Optic Neuritis. Treatment & Supplements for Optimal Vision.

Updated: 11/9/23

Are you concerned about your eyesight? Are you struggling with occasional vision problems like blurred or double vision, pain when moving the eyeball, reduced color perception, or spots in the field of view? Then it’s time to take action and find out whether you might be suffering from optic neuritis. It is an inflammation of the optic nerve that causes blindness and may be a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). But don’t worry! There are various treatments available to help manage optic neuritis symptoms and potentially even restore vision. In this blog post we’ll explore different therapies for treating it as well as supplements that can boost overall eye health and possibly alleviate some of its symptoms.

What is Optic Neuritis?

Most people don’t realize what a gift their vision is until it is starts to deteriorate. Optic neuritis, for example, can eventually result in vision loss, reduced color vision or pain with eye movement. The condition is defined as inflammation of the optic nerve, which is a bundle of nerve fibers that relay information from the eye to the brain. Optic neuritis has a strong connection to multiple sclerosis and may be an early indication for the disease.

It can be diagnosed as acute optic neuritis or recurrent optic neuritis, where the optic nerve continues to become inflamed. It specifically impacts the myelin, which coats the optic nerve. Myelin is a fatty substance that helps electrical impulses travel from the eye to the brain and turn into visual information. Myelin that is inflamed is myelin that is damaged and will not function properly, thus impacting one’s vision. Optic neuritis can also be associated with other immune disorders, but no matter which way it develops, it is uncomfortable and can have serious impacts.

Individuals affected by optic neuritis typically report vision loss — often not permanent, but vision may also worsen over time with optic neuritis. This includes reduced colored vision, and flashing or flickering lights may be present. Although the exact cause of optic neuritis is unknown, there are several disorders, often having to do with the immune system, that make optic neuritis more likely. Doctors believe that instead of fighting the infection, it may occur because it attacks the myelin sheath instead. It is typically treatable, but it is nonetheless a pain to experience.

Types of Optic Neuritis

Typical and Atypical Optic Neuritis

The most common types of optic neuritis are typical and atypical. Typical optic neuritis is what many people think of when they hear about the condition. It typically affects one eye and causes vision loss that gets worse over time before slowly beginning to improve. This type of optic neuritis is most often associated with a demyelinating condition like multiple sclerosis. Atypical, on the other hand, is less common and does not follow the typical pattern of vision loss and recovery. It can affect both eyes at once and can result in more severe vision loss.

Acute and Chronic Optic Neuritis

Optic neuritis can also be classified as acute or chronic depending on the duration of symptoms. Acute optic neuritis comes on suddenly and typically lasts less than three weeks. Chronic optic neuritis lasts for more than ten weeks and can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions like lupus or cancer. Symptoms of chronic optic neuritis may come and go and may be more difficult to manage than those of acute optic neuritis.

Retrobulbar Optic Neuritis

Retrobulbar optic neuritis is a type of optic neuritis that affects the section of the optic nerve that is located behind the eye. This part of the nerve is responsible for transmitting the visual signal to the brain. Symptoms of retrobulbar are similar to typical optic neuritis, but are often less severe. People with retrobulbar may experience fewer vision problems but may still experience pain or discomfort in the affected eye.

Idiopathic Optic Neuritis

Idiopathic optic neuritis is a rare type of optic neuritis that does not have an identifiable cause. This means that doctors are unsure of why it occurs. Many people with idiopathic optic neuritis experience symptoms that are similar to typical optic neuritis but may not have a demyelinating condition like multiple sclerosis.

Optic Neuritis Symptoms

Optic neuritis symptoms can be frustrating and cause a host of complications. It’s essential to be vigilant in recognizing and diagnosing the warning signs.

Vision Loss

The most common and apparent symptom of this eye disease is a sudden loss of vision, which can occur in one or both eyes. You might start seeing blurred images, or even suffer from temporary or permanent blindness in the affected eye(s).

Blurred Vision

Blurred or hazy vision is the most common symptom of this eye disease. Visual acuity decreases, colors become dim or unclear, and shapes become distorted. Objects may seem fuzzy, and it may seem like a film or fog is covering your line of sight. This symptom often occurs suddenly and worsens within a few days.

Pain and Discomfort in the Eyes

Pain or discomfort in the eyes is another symptom that can occur in one or both eyes. It can range from mild discomfort to a severe stabbing pain that worsens while moving the eyes. This pain often subsides but can resurface when there is increased eye movement.

Blind Spots

A blind spot or scotoma is a symptom of optic neuritis, where a patch or region of total vision loss occurs in one eye. The size and location of the blind spot depend on the extent and location of the inflammation. A small blind spot that blocks one’s vision, for example, can expand to cover a larger area.

Color Vision Disturbance

Color vision disturbance is another common symptom of optic neuritis. The inflammation of the optic nerve affects color perception, making it difficult to distinguish between colors or to see specific hues correctly.

Color Blindness

It can cause a reduction in color vision, making colors appear less vivid. Some people may notice a blue or yellow tint to everything they see, while others may notice that they can only see certain colors. If you experience color blindness, you should get checked by an eye doctor.

Reduced Contrast Sensitivity

Reduced contrast sensitivity is a lesser-known symptom of optic neuritis. It occurs when people can’t differentiate between two adjacent shades of the same color, making it difficult for them to distinguish objects.

Can Optic Neuritis Cause Headaches?

There are two main types of headaches that are commonly associated with optic neuritis – migraine and tension headaches. Migraine headaches tend to be on one side of the head and are accompanied by a throbbing or pulsating sensation. Tension headaches, on the other hand, tend to be a mild to moderate headache that feels like a band around the head.

The exact cause of headaches associated with optic neuritis is not known yet. However, experts suggest that the inflammation of the optic nerve might be responsible for the headaches. There is also some evidence that suggests the release of prostaglandins and cytokines during inflammation might trigger headaches.

Can Optic Neuritis Be Caused By Stress?

Now, when it comes to optic neuritis, research has shown that stress can be a triggering factor for those who already have CNS disorders like multiple sclerosis. The reason is simple: stress increases inflammation and inflammation aggravates optic neuritis. When you are under stress, your immune system is weaker, which means it’s harder for your body to keep infections out of your eyes.

However, it’s important to note that stress doesn’t cause it on its own. It is just a contributing factor that makes the condition worse. There needs to be an underlying condition for optic neuritis to develop, which is why it’s essential to see a doctor if you start experiencing vision problems.

Symptoms of Optic Neuritis

Optic Neuritis Causes

Neuromuelitis Optica

Neuromyelitis optica and optic neuritis are practically one in the same. Neuromyelitis optica is an autoimmune disease which degenerates the myelin, accompanied by recurring optic neuritis, transverse myelitis that often results in permanent blindness and/or paralysis. NMO is a disorder of the central nervous system and affects the optic nerve as well as the spinal cord. It is no surprise that NMO causes this eye disease since it causes the same demyelination.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, degenerative disease that involves the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Numbness, loss of speech and motor coordination are common symptoms of multiple sclerosis as well as loss of vision. Loss of vision of course comes from this eye disease. In fact it is typically an initial sign of multiple sclerosis, which is no surprise since MS and optic neuritis both affect the sheaths of different nerve cells throughout the brain, spinal cord and eyes.

Bacterial Infection

Although they are not common, a bacterial could be the cause of optic neuritis. This includes infection from staphylococcus, Lyme disease, syphilis, cat scratch fever and a wide variety of other bacterial infections. These can be caused by parasites, bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. This is due to the weakened immune system associated with these infections that increases the risk. When treating it with a bacterial infection, use of proper antibiotics is essential in order to also treat the infection.


Certain medications can cause this eye disease as a side effect. These include some antibiotics, antihistamines, and diuretics. If you’re taking any medication and you experience sudden vision changes or eye pain, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor.

Other Causes

The most common causes of optic neuritis are those listed above. However other reported causes include viral infections such as measles, mumps and herpes, lupus and sarcoidosis. Unless it’s a result of multiple sclerosis, which is typically a progressive and permanent condition, it is not permanent. Most people make a full recovery and permanent vision loss is rare, although some cases have been reported. 

Diagnosing Optic Neuritis

Diagnosing optic neuritis involves a thorough exam by an ophthalmologist or neurologist. In addition to a standard eye exam, the doctor may perform an optical coherence tomography (OCT) test, which can detect swelling of the optic nerve, visual function tests like visual acuity, color vision, and visual fields. Other diagnostic tests may include an MRI of the brain, spine, or orbits (eye sockets), and blood tests to check for underlying health issues.

How To Treat Optic Neuritis

To restore your normal vision, treating optic neuritis is essential. Here are some tips from the pros on how to take care of optic neuritis.

Consult Your Doctor Immediately

Don’t delay treatment; consult your doctor right away. Your doctor will give you a proper diagnosis and suggest some tests, including an MRI or CT scan. If you receive a diagnosis of optic neuritis, your doctor might prescribe high-dose steroid medications to reduce inflammation and improve your vision.

Eat a Healthy, Anti-inflammatory Diet 

The foods you eat can have a significant impact on your overall health and your chances of developing this eye disease. A diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can be a contributing factor to optic neuritis. Foods that are high in antioxidants, such as blueberries and kale, can also improve your eye health.

Practice Stress-reducing Techniques 

Stress can be a trigger for optic neuritis, so it’s essential to take care of your mental health. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and spending time in nature can all help to reduce stress levels and calm your mind. Stress-reducing techniques can also improve your sleep quality, which is crucial for overall health and healing.

Get Regular Exercise 

Exercise is crucial for overall health, and it can also be beneficial for preventing flare-ups. Physical activity can help to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the eyes. Activities like running, cycling, hiking, and swimming are all great options, but be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new workout routine.

Practice Good Eye Care

Practicing good eye care is essential when you have this eye disease. You need to avoid any strain on your eyes and ensure you get enough restful sleep to restore your energy and reduce inflammation. Use a cool compress to alleviate your symptoms, and avoid bright lights and computers or any activity that involves straining your eyes.

Consider IV Infusion Therapy

IV Infusion Therapy can be an effective way to treat optic neuritis. Infusion treatment involves delivering medications to your body via your veins, allowing you to absorb the medication quickly and effectively. This therapy can be effective when your traditional treatment options fail, and it can help improve your overall health and well-being.

Consider Alternative Therapies 

Acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care are all holistic therapies that can be beneficial for it. These treatments can help to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and promote healing in the body. Be sure to speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting any alternative therapy.

Consider Supplements 

Certain supplements have been shown to improve the symptoms and support overall eye health. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are essential for eye health and can be found in fish oil or algae-based supplements. Vitamin D3 supplements can also help to reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. Additionally, B vitamins can protect your optic nerve from damage, and CoQ10 can enhance cellular energy and help reduce inflammation.

Optic Neuritis Supplements


You only have one set of eyes, so it is important to take care of them as best as you can. You may have been told to eat carrots to take care of your eyes as a kid, but have you ever heard of beetroot? Beetroot powder has tons of similar essential vitamins and nutrients that directly improves your eyesight, and specifically optic neuritis. Although it is not permanent, it is important to remedy it as soon as possible since symptoms can become worse. To use, boil beetroot in water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and then drink. This solution can be taken twice daily until symptoms of it lessen.


Peppermint has a long list of health benefits. And its taste isn’t bad either. One major use of peppermint is that it can fight bacterial infections. If your optic neuritis is caused by a bacterial infection, then peppermint can directly improve the infection and thus optic neuritis. Peppermint is also used for relieving pain and headaches/migraines in general. Peppermint extract powder may alleviate the eye pain associated with it. Individuals with multiple sclerosis also commonly report using peppermint oil as a holistic treatment, so it is no surprise that it can improve optic neuritis in the same way. For topical pain relief efforts, the recommended dosage of peppermint is a 10 percent peppermint oil solution. Apply directly to the skin, especially the temples.


Curcumin is the major curcuminoid in turmeric. It has been used for centuries to treat a variety of diseases and today is recommended for it. Research indicates that curcumin is especially effective because it has low solubility and digestive bioavailability, making it easy for the body to intake. Curcumin is recommended for a variety of eye-related diseases such as for its antiangiogenesis effects in corneal diseases, anti-inflammation and anti-allergy for dry eyes, for antioxidative stress; the list goes on. The daily dosage of curcumin for adults is 500-2,000 mg daily.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to maintaining a healthy optic nerve. The fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish oil supplements are among the most potent forms of omega-3s. A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology found that a daily dose of 300mg of omega-3s for three months led to a significant improvement in optic nerve function. Even for those who do not have optic neuritis, incorporating Omega-3s into a healthy lifestyle can help prevent future optic nerve damage.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is right up there with carrots when it comes to everyday eye health. The omega-3 benefits in fish oil are recommended for everyday use to prevent eye damage, but can also be effective for optic neuritis. These fatty acids and other acids found in fish oils directly improve inflammation and can benefit other autoimmune disorders as well. Taking fish oil for it can significantly reduce inflammation. The recommended daily dosage of fish oil is 1,100 mg for females and 1,600 for males, although you should always consult your healthcare provider first.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

These carotenoids are essential supplements for eye health that can protect the retina from damage caused by blue light exposure. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are antioxidants that accumulate in the macula of the eye, the central part responsible for our sharp visual acuity. A study published in the Journal of Ophthalmology found that a daily dose of lutein and zeaxanthin supplements resulted in a significant improvement in contrast sensitivity, which is an integral measure of visual function.

Vitamin A

This essential vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy vision. Vitamin A can help prevent damage to your eyes from free radicals, and it can also help reduce inflammation. One of the best sources of vitamin A is beta-carotene, which is found in many fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps to protect the optic nerve and can help with optic nerve repair. It also helps to reduce inflammation and increase myelin production, which protects the nerve cells. This vitamin is particularly crucial for vegans and vegetarians who may be deficient as it’s commonly found in meat, eggs, and dairy. The vitamin B12 can be purchased right here at Bulksupplements.com

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another antioxidant that helps protect our eyes from damage by UV radiation, pollutants, and other harmful environmental factors. This potent nutrient helps reduce inflammation and supports collagen formation. Collagen makes up a significant portion of the connective tissue that provides elasticity to the sclera, the white part of the eye. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who had higher vitamin C concentrations in their bloodstream had a much lower risk of developing any kind of optic nerve related problems.


CoQ10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is especially helpful in managing inflammation within the optic nerve. It also helps with mitochondrial function, which can be impaired in those with optic neuritis. You can take a daily supplement of CoQ10 up to 200mg to help reduce symptoms.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another great supplement for optic neuritis. Studies have shown that people with a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to develop the condition, and taking a vitamin D supplement can help boost immunity and reduce inflammation in the body. Try to get at least 600-800 IU daily.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect our eyes from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells and tissues. Vitamin E works to neutralize free radicals, reducing their damage in the body. A study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that the daily supplementation of 400 IU of vitamin E led to a significant improvement in visual field test scores in patients with open-angle glaucoma, a condition caused by optic nerve damage.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is a powerful herb that works as both an antioxidant and a neuroprotective agent. It has been shown to improve the circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the brain and optic nerve, increasing blood flow to the eye. In a study published in the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, participants took 120mg of ginkgo biloba supplements daily for four weeks. Researchers found a statistically significant improvement in contrast sensitivity in patients with age-related macular degeneration. 


This mineral is essential for eye health, as it helps deliver vitamin A to the retina. Zinc can also help reduce inflammation and promote healing. You can find zinc in foods like oysters, beef, and chickpeas. Zinc supplements can also be purchases online here at Bulksupplements.com

The Bottom Line

Our eyesight is precious, and eye problems can be a root cause of anxiety and stress to many individuals. If you or someone you know experiences sudden changes in vision, it’s essential not to overlook the signs. Optic neuritis is a condition that can affect anyone, and it’s vital to take immediate action to get the correct diagnosis and treatment. Being aware of the symptoms and seeking medical help promptly can increase your chances of maintaining healthy vision and overall eye health. Don’t let it hold you back from seeing the world clearly.

Optic neuritis is an eye condition that can significantly impact your quality of life. While the symptoms can be discomforting, early intervention and appropriate treatment can significantly reduce vision loss and help manage the condition. Regular eye check-ups and following a healthy lifestyle are vital to maintain optimal eye health. If you experience any eye-related symptoms or concerns, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional. Understanding optic neuritis and taking preventative measures is the key to maintaining good vision and a healthy life.

If you’re looking for a natural way to support your eye health and reduce the risk of developing optic neuritis, consider adding these supplements to your daily routine. From vitamin A to zinc, these nutrients can all play a role in keeping your eyes healthy and strong. Of course, it’s always important to consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements, especially if you’re currently taking medication or have a pre-existing medical condition. But with the right guidance, you can take steps to protect your vision and enjoy clearer, sharper eyesight for years to come.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: James D