Optic Neuritis - Treatments

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What is the treatment for optic neuritis?

If a definite cause (such as infection or underlying other disease) is determined, appropriate therapy for that cause is instituted.

The Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial, a multicenter randomized trial with 15 years of follow-up, showed that oral corticosteroids (prednisone) had no benefit on recovery to normal visual acuity. High-dose intravenous steroids, which involve some risks and can have significant side effects in some patients, including elevated blood sugar, depression, and insomnia. In the trial, high-dose intravenous steroids did speed up the initial recovery of vision in the acute phase. However, there was no conclusive evidence that intravenous steroids had any long-term benefit on visual acuity, visual field, or contrast sensitivity five years later.

Although there is no evidence that the use of oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have an effect on ultimate visual outcomes, they are effective in decreasing the pain on eye movement often associated with optic neuritis.

Good nutrition and hydration, avoidance of tobacco, and refraining from vigorous exercise or over-heating is often recommended during the acute phase of optic neuritis.

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