Eye Inflammation: Signs, Symptoms, And How to Treat It

Eye Inflammation: Signs, Symptoms, And How to Treat It

Eye inflammation or optic neuritis is a highly concerning condition that can occasionally lead to permanent vision loss and may be indicative of more serious diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. It is one of the most unpredictable eye conditions, as recovery can be resistant to treatment. Fortunately, eye inflammation is relatively rare, with less than 1,000 new cases in Canada per year.

If you have symptoms of vision loss, pain, and flashing lights in your eyes, you could be experiencing eye inflammation. See an optometrist immediately to have your condition diagnosed and to begin treatment to manage your condition as soon as possible. 

Sunridge Eye Clinic is committed to treating all cases of eye inflammation. Our Calgary eye doctors give their full attention and care to patients with this condition, maximizing their chances of a complete recovery. 

What Is Eye Inflammation And What Are Its Symptoms? 

Eye inflammation is technically the inflammation of your optic nerve, which serves to relay visual information from your eye to your brain. When the optic nerve is swollen, you may experience worsening vision (including loss of colour vision), eye pain, and flashing lights in your eyes. The worst cases of eye inflammation may lead to permanent vision loss. 

Eye inflammation is not guaranteed to respond well to treatment. Steroids can speed up recovery, but they may not affect how well your eyes recover. Thankfully, symptoms of eye inflammation, including vision loss, often go away on their own within a few months as the inflammation diminishes. 

More study needs to be done on eye inflammation, as experts are still unsure about the causes of this condition. Some cases of optic neuritis have been known to return, requiring long-term treatment and management from an optometrist. This is especially true when the condition is linked to multiple sclerosis. 

Treating And Managing Eye Inflammation

Given that vision loss and the other symptoms of eye inflammation are usually temporary, treatment is often unnecessary. Recovery is especially optimistic if your case is not linked to multiple sclerosis, lupus, Lyme disease, or other more serious conditions. You can usually expect the inflammation of your optic nerve to die down after several weeks. 

As mentioned, steroids can speed up the recovery process, but it is unclear whether they can improve your chances of a successful recovery. 

Generally, trying to recover from eye inflammation is an exercise in health management. Eating healthy meals, keeping yourself hydrated, avoiding smoking, avoiding hot showers, and refraining from intense physical activities have been shown to improve your odds of complete recovery. 

Managing Your Eye Inflammation With Sunridge 

Eye inflammation should not be taken lightly. If you ever experience symptoms that may be associated with eye inflammation, such as partial vision loss, eye pain, and flashing lights, see an optometrist for a diagnosis. In the event of a confirmed eye inflammation, your optometrist can lay out a treatment plan centred on steroidal medicine to speed up your recovery. During your recovery process, your optometrist can also serve as a source of medical counsel. 

Our Calgary eye doctors at Sunridge Eye Clinic address every case of eye inflammation with the best therapeutic treatments available. Given the inherent medical limitations in treating some cases of eye inflammation, our specialists are committed to providing the highest quality of care and symptom management. Call us at 403-280-7518 or fill out the online contact form to learn more about what we can do for eye inflammations. 

FAQs

Q: How can an optometrist diagnose eye inflammation?
A: A routine eye exam is usually sufficient to diagnose eye inflammation. If the optometrist suspects that the condition is linked to multiple sclerosis, they may also perform an optical coherence tomography, which measures the thickness of the eye’s retinal nerve layer or recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  

Q: In addition to multiple sclerosis, what other conditions can be linked to eye inflammation?
A: Other autoimmune disorders linked to eye inflammation include neuromyelitis optica and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody disorder. Bacterial infections, such as Lyme disease and syphilis, and viral infections such as measles, mumps, and herpes can cause optic neuritis. Lupus and sarcoidosis are also linked to optic neuritis.

Q: Who is most at risk of eye inflammation?
A: Eye inflammation most commonly affects people between the ages of 20 to 40. Women are also more likely to develop eye inflammation.


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