Optic neuritis occurs due to inflammation of the optic nerve, which is also termed as papillitis (when the head of the optic nerve is involved) and retrobulbar neuritis (when the posterior of the nerve is involved). It may be caused due to many different conditions, ultimately it may lead to complete or partial loss of vision. The most common cause is due to multiple sclerosis. Of the 110 idiopathic cases, 13 (12%) had developed multiple sclerosis over an average of 2 years.
While treatment with steroids may have little effect on the end visual outcome of people with optic neuritis, people who are under medication with intravenous steroids have the risk of developing multiple sclerosis in two years when compared to people who do not receive such treatment.
The primary aim is to develop a framework for evaluating interventions in ON and in order to assess their ability to restore normal tissue, restore optimal neurological function, re-establish normal physiology. People with optic neuritis have a good recovery of their vision and may not have any long term problems with their sight.