Preparing for your appointment

If you have signs and symptoms of optic neuritis, you'll likely see your family doctor or a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating eye diseases (ophthalmologist or neuro-ophthalmologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, especially vision changes
  • Key personal information, including any recent stressors, major life changes and family and personal medical history, including recent infections and other conditions you have
  • All medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.

For optic neuritis, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What treatments do you recommend?
  • What are the possible side effects of the medications you're recommending?
  • How long will it take for my eyesight to improve?
  • Does this put me at greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis, and, if so, what can I do to prevent it?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Do you have brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • How would you describe your symptoms?
  • How significantly has your vision decreased?
  • Do colors look less vivid?
  • Have your symptoms changed over time?
  • Does anything seem to improve or worsen your symptoms?
  • Have you noticed problems with movement and coordination or numbness or weakness in your arms and legs?
Nov. 04, 2016
References
  1. Osborne B, et al. Optic neuritis: Pathophysiology, clinical features, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  2. Osborne B, et al. Optic neuritis: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  3. Optic neuritis. American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. https://www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/84. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  4. Gal RL, et al. Corticosteroids for treating optic neuritis (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://www.cochrane.org/CD001430/EYES_corticosteroids-treating-optic-neuritis. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.
  5. Optic neuritis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye-disorders/optic-nerve-disorders/optic-neuritis. Accessed Aug. 19, 2016.