Multiple sclerosis (MS) can trigger vision problems, but luckily these problems do not often result in total blindness. Here are some key optic disorders that you should know if you have MS:
MS can also affect the small muscles that control eye movements. When the muscle of one eye becomes weaker than the muscle of the other, eye movements can become uncoordinated. This results in double vision, which tends to go away without medical treatment.
Around 55 percent of people with MS will be diagnosed with optic neuritis, which causes the optic nerve to become inflamed. This nerve relays images from the eyes to the brain for interpretation. Optic neuritis is commonly the first symptom noticed by MS patients. Symptoms include:
- Blurring of vision
- Gray spots in vision
- Blindness in one eye
Optic neuritis rarely afflicts both eyes at once. There may be a slow decline in vision, and full recovery can take four to twelve weeks. Steroids may reduce the spread of inflammation.
Nystagmus is characterized by uncontrolled eye movements and occurs frequently in people with MS. Severe nystagmus is capable of disrupting vision, but there are effective treatments.
MS attacks may cause blindness in one eye, often due to optic neuritis.
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