In this CHOC Children’s grand rounds video, Dr. Chantal Boisvert, neuro-ophthalmologist, addresses optic neuritis in pediatric patients. Specifically, she discusses how the presentation and outcome can be different for children compared to adults. Pediatric optic neuritis is often bilateral and tends to occur within one to two weeks after a known or presumed viral infection/vaccination. Children with optic neuritis are also at lower risk of developing MS compared to the adult population.
Dr. Boisvert also shares some of the challenges associated with diagnosing and treating optic nerve problems. Sudden inflammation of the nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain, can cause acute vision loss. Most cases will improve after a few weeks, but injury to the nerve fibers can sometimes result in permanent loss of vision. Physicians need to know when to refer to neuro-ophthalmologists. Neuro-ophthalmologists are familiar with all aspects of both optic nerve and brain disorders, and will be able to provide up-to-date recommendations on complex treatment issues and follow-up.