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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/5/2006 4:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a question for those of you out there who have optic neuritis or have had it.  I have been battling a bout of ON for the past 8 months.  It improved initially with steroid treatment (oral) and then relapsed.  I lost about 70% of my vision in my left eye with the second relapse and was put on IV steriods followed again by a prolonged course of oral steroids.  My vision has not returned since my second relapse.  I was just in to see my opthomologist today and he said that he thought my optic disk looked better and that the ON had likely stopped progressing (little cheer and happy dance tongue ).  He hopes that we will begin to see some improvement in my vision now but he is doubtful that I will regain very much.  I am wondering if people have suggestions on how to make things more comfortable or easier to read.  I have trouble with the computer screens and have to increase my fonts but as those of you with ON may also experience this doesn't really solve the problem.  I love to read and have to for work all the time and I find that reading in diminished lights seem to help -- wondering if anyone has found anything else that helps.  Also I mentioned to him that for the past month I have been having stabbing pain in the back of that eye.  It only lasts for fleeting moments and then is gone.  I also see flashes of light in that eye with the jabs of pain.  This is not like when I have presented with ON where the pain was constant, relentless and worse with eye movement.  It strikes at any time and is not associated with anything I do.  He said "hmmmm" and moved on.  Wondering if anyone else experiences this and will it go away or is this from the nerve damage?
Thanks all!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 12/5/2006 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Can't answer ur questions but maybe it will help just to hear that someone is right along with u. In June , I woke up one morning and when I opened my eyes my right eye got a stabbing pain in it. At first I just thought my hair or something had fallen in it. I tried to find something in it but it looked ok. My vision was blurry but I've been wearing glasses or contacts for years so I just thought my right eye was getting worse. I never thought about it again. I just figured I'd make an appointment with my eye dr when I had time. Then, I had to have a mri for something else and it showed lesions that my dr said could only be ms lesions. Of course, I was freaked out and then he started asking about my eyes. It made sense then. Luckily he's a neuro-opthmalogist so he could tell me a little about it. He said the pain and blurry vision could be associated with lesions up by my optic nerve and my double vision was due to something at my brain stem. All this leads up to saying I had Iv steroids and eventually it has improved a little. I still have the stabbing pain occassionally-especially first thing in the morning or when my eyes are very tired. My vision is still blurry a lot of the time and my eyes are also very sensitive to bright sunlight. However, it did improve because it's not as bad as before.


New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/6/2006 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the input. It's funny because my optic neuritis started much the same way and spent the first day with it asking my husband to look in my eye because I was convinced I had something huge in it!
It sounds so scary what you went through. Cudos to your strength. I am glad to hear that your eyes have improved. That is somewhat reassuring. I am just so glad at this point that it seems to have settled down. I have been on and off steroids all this time -- let me just say NOT FUN!
I just had my husband adjust all the settings on my computer so that I can see better now and I found in some of the other posts that blue helps and I tend to aggree so now all my fonts are in blue. Also, I went to the library yesterday and got some large print books. I am all about being nice to myself now and learning to live with these problems :) Thats the best we can do right?

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 12/7/2006 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah!!! You're right that is all we can do. My sister who has a good many health issues herwelf says u just have to accept it and get over it the best u can.

Like u I love to read. The only problem is that my library doesn't have a lot of novels in large print that I like so I'm trying to find a large magnifying that I can use when I read. I still can see the small print pretty good if it is close to me but this would make it more comfortable for me. Have to finish getting ready for work.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 12/7/2006 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Everyone

I thought i'd do a search to see if i could find anything to help both with the magnification of u'r computer screen as well as some sort of easily used and tranported, hand held magnifier for reading with. Following are some links i found that seemed pretty good. If u want to do u'r own search and see the many other hits i got, type in 'monitor magnifiers' and 'reading magnifiers'. I hope someone is able to find some help with this.


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 12/7/2006 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Dvmtobe,

I was told that there was nothing they could do and there was nothing that could help see better. I have now been without 30% of my vision in
my left eye.....a present from ON, since last summer.

I have two Opthomogists, one a regular eye doctor and one that is a Neuro/Opthomologist. My Neuro has said that as time goes by, I should get a bit
better in that eye. I asked how long...."it has been a year already". She told me that it could be years, but most likely not at all. Some do, some don't.
And there is the faint possiblity that I could have a relapse or two or three. If that should occur, it will continue to destroy the nerve.

Now my regular doctor, knowing all of this, busted his buns to make my other eye see the best he could. Since I have worn glasses since teen days,
it was funny that he was trying to tweak as much as he could. Then he started on my bad eye. I told him that I was under the notion that it was the
nerve not the eye and he agreed. Guess he wanted to help in every way possible. Didn't do any good.

It is very difficult driving, reading, watching movies or tv even. I still cannot get use this, and since I play instruments and sing with a has
set me back and pretty well destroyed all of that. And since I am a computer engineer, and look at monitors all day.....I get a huge headache
by the end of the day.(everyday)

I have tried magnifications and all sorts of other "assisted" features on computers and with books, but nothing works any better than my glasses or
no glasses at all.

It is just the way it is. Some people get away with having an easy time with ON, some don't. Just like MS, some have an easy time and.........
It is the nature of this beast.

My regular Neuro has suggested twice that I put patch over the damaged eye and get used to seeing out of the good eye. I haven't tried that yet,
but my eye doctors seem to thing it might help my frustrations, so I will do after chritmas.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 12/7/2006 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Rhonda for the research.  I will be looking at those sites ASAP!  My husband already calls me old lady because I have to use big fonts and Large Print books but as you said snowdog nothing really makes it alright.  The other day we were out walking in and it was dusk.  The moon was rising but it was apparently that light white color where it sort of blends in with the sky.  My husband said "look at the moon, it looks so cool like that"  Of course, I couldn't see it, even after he pointed out the exact location.  Anyhow, he would have a field day with me using a magnifier to read smurf
Snowdog, I am so sorry.  It's so sad to hear that you can't do the things you love, like music.  I played paino for many, many years.  We do not currently own a paino so I hadn't even thought of the problems I would have reading music.  I admit that I have run up against those limitations myself.  Prior to entering vet school I had thought that I would really enjoy surgery.  I am currently in my clinical year and have been trained in surgery but alas, I can't see the tissue plains.  It is all just one big red mess to me (sorry if that is a bit graphic).  Although my current career plans do not have to include surgery in them (good news for dogs and cats everywhere, right) it is a disappointment.  I aggree that living with this foggy, blurry vision is very hard to get used to.  I have never heard of using a blindfold to make the right eye stronger.  I find myself winking all the time so that I only use my right eye though ;)  I hope maybe that things get better for you.  Keep me posted

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/9/2006 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   

I had horrible bouts ON the 1st 5 or so years of ms then they gradually went away.  Steroids did not help only made me grouchy and fat.  ON comes and GOES on it's own.

I joined the state library for blind/disabled and was sent free a cassette player-which now should be cd player and was sent free books on tape at regular intervals.  Shipping is all free and very convienent.  The only problem is you can't bookmark a tape as easy as a book if you fall asleep!

My ms has been around over 17 years and just this year I've taken up watercolorpainting.  It's very forgiving and you don't need full sight-which I don't have-to paint.  The best thing I've found @ painting is I fall into the picture and do not think of anything else, my husband has a hard time getting my attention when I'm painting.  If you're an avid reader you know you can actually think about something else when engrossed in a book>painting you cannot!!! I love it.

I just paint on the breakfast counter and a starter watercolor kit is around $10.00.  Hope it can work for you as well as it does for me. :-)

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