I woke up one morning to my first bout of ON (and my first bout of MS) with severe pain in one eye. I was 17. It hurt to move the eye and things were blurry and dim; like trying to see through pond water.
By the next day there was only a bit of blurry, dim light in the peripheral visual field remaining.
I was given prednisone, reacted poorly to it and then was told that I'd have to wait it out.
Things began to improve on their own after a couple of weeks and within a month, all that was left was a blind spot in the middle of the visual field.
The blind spot has remained relatively unchanged for 35 years; but I've long since adapted to it, so it is only noticed when the other eye is closed. Apparently there is observable damage to the optic disc of that eye, but it has also remained stable and relatively unchanged.
Subsequent bouts of ON in that eye and the other one over the years have mostly presented as blurred vision, moderate pain, sensitivity to light, dimness, flashes and floating spots of phosphorescent light and droopiness of the eye lid/eyebrow. These symptoms usually last for periods of between 2-4 weeks.
There haven't been any more episodes of blindness since that first go round and the symptoms of the subsequent bouts have resolved on their own.
Any of these symptoms can come up when I am in a flare or if under stress, including if the body gets fatigued or over heated; but they resolve fairly quickly once the stress is dealt with.
It is often my first hint that an 'MS mutiny' is brewing on board when the blind spot gets larger and/or when any of the other visual symptoms come up.
My late husband often used to notice a drooping eyelid even before I noticed a visual disturbance, and would jokingly say in a scratchy pirate voice,
"Aye...you settin' out to sea, Billy?"
Then we would both do what we could to make "Billy's" journey as pleasant and as short as possible.
Relax and keep your sense of humour NoWakes...this too will pass
With love, Erika