The optic nerve may be attacked by germs or viruses and cause visual impairment. This is called optic neuritis, and may precipitate sudden blindness, or a lessening of the visual field, with pain on moving the eyes. Drug therapy may play a part. It may be associated with papilloedema, in which there is swelling of the optic disc.
Optic Neuritis and papilloedema
A condition called optic neuritis may occur as an effect of other diseases. For example, sudden blindness may occur in persons developing multiple sclerosis. There may be pain present when moving the eye. After a few weeks, with or without treatment, vision returns to normal only to recur as symptoms of the disease slowly advance. These symptoms should receive immediate attention as another serious eye condition, known illoedema, is also secondary to diseases. It is represented by a of the optic disc, the part of the where the optic nerve enters the eye. Peripheral vision is often reduced, and accidents have been reported where a normally careful driver has not seen a car approaching from a side street because of problems with peripheral vision. Treatment of the underlying disorders during the secondary symptoms must carried out by a doctor.
Any condition in which the child complains of visual disturbance or loss needs urgent medical attention. Never delay, and don’t fiddle with home remedies or advice from well-meaning friends or amateurs. It could be disastrous.