The optic nerve is the pathway for information to be transferred from your eyes to the visual cortex in your brain. Optic neuritis is a condition involving an inflamed or swollen optic nerve. The optic nerve is actually a collection of more than a million tiny nerve fibers performing, with each individual fiber transmitting information from each of the photoreceptors. As a result of damage to the optic nerve that can take the form of swelling, compression, trauma, lesions, inflammation, etc., the brain receives incomplete information that we experience as vision loss. Central visual acuity is needed for sharp, detailed work. Peripheral vision, color vision, perception of movement, vision in low light, and dark adaption can all be affected. The optic nerve is surrounded by a protective fatty layer of myelin which insulates it from the tissue around it and helps the impulses of energy travel more quickly along the nerve. If this outer protection is degraded or damaged, then the nerve can become swollen and inflamed.
Swelling and inflammation can occur at various locations along the optic nerve which are tied to whether the condition is of short duration or more serious. Such identification can be determined by an optic MRI. Optic myelitis is the simultaneous inflammation of the optic nerve and the spinal