Conditions + Treatments

Optic Neuritis (ON) in Children

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Contact the Pediatric Neuro-immunology Program

Optic neuritis (ON) involves an attack of inflammation (swelling) in your optic nerve, which sends information from your eye to your brain about what you are seeing. In ON, there is damage to myelin, the protective covering of your nerve fibers.

  • The symptoms of ON can affect one or both eyes, causing blurred vision, vision loss and eye pain.
  • ON is an "autoimmune" condition that often follows an infection such as a cold. In ON, your immune system reacts against your optic nerve.
  • In order to perform the testing and undergo treatment (see Treatment and Care tab), children with ON are usually hospitalized for 1 week.
  • Although the long-term prognosis for children with ON varies, most children make a complete or nearly complete recovery, including those children with initially severe symptoms.
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