We measured contrast sensitivity by means of Arden grating plates in 41 eyes with acute optic neuritis and in 51 eyes with resolved optic neuritis. The scores were abnormal in 93% of eyes in the acute phase and 78% in the resolved phase irrespective of visual acuity. Even when acuity improved to 6/7.5 or better with resolution of the neuritis, 67% of eyes still showed abnormal contrast sensitivity. Since Snellen acuity represents just one point at the high spatial frequency end of the contrast sensitivity function, a patient in whom acuity improves to 6/6 with resolution of optic neuritis may still have difficulty seeing objects of lower relative contrast or at lower spatial frequencies.
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