Optical Neuritis

MS Hug

I said yesterday that the kickback had started and I was totally right, unfortunately, you know it really would be nice to be wrong about these things just occasionally. lol As yesterday progressed the pains all over me got worse and the lovely named hug came to visit. It really is an annoying symptom, on the whole it isn’t really painful more permanently uncomfortable which in many ways is more annoying as finding any position to sit of lie in is hard. For added fun last night I was taking huge yawns and also had the hiccups which when your diaphragm area is clenched in a mild spasm is interesting to say the least. All in all yesterday wasn’t a great day, not my worst ever but steadily going downwards as the day progressed, I went to my bed at the normal time and I slept instantly, that is I suppose the only thing that is good about bad days, they constant pain wears you down and exhausts you so sleep is easy, once all my night time meds have taken hold.

This morning it seemed as though I was actually a bit better, it wasn’t until I had my PC booted up and I tried to read the first page that came up that I realised it wasn’t. My eyesight is really really bad today. Optical neuritis isn’t something I am usually over bothered by, it was strangely one of the earliest symptoms which allowed the doctors to date when I might have had my first MS flare, when I was 21 I lost a entire center view of my left eye, it lasted several hours then cleared, it was also when I was 21 that I first made an appointment and went to the opticians complaining there was something wrong, like the other symptoms I had I would be heading back or already be in remission so they always told me there wasn’t, a universal problem for the first 18yrs. I know know that the blurring of my eyesight, like having a layer of Vaseline spread over it, was due to ‘Optical Neuritis’. I am lucky as I rarely get much pain with it either a lot of people find it totally agony to move their eye. The worst spell of it I have ever had was when I was still going into the office twice a week, I woke up one morning to discover I really couldn’t see the TV screen unless I was within one foot of the screen. That lasted 3 days and slowly cleared right back to almost normal, it is one of the reasons that glasses, no matter how good have a limited improvement. These days TV is more like radio when I am sat here at my PC, but if sat on the settee which is 4ft closer to the box, with my glasses on I see everything with clarity.

I have counted myself as luck to not be bothered with it too greatly as I only really have one good eye and it is shortsighted meaning that I where different glasses for different things, my PC is probably the only thing I don’t normally use them for as I have increased font sizes and so on and manage OK. It is my right eye that is the real problem and that has nothing to do with MS, I have Macular degeneration in my right, at the moment I have small spots all over my cornea that I can’t see through at all, it is a bit like trying to see through a heavy patterned lace, usually the small clear spots that I have are better in their normal vision than my right eye, today they also have the Vaseline effect. So seeing what I am doing is an interesting experiment, clearly I am still seeing well enough to ensure that what my figures know they are typing is what is appearing on the screen but sitting with your nose just 9 inches from the screen isn’t the most comfortable position for my back.

It is strange how all of us with chronic conditions brush these type of symptoms to one side, if you were to wake up tomorrow and not be able to see very much you would panic and head straight to the Doctor convinced you were going blind. We on the other hand accept it and move on just hoping that it will improve given time. I know like everything else the day will come when it won’t go away and like everything else there is nothing that they can do about it, and one day I won’t have my eyesight back, I just hope this isn’t that day.

5 thoughts on “Optical Neuritis

  1. Hi Pamela, Thanks for explaining all of these symptoms. Any one of us could get this condition in the future and it is useful to know a little more about it.
    Once again I am struck by how you cope with your MS with such humour and good nature. I am sure that there are times when you feel anything but. However, you rarely show any self pity, which is amazing. Your posts are very readable and fascinating as we are able to take a look into your daily life.
    all the best xxx


  2. You are amazing! You put into words the difference in how people with chronic illness cope so well. Your description of your conditions helps me to understand. I was tested for MS but it turned out to be fibromyalgia plus spinal injuries. The fibromyalgia interacts with weak eye muscles, plus cataracts in my stronger eye. When I am tired, which is often, I see double! The constant eyestrain has led to me listening to TV rather than watching it. Muscles spasm every day along the spine, and affect breathing, walking, and more. Your post is helpful in so many ways – understanding of both the medical conditions and the difference in how those of us who have chronic illness react. Many healthy friends are very disturbed at things I just brush off. Thank you so much for this wonderful post!


  3. So many symptoms can happen to anyone not just those with MS, many cross into the normal aging process, i just got there early. Nothing online showed how the symptoms of Macular degeneration as I see it but I have asked every optician I have seen and they all say that what I see is common. So I highlight it here because as you say it can happen to anyone.

    As always thanks for reading 🙂


  4. It still amazes me how we all reach acceptance of what is happening to us and learn to see things as normal when they are anything but. I am sure that if we didn’t we would go completely mad.

    I am glad to know that what I write about is helping you, we do have the Fibro in common, most of the symptoms I can split apart but at times it is hard to know which is which, to be honest I don’t normally bother any longer, it has all become my illness. I hope that you a restful day as much as possible. (((Hugs)))


  5. On June 1, 2006, I woke to find that I was completely blind in my left eye. My son had just resently turned 1. I have 20/20 and have never glasses. My depth perception was shot and I was due to be in my only sibling’s wedding. I just remember mourning the loss of seeing my baby’s face well. it was frustrating and it last an entire year. that. was a defining moment in my health.


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