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Sudden Vision Loss and Nursing Care Plan


Optic neuritis (H46) is an eye disorder that is usually characterized by inflammation of the optic nerve (ICD10Data, 2016). It is one of the most common optic neuropathy that may affect young adults, develop suddenly, and touch one or both eyes at the same time (Toosy, Mason, & Miller, 2014). The peculiar feature of this disorder is that its actual causes remain to be unknown, and many nurses and doctors explain it as a kind of mistake that can occur in the immune system. The main assessment findings of optic neuritis in the patient are:

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  • Sudden loss of vision in the left eye;
  • Sudden blurred vision one month ago;
  • Pain if the patient tries to move her eye;
  • Inability to determine colors.

It is also necessary to consider the age of the patient and underline the fact that optic neuritis is inherent to many young adults. Jessica is a 32-year-old female.

Nursing Diagnosis

Jessica is a healthy female, who suffers from a sudden loss of vision in one eye without any reason. She did not have any traumas or injuries. She also denies such symptoms as tearing, redness, or exposure to any type of chemicals. The examination shows that the optic disc of the left eye is swollen, and it is one of the evident signs that the patient has some neurological problems in the eye (Yanoff & Duker, 2009). Problems with color differentiation of one eye as one of the parts of general eye examination should also be tested to use it as the symptom of optic neuritis. Finally, the light test can be used to check the reaction of pupils (Yanoff & Duker, 2009).


The goals of nursing care should be connected with the abilities and reactions of the patient. First, Jessica should be free from any injury not to cause the possible development of optic problems and the outcomes of additional traumas. Permanent visual impairment should be under the nurse’s control. The patient should take rest in order to decrease the pain that is caused by the eye movement and avoid possible complications such as the decreased visual activity of both eyes and serious optic nerve damage.


Optic neuritis may cause a decrease in vision considerably. Therefore, nurses should take everything possible to reduce the number of harmful effects on the patient. It is necessary to remember that sclerosis can be defined as a disease caused by immune system attacks. The same attacks can influence the patient’s conditions. A nurse should consider possible changes in the patient to identify some new symptoms of the disease. Besides, the threat of bacterial infections is possible. The patient should be informed about this possibility. Finally, there is no need to prescribe any drugs to reduce pain. It is enough to provide the patient with rest and peace for some period of time and wait for a doctor’s diagnosis.

Evaluation and Teaching Plan

Optic neuritis is one of the eye disorders that can be improved on its own within a short period of time. The patient’s vision can be restored in case simple precautionary methods are followed. The patient should stay free from injuries and traumas not to cause additional harm to the eyes. Finally, the nurse should take care of the patient and inform about the discharge instructions that should be followed. The patient should stay in bed or, at least, decrease the level of eye work and the use of electronic devices for some period of time.


ICD10Data. (2016). Web.

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Toosy, A.T., Mason, D.F., & Miller, D.H. (2014). Optic neuritis. Lancet Neurol, 13, 83-99.

Yanoff, M. & Duker, J.S. (2009). Ophthalmology. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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