Retrobulbar Optic Neuritis Definition

Retrobulbar Optic Neuritis – INFLAMMATION of the OPTIC NERVE outside the globe of the EYE, between the eye and the brain. Retrobulbar optic neuritis can result from INFECTION such as MENINGITIS or ENCEPHALITIS, as a consequence of toxic exposure, and as a manifestation of MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

Symptoms of Retrobulbar Optic Neuritis may include

  • PAIN with eye movement
  • diminished VISUAL ACUITY (blurred or dim vision)
  • eye is tender to touch or pressure
  • blind spots (scotomas)
  • dulled colors

Diagnostic path and treatment

The diagnostic path includes visual acuity and VISUAL FIELD testing, OPHTHALMOSCOPYto examine the optic NERVE disk (which often becomes more pale), and MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) or COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT) SCAN of the brain when the doctor suspects multiple sclerosis or another neurologic cause.

Most retrobulbar optic neuritis eventually goes away without treatment. The doctor may prescribe CORTICOSTEROID MEDICATIONS when the inflammation persists. Because retrobulbar optic neuritis is so often associated with multiple sclerosis, the doctor may recommend more extensive NEUROLOGIC EXAMINATION to determine whether this condition is the underlying cause. Recurrent or severe retrobulbar optic neuritis may result in permanent VISION IMPAIRMENT.

See also OPTIC NERVE ATROPHYOPTIC NERVE HYPOPLASIA; PAPILLITISSCOTOMATOXIC OPTIC NEUROPATHY.

Retrobulbar Optic Neuritis – symptoms
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