visual features which may be particularly characteristic of PD dementia. First, prominent visual hallucinations are significantly more frequent in PD dementia than PD . Second, severe eye movement problems are more likely to be present in PD dementia and to become more extensive with declining cognitive function . Third, defects in visuospatial orientation are likely to be greater in PD dementia especially when associated with greater cortical atrophy . Many additional visual features, already detected in PD, are likely to be present in a more severe form in PD dementia.

Ophthalmologic Features Of Parkinsons Disease

This paper is a systematic evaluation of the ocular complaints and ocular finding of 30 PD patients with early untreated PD, and 31 control subjects without neurologic or known ocular diseases.  The ocular abnormalities found more commonly encountered by PD patients frequently respond to treatment.  Abstract and access to the full article.

Molecular And Neurotransmitter Deficits In Pd

Parkinson’s disease: Vision problems are common in the ...

Although dysfunction of the dopamine neurotransmitter system has long been associated with the pathophysiology of PD accumulating evidence suggests that PD is a multisystem degeneration . Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter in the retina being present in amacrine cells along the inner border of the inner nuclear layer , and accumulated by interplexiform cells . Two types of amacrine cells appear to be involved: type 1 cells which send ascending processes to synapse with ?-aminobutyric acid interplexiform cells in stratum 1 of the INL and type 2 cells which have dendrites stratifying above those of the type 1 cells of the inner plexiform layer . Dopamine may be involved in the organisation of the ganglion cell and bipolar cell receptive fields and may modulate the physical activity of the photoreceptors . In addition, dopamine is involved in the coupling of the horizontal and amacrine lateral system . Thinning of the retinal nerve fibre layer has been recorded in PD . In particular, significant thinning of INL in parafoveal regions has been observed, especially in those patients exhibiting visual hallucinations but without overt signs of dementia .

Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson’s

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

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People with Parkinson’s disease have a higher prevalence of ophthalmologic symptoms than those without the disease, according to research published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“It is especially important for people with Parkinson’s to have the best vision possible because it can help compensate for movement problems caused by the disease, and help reduce the risk of falls,”Carlijn D.J.M. Borm, MD, of the Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, said in a press release. “Our study found not only that people with Parkinson’s disease had eye problems that go beyond the aging process, we also found those problems may interfere with their daily lives.”

Borm and colleagues conducted an observational, cross-sectional study across multiple centers in the Netherlands and Austria as part of a larger study on visual impairments in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The researchers evaluated the prevalence and clinical effects of ophthalmologic symptoms in adults using participant responses to the Visual Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease Screening Questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions on demographic information and visual hallucinations, and assessed the four domains of ophthalmologic disorders — ocular surface, intraocular, oculomotor and optic nerve.

Early Parkinson’s May Prompt Vision Problems

Changes in sight could signal disease a decade before motor symptoms surface, study suggests

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 11, 2017 — Changes in vision may be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease, researchers report.

The neurodegenerative condition is caused by the loss of neurons in several brain structures, resulting in tremors, rigidity or stiffness, along with impaired balance and coordination, the Italian researchers explained.

But, “although Parkinson’s disease is primarily considered a motor disorder, several studies have shown non-motor symptoms are common across all stages of the disease,” said lead researcher Dr. Alessandro Arrigo. He is a resident in ophthalmology at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan.

“However, these symptoms are often undiagnosed because patients are unaware of the link to the disease and, as a result, they may be undertreated,” Arrigo added.

Non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients include visual changes, such as an inability to perceive colors, a change in visual acuity, and reduced blinking, which can lead to dry eye, the study authors noted.

These symptoms “may precede the appearance of motor signs by more than a decade,” Arrigo said.

This study included 20 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients who had not yet received treatment, and a “control” group of 20 people without the disease. Brain scans revealed that the Parkinson’s patients had significant abnormalities within the visual system brain structures.

Results Of A Visual Impairment Questionnaire

Parkinson’s disease: Sensations in the eyes could mean a ...

Tips For Coping With Breathing Difficulties

  • Work with your doctor to identify and treat any non-PD causes of shortness of breath, such as lung disease, heart disease or lack of physical conditioning and endurance.
  • Exercise as much as possible. Shortness of breath may lead a person to move less. Less physical activity reduces the ability to take deep breaths. Staying active improves pulmonary function.
  • Take steps to cope with anxiety. Talk with your doctor to figure out what sets off anxiety and find treatments and techniques that work for you.
  • Speak to your doctor about getting an evaluation performed by a speech-language pathologist  who can help you address issues related to swallowing.
  • Give up smoking.

Page reviewed by Dr. Chauncey Spears, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy And Cortico

PSP and CBD are both four-repeat tau diseases exhibiting considerable similarities and overlap . Distinguishing PD from PSP can be especially difficult early in the disease. Atypical features of PSP include slowing of upward saccades, moderate slowing of downward saccades, the presence of a full range of voluntary vertical eye movements, a curved trajectory of oblique saccades, and absence of square-wave jerks . Hence, particularly useful in separating PSP from PD is the presence in the former of vertical supranuclear gaze palsy, fixation instability, lid retraction, blepharospasm, and apraxia of eyelid opening and closing . Downgaze palsy is probably the most useful diagnostic clinical symptom of PSP . Deficits in colour vision appear to be more important in PD and directly related to the dopamine system. However, in untreated early PD, no consistent deficits in colour vision were demonstrated making this alone an unreliable indicator of PD .

Ask The Md: Vision And Parkinsons Disease

This webpage explains the visual problems that are due to Parkinson’s disease, the medications used to treat it, or to unrelated conditions of the eye or eyelid.  If you have visual problems, don’t assume it is due to either aging or Parkinson’s.  Address it with your doctor to maintain your ability to read, drive, and walk steadily to reduce your risk of falling.

My Parkinson’s Story: Visual Disturbances

Parkinson

This 6-minute video alternates between an interview with a man and and doctors. The man shares his vision changes due to Parkinson’s disease. The doctors explain that the muscles of the eyes develop a tremor in those with Parkinson’s disease, causing blurry vision. Parkinson’s medication reduces eye tremors by 75-90%, but eye exercises and reading are also beneficial.

Involuntary Eye Closure & Eyelid Drooping

It’s not uncommon for seniors with Parkinson’s disease to experience involuntary eye closure . Eyelids may also droop due to muscle weakness or nerve damage caused by the disease. Both of these issues can narrow the field of vision and contribute to difficulty with navigation and coordination. Vision problems of this nature also increase the risk of falling for seniors with PD. Under certain circumstances, Botox injections may be recommended to address issues with eyelid drooping.

If your loved one is living with vision problems and needs assistance with daily tasks, help is available. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care.Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Medication Side Effects & Vision Problems

Drugs or supplements taken to control the motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease sometimes affect the eyes and contribute to vision-related problems. For this reason, it’s important for seniors to discuss all medications they’re taking for PD, including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, when they have their eyes examined. In some cases, making adjustments to these medications can enhance vision.

If your loved one is living with vision loss and needs assistance with daily tasks, help is available. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality Home Care Philadelphia families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Saccadic And Smooth Pursuit Eye Movements

Electro-oculography recordings have also been made before and after apomorphine treatment in early stage patients suggesting that smooth pursuit movements could be affected during the prodromal phase . In addition, patients with PD often have difficulty in sustaining repetitive actions and hence, smooth pursuit movements exhibit a reduction in response magnitude and a progressive decline of response with stimulus repetition.

Is Vision Affected In The Prodromal Stage

Parkinson’s disease

A number of oculo-visual features observed in early PD could be present in the prodromal phase of PD . First, autonomic system dysfunction is well documented in early PD and could affect pupil reactivity, and is a feature requiring further investigation. Second, electro-oculographic recordings have been made before and after apomorphine treatment confirming that smooth pursuit movements can be affected during the initial stages . Third, deficits in colour vision may occur early in the disease . Fourth, deficits in visuo-motor adaptation may occur during the early stages . Fifth, in PD cases in which idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder is accompanied by abnormal stereopsis, postural instability may be an additional feature . The presence of any of these features in undiagnosed individuals may raise a concern of possible PD. Since early diagnosis may enable intervention and possible neuroprotection , further visual studies of the early stage PD are urgently needed.

How Does Parkinson’s Cause Vision Issues

Parkinson’s is characterized by a loss of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra portion of the brain. The reduction of dopamine can affect the visual cortex. So Parkinson’s can impair mobility of the eyes just like the limbs. There are several kinds of visual disturbances that may be experienced by people with Parkinson’s. Many who experience changes in vision or eye mechanics seek out a consultation from a neuro-opthalmologist, someone who specializes in visual problems associated with neurological disease.2

How Parkinsons Disease Can Affect Vision

The main characteristic of Parkinson’s disease is difficulty with movement that becomes increasingly noticeable as the condition progresses. However, there are many non-motor complications associated with this disease as well, one of which is vision impairment. Eye changes associated with age, such as the development of cataracts, can also affect seniors with PD, but we’re going to focus on vision issues specifically linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Blurred Vision And Difficulty Focussing

Some Parkinson’s medications, in particular anticholinergics, can cause blurred vision and difficulty focussing. You may find your vision is blurred if you start taking anticholinergics and that this goes away when your body gets used to the new drug. This can also happen if you have been taking anticholinergics for some time but your dose is altered. If necessary your doctor may adjust your medication regime.

Talk with your doctor if blurred vision does not improve – or worsens – over time, so that your medication can be adjusted if necessary. If you wear reading glasses, a slight adjustment may also help. Your optician or optometrist should be able to help with this.

Optic Neuritis: An Inflamed Optic Nerve

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Signs of the brain condition ...

Your optic nerve works like a sight highway. Signals move from the eye to the brain down this path, and it’s that movement that helps you to see clearly. Swelling in the optic nerve can slow or even block those messages.

Optic neuritis is closely related to multiple sclerosis . This condition causes nerves all around the body to swell, and say about a third of people with MS don’t know they have the condition until they develop optic neuritis.

It’s also been associated with risks such as:

  • Infections. Lyme disease, syphilis, cat-scratch fever, and bacterial invasions can all cause the optic nerve to swell.
  • Viruses. Herpes, mumps, and measles can cause optic neuritis.
  • Medications. Some types of antibiotics and the drug quinine can cause swelling in the optic nerve.

Optic neuritis usually attacks one eye while leaving the other intact, says Mayo Clinic. You might notice:

  • Vision loss. Some people develop a slight blurring or dimming of vision, while other people can’t see anything at all. Some people retain clear central vision, but can’t see anything to the side.
  • Visual hallucinations. You may see flashing or flickering lights. Colors might seem dim or dull.
  • Eye pain. You might develop a headache, and it can get worse when you move your eyes.

If you do have optic neuritis, treatment helps. Your doctor can use corticosteroids to reduce swelling in the nerve. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some people experience a full recovery with this medication.

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