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Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve, which disrupts the flow of signals from the retina to the brain and impairs vision. The condition usually develops between ages 20 and 40. In rare cases, optic neuritis results from an infection in the tissues that surround the optic nerve. Optic neuritis can occur in people who have multiple sclerosis, which affects the nervous system.


In most cases, optic neuritis clears up on its own. Sometimes a doctor prescribes high-dose intravenous corticosteroids to relieve inflammation and pain. Although some impairment of vision may persist, vision usually returns to normal within about 6 weeks. After treatment, optic neuritis may recur in the same eye or in the other eye.

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