Please Describe Your Experience with Optic Neuritis
I’m back! I’ve been observing/reading posts from a quiet distance for a while now.
My neurological symptoms started with vision problems which are now episodic, yet I have never had any kind of exam to rule in or out a diagnosis of optic neuritis. For those of you who have been diagnosed, it would help me and possibly others, for you to share your symptoms. I’m also going to describe my symptoms to see whether they match up with what others may experience.
I was first hit in the summer of 2003 driving on the highway and had extreme problems with depth perception and felt very lightheaded/dizzy. Bright sunlight and light flashing through trees or sudden changes in light levels seem to exacerbate the problem and I went for several months with limited driving.
Last Saturday, the vision in my left eye began to blur. By Thursday, I was unable to drive to work. Missing one day of work, I attempted to drive on Friday, but was unable to get to my destination on a very bright morning with the sun at a low angle. The vision is blurred and distorted. Distance vision seems to be more problematic (while near vision is blurred, it seems that I can compensate for near vision with my progressive lenses?). Depth perception is also affected and a coping strategy is to try to continually shift focal range, but this does not always work. Highway signs are completely blurred until within perhaps 20 feet, which means I usually cannot read the whole sign at the speed I am traveling.
I feel nauseous, as if I put on a pair of glasses where the prescription is too strong. Because of the nausea and vision problems, I feel off balance. My left eye feels gritty and burns, but the discomfort is not behind the eye. I have a dull pressure headache that goes from the temples to the mid forehead.
Colors appear normal, however there have been several days this week where I have turned on lights in the house and thought that a bulb had burned out, as the room did not seem as bright as normal.
Going to sleep at night, I have had the pleasure of “light shows” while trying to drift off to sleep. Sometimes it’s like small blobs from a lava lamp and the lights can be either gray and white or in colors. Other times it will be bright flecks of light or streaks like a static ball which are intense in colors (mostly blue, purple, yellow or white). The first time this happened, I went to a retinal specialist at the urging of a coworker, but no problems were found.
I have been prescribed lenses with prisms in them, yet they do not help. When the vision problems start again, it takes several months for them to completely resolve themselves to the point where I am able to drive again comfortably.
I’m scheduled for a follow up eye exam at the end of the month after laser surgery to treat narrow angle glaucoma. Given that I am in the midst of vision problems, I am thinking of calling the ophthalmologist to have them squeeze me in tomorrow.
When I had optic neuritis, it started out with pain behind my left eye whenever I would move my eye. Then I started to notice changes in my vision. Colors seemed hazy and kind of greyed out. It last several weeks.
When the doctor did an eye exam, he could see that my pupil wasn't reacting how it was supposed to react. And neuro later told me that I also have pale optic discs. I continue to have worsening of my vision. I'm not for sure if it's related to the optic neuritis, or just MS in general. My corrected vision is about 20/40.
27 years ago my right eye suddenly became very blurry. Lights seemed less bright in the right eye and fluorescent lights made me dizzy. I went to an eye doctor who dx it as optic neuritis. I didn't know what that was but he said it was probably just an eye virus but I should probably see my GP. He seemed a little concerned. This worried me. My GP didn't seem concerned. About 3 weeks later I woke up with my left arm totally numb. I remember that I couldn't even change my sons diaper. Within 3 days I was completely paralyzed. After a long hospital stay and months of rehab I recovered and many years later I was finally dx with RRMS. Of course this was the days before MRI's so it went un diagnosed for years. I hope you see a neurologist and have this checked out. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Good luck and keep in touch :)
When I had mine, my eye doctor said that he wanted me to see a neurologist right away. I told him that I already had an appt set up, but it wasn't for 2 1/2 months later. (I had an appt already set up because 2 months prior to this, I had started to notice spasticity in my left leg and numb/tingling on my left foot that still hadn't gone away. So, I had already been waiting to see one.)
He told me to call the neuro's office and tell them now that on top of the other symptoms that I still have, I also have optic neuritis. I called the neuro's office, but they said all they could do is just put me on the cancellation list. Nothing came of it, so I didn't get in until 2 /12 months later.
I was happy to hear from you. I get so frustrated with neurologists who are too busy to see someone who really needs an appointment. I think you should either try another dr. or try the ER. I really don't want you to have to go through what happened to me (even though it probably won't!) good luck
Keep in touch!
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